I’m posting this here because I had so much trouble finding the solution that I wanted to share with the search engines.
The short of it was that I had a backup glitch on Small Business Server 2003 (SBS2003) this week and my CALs were reset from 20 down to 5, the original number that comes with the SBS2003 installation.
After Google searching, I could only find people with the same problem, but no fixes. Not wishing (that is DREADING) to call the original person who installed it to find if he had the license codes still, I did the next worse thing. I called Microsoft.
After getting transferred 5 times and explaining rather harshly to the last person AGAIN what my problem was, I had to apologize for taking it out on her. I didn’t get too nasty, I just let her know how dissatisfied I was with their product and support and their “Certified” professional that did us as much harm as good with original installation of the server…
So, expecting another day of waiting on the phone to find out I had to speak with another department, I first Google searched again before making the call.
This time, to my surprise, I actually found someone with the same problem, only this time with a resolution! And a simple resolution at that.
here’s the ORIGINAL POST FROM Chris Knight:
Small Business Server 2003 – The Dreaded 5 CAL Reset Issue
A runaway process on SBS2003 decided to fill up all the disk space on C: in the early hours of the morning. The fallout from this was the System log was corrupt and the SBS license data was reset to the default 5 CALs.
The System log was easy to fix – reboot the server.
The SBS license data was an absolute pain. I’d never run the “Back up licenses” utility in the Licensing section of Server Management. Microsoft have KB article 888818 discussing this, which is either re-enter the licenses, restore the C:\WINDOWS folder or restore a backup of the licenses.
The first wasn’t an option as I was offsite and the person with the key to the safe wasn’t in. The second was just not viable – why Microsoft couldn’t specify which file/folder needed restoring I don’t know. The third would have been OK if ever I had run it.
After much stuffing about I found that the SBS2003 licenses are kept in the licstr.cpa file in the WINDOWS\system32 folder. Thankfully, Microsoft actually keep an automatic backup of this in autolicstr.cpa. The simple process was to stop the License Logging Service, rename licstr.cpa to licstr.cpa.old, then copy autolicstr.cpa to licstr.cpa. After this I started License Logging Service and used Server Management to confirm that the licenses had been restored.