License reset issue on Microsoft Small Business Server 2003

I had a problem on SBS2003, where we the C: drive was out of space. As a result we had lots of issues with Exchange and corrupted System log. As a result the SBS license data was reset to the default 5 CALs.
Users had the following problems:

  • Logging into Temporary profile
  • Network Drives not available
  • Problems with Outlook and Entourage
  • 500 internal server error while trying to access OWA

We don’t have a hard copy of the licenses, and I was not able to find a backup of the licenses.(Well we never ran the “back up Licenses” utility)

You will either have to re-enter the licenses or restore the C:\WINDOWS folder or restore a backup of the licenses.

We do a back of the server, but I was not ready to restore C:\Windows for various reasons

After an hour of googling I found that the SBS2003 licenses are in the following location “c:\Windows\system32\licstr.cpa” file. When you key in the Licenses initially, windows takes an automatic backup of license info to a file “autolicstr.cpa” in System 32 folder.

This process will fix the license reset bug:

  1. Stop the License Logging Service.
  2. Take a backup of licstr.cpa and autolicstr.cpa from C:\Windows\system32
  3. Rename licstr.cpa to licstr.cpa-renamed
  4. From the back up rename autolicstr.cpa to licstr.cpa and move it to C:\Windows\system32
  5. Now started License Logging Service
  6. Go to Server Management to view your restored licenses.

You might also want to backup Licenses at this point by clicking on the Back up Licenses in Server Management.

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