Well, not initially free, but legally, you could download Windows Server 2008 (all version) for free from microsoft website and evaluate it for 240 days. That is almost 8 months right. This article is not intended for permanent professional use, but more related for IT Professional or System Builder or IT student, who need to use WinServer 2008 for certain period of time, either for evaluation or university project.
You don’t need any serial number or no need to activate this product. As I said before, this is completely legal.
I admit, there is some tricks on how to stop activation timer, but I leave that one for you to find out ;D
Download Windows Server 2008 Here :
Choose either 64 bit version or 32 bit version.
Burn that ISO into DVD+R using your fav. Burner software (such as Nero).
Install Windows Server 2008. If your current OS is vista or older OS, don’t worry, because Windows Server will automatically reconstruct your boot loader, so you will have dual boot system.
How to install Windows Server 2008 without activating it
|1.||Run the Windows Server 2008 Setup program.|
|2.||When you are prompted to enter a product key for activation, do not enter a key. Click No when Setup asks you to confirm your selection.|
|3.||You may be prompted to select the edition of Windows Server 2008 that you want to evaluate. Select the edition that you want to install.
Note After Windows Server 2008 is installed, the edition cannot be changed without reinstalling it.
|4.||When you are prompted, read the evaluation terms in the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then accept the terms.|
|5.||When the Windows Server 2008 Setup program is finished, your initial 60-day evaluation period starts. To check the time that is left on your current evaluation period, run the Slmgr.vbs script that is in the System32 folder. Use the -dli switch to run this script. The slmgr.vbs -dli command displays the number of days that are left in the current 60-day evaluation period.|
How to manually extend the evaluation period
When the initial 60-day evaluation period nears its end, you can run the Slmgr.vbs script to reset the evaluation period. To do this, follow these steps:
|1.||Click Start, and then click Command Prompt.|
|2.||Type slmgr.vbs -dli, and then press ENTER to check the current status of your evaluation period.|
|3.||To reset the evaluation period, type slmgr.vbs –rearm, and then press ENTER.|
|4.||Restart the computer.|
This resets the evaluation period to 60 days.
How to automate the extension of the evaluation period
You may want to set up a process that automatically resets the evaluation period every 60 days. One way to automate this process is by using the Task Scheduler. You can configure the Task Scheduler to run the Slmgr.vbs script and to restart the server at a particular time. To do this, follow these steps:
|1.||Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Task Scheduler.|
|2.||Copy the following sample task to the server, and then save it as an .xml file. For example, you can save the file as Extend.xml.
|3.||In the sample task, change the value of the following “UserID” tag to contain your domain and your alias:
|4.||In the Task Scheduler, click Import Task on the Action menu.|
|5.||Click the sample task .xml file. For example, click Extend.xml.|
|7.||Click the Triggers tab.|
|8.||Click the One Time trigger, and then click Edit.|
|9.||Change the start date of the task to a date just before the end of your current evaluation period.|
|10.||Click OK, and then exit the Task Scheduler.|
The Task Scheduler will now run the evaluation reset operation on the date that you specified.
APPLIES TO :
|•||Windows Server 2008 Enterprise|
|•||Windows Server 2008 Standard|
|•||Windows Web Server 2008|
|•||Windows Server 2008 Datacenter|
|•||Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V|
|•||Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V|
|•||Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems|
|•||Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V|