In this article, we will go through the steps required to convert a Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Evaluation edition to a Datacenter full version. The process for upgrading Windows Server 2019 standard evaluation to retail is the same as this one.

If you have installed the Evaluation version of Windows Server 2019, you can use full features of newly released Windows Server for 180 days. After the trial period of 180 days expires, the server will start asking for activation and automatically turns off after every one hour.

If you try to activate Windows Server 2019 Eval copy by specifying the KMS key or the Retail/MAK activation key for the RTM version, you will get an error message saying “This edition cannot be upgraded”. To overcome this problem you have to use DISM command to specify the Key.

Lets get started.

Right click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell (admin).

First of all, let’s find out the information about the current version of windows server 2019 which we have installed using DISM command.

dism /online /get-currentedition

As you can see we have Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Evaluation version.
Now let’s determine the possible target edition name which we can upgrade from evaluation version i.e. standard or datacenter.

dism /online /Get-targeteditions

As you can see in our case, we have a datacenter evaluation edition. That can be upgraded into datacenter retail version only.
Note: You can convert standard Eval edition to standard or datacenter edition but you can only convert your datacenter Eval edition to datacenter retail.
Let’s do it.

dism /online /set-edition:serverdatacenter /productkey:WMDGN-G9PQG-XVVXX-R3X43-63DFG /accepteula

For this demo I am using the public KMS key for Windows Server 2019 to upgrade Evaluation edition to Retail version of Windows Server 2019 Datacenter:
Once we press enter key, the DISM command will install the product key and remove the datacenter edition evaluation package from the server 2019.This will may take some time. So wait for it to finish.
Once the process completes you need to restart your server once. So press “y” to restart the server.
And then after you will have Retail version of Datacenter Edition installed on your server
Again, this is the KMS key for Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Edition. So to activate windows server with KMS key, you will need a local KMS activation server in your network. Otherwise, you won’t be able to activate your windows server 2019.
For more information, you can read the official documentation about the upgrade and conversion options for Windows Server 2019:
Hope you enjoy this article. Thanks a lot.