Tag Archives: DISM

Convert Server 2016 Evaluation to Licensed – “This edition cannot be upgraded”

The other day it was necessary to me to convert from activated Windows Server 2016 Evaluation to Licensed. As I had a key I thought it would be matter of clicking Change product key in GUI ant entering a new key. So you either wade through GUI till you find this Change product key link:

Or directly run “slui” command. Both actions will open up this window for you:

But if you try to type license 100% correct and valid product key on activated Evaluation machine you will get this error:

“This edition cannot be upgraded?” And it might be confusing, especially if you did a quick check on edition installed and prepared appropriate product key… But check again, for Evaluation versions, edition value contains word “Evaluation”, so it is not “Datacenter”, but “Datacenter Evaluation”:

Now it is clear what is complaining about. But how to make it to accept full product key? You can use DISM for this:

dism /online /set-edition:ServerDatacenter /productkey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /accepteula

This will require reboot and some waiting but will convert your Evaluation license to full, provided that you entered correct product key.

Fixing failed Windows 10 Anniversary Update and DISM & ReFS registry hack

This blog post covers some issues I run into while installing Windows 10 Anniversary Update on one of my machines and some other issues I discovered/fixed in the process ūüôā

As I twitted earlier that for me Windows 10 Anniversary update failed on one of my home machines:

AnniversaryUpdate Error

Machine was really low on space on C drive and installation of update failed with error code 0x800705b4. Once I realized it I tried to use available option to move download folder to another drive and freed up enough of space on C drive Рbut in spite of this I kept getting this 0x800705b4 error. Back then there was no MSFT KB on this and after a while Windows Update even stopped to offer Anniversary Update to me. So I give up temporarily.

Yesterday I decided to give it another try and as Anniversary Update was no longer offered via Windows Update I downloaded Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant from support.microsoft.com:

AnniversaryUpdate Download Tool

Once downloaded, this tool provides you with wizard style UI for upgrade:

AnniversaryUpdate Upgrade Assistant

This tool allowed me to re-try installation of Anniversary Update, but I end up with the same¬†0x800705b4 error. This time Google I some how come across to an official MSFT KB dedicated to this error. I guess I wasn’t able to find this useful KB earlier as I tried to search something specifically applicable to Anniversary Update whereas it was rather generic Windows Update error.

First suggestion from above mentioned KB was “sfc /scannow” executed from elevated command prompt seemingly helped me, but I’ve got credentials prompt at update installation stage. At this point¬†I decided to give a call to MSFT support, or rather I opt out to request call back from them which I received relatively quickly – and it helped me to move on further. I was explained that I have to activate my Windows using my Windows 8.1 key I had by means of issuing the following command:

slui 3

This brings you the following Windows which allows you to activate your Windows system:

AnniversaryUpdate slui 3

Once activation succeeded I was advised to start update process from scratch, and I also get a recommendation to use update from installation media to speed up this process. I opt out to continue with Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant.

But alas once I did activation I run into the same error and “sfc /scannow” was not able to fix it, and I proceed to suggestion #2 from MSFT KB – use DISM to¬†¬†to fix Windows Update corruption errors. And solution is to run this:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

KB also states that you have to use repair from source here but I decided to try online repair first and run into the following problem:

DISM Error 50

Error message here is rather non descriptive and give little hints what is wrong for real. And I realized that I already struggled with this back when I tried to play with Windows To Go and give up on this. But since then answer to this appeared in the Internet:


Essentially this error caused by misplaced MiniNT key in registry which makes DISM thing that you try to service Windows PE installation. And truth to be told I have nobody to blame for that except me as I did a little unsupported trick to enable ReFS support on Windows 8.1 long time ago and I seen some other issues caused by this unsupported registry hack. So take away here is that it you use this enable ReFS trick either enable it to format drives, then remove registry key or if for some strange reason you may want to keep it be prepared to issue like non-working Windows Restore and this DISM error 50.

Anyhow once I removed MiniNT key DISM cleanup-image worked well for me and I was able to install Anniversary update, albeit not without another minor glitch which cause disproportionate amount of fuss in the Internet (example) – look like people don’t see how Anniversary Update being rolled out smoothly on 80%+ of super-diverse hardware base and moaning about individual issues with random configurations/old hardware saying that MSFT does a poor job here. Just for your reference on two other machines I have this update installed without slightest issues automatically (and one of them was really old Dell desktop with customized configuration). Glitch I’m talking about is that during update installation on a first boot I got an endless spinning circle on a black background and being experienced with this I waited up to 4 hours, then looked and the interned where a lot of folks report that it was necessary to unplug different Bluetooth USB dongles to get around this issue, and some even report that they were guided by MSFT to do 3-times hard power off to go to recovery mode… ūüôĀ Just in case I removed my Logitech Unifying receiver from USB port and waited a bit more (~15 mins or so), then just powered down my desktop and switched it on again – system started just fine.

So with a bit of help here and there my entire house hold now runs Windows 10 Anniversary update (2 desktops & 1 laptop). I hope this blog post may help those who run into similar issues.

Options for adding device drivers in Windows 8.1

This is one of the topics you may be questioned on if you going to take 70-689 exam. Basically, apart from just installing device driver from some media or pulling it from Windows update you may also preload drivers for your devices in advance. There are 3 ways of doing this:

Add/remove drivers to an offline image by using DISM. When using this approach you adding drivers into offline image prior to booting OS. Drivers either reflected (i.e. copied into image according to the information in .ini file) or staged (i.e. added to driver store) into image. Boot-critical drivers are reflected, all others staged. Command to add driver looks as follows:


Dism /Image:C:testoffline /Add-Driver /Driver:C:driversmydriver.inf

Important switches to be aware of are /recurse (to add all drivers from the folder) and /forceunsigned (to add unsigned driver). Please refer to the Add and Remove Drivers to an Offline Windows Image article on TechNet for details.

Add drivers during an automated deployment by using Windows Setup and an answer file. Here you should use Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) to create an answer file that contains the paths to the device drivers that you intend to install. There you are adding the Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE component to your answer file in the offlineServicing configuration pass. Then in Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE node in the answer file you right-click DevicePaths, and then select Insert New PathAndCredentials to add new PathAndCredentials list item.

Once you created your answer file you need to apply it to your image with DISM (first mount image, then apply):


DISM /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:testimagesinstall.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:testoffline\n\nDISM /Image:C:testoffline /Apply-Unattend:C:testanswerfilesmyunattend.xml

Add drivers after deployment on a running operating system by using PnPUtil or an answer file. So in order to add device drivers into running OS you may employ 2 methods:

\nUse PnPUtil to add or remove PnP drivers. See Use PnPUtil at a command line to install a Plug and Play device for details. You can use this procedure to install the device driver for a device that is plugged in, but for which no device driver is installed.\n

Use an answer file to automate the installation of PnP drivers when the computer is booted in audit mode. See Add a Driver Online in Audit Mode for details. You can use an answer file to automate the installation of device drivers when the computer is booted in audit mode. The auditSystem configuration pass processes unattended Setup settings while Windows is running in system context, before a user logs on to the computer in audit mode.