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My task is to install a Win Srv 2012 R2 Essentials instance in a Hyper-V VM onto a Win Srv 2012 R2 Essentials host. I added an external virtual switch, and the VM connects to that. The host computer has proper computer access.

I'm in the early phase of the installation, and when I enter the product key, I get "We couldn't verify the product key. Please check the installation media".

I don't know how to get through that. I try to use the host machine's key (which is surely legitimate). As far as I could look it up, it's allowed to have an extra instance running in a VM with the same product key. PDF accessible at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/learn-more/brief-windows-server-virtualization.aspx says "For small businesses that want to use virtualization as part of their backup and recovery plan, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is the right edition to use. Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials edition entitles you to run one instance in the physical OSE and one instances in the virtual OSE".

I also created an internal virtual switch and connected the VM to that one (note: I haven't restarted the VM since in this early phase of the install I cannot shut it down). Still I get the same "We couldn't verify the product key. Please check the installation media".

I suspect that the VM may not able to access the internet, but I'm not 100% sure about that (cannot get to a command prompt at this early phase tof the install).

Any help is appreciated.

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    Apparently allocating too little RAM to the VM can cause this: altaro.com/hyper-v/… blog.powerbiz.net.au/server-2012/…
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 29 '16 at 5:03
  • That's a great link. I added 4GB to the VM, that's far from 1GB, but I'll keep looking.
    – Csaba Toth
    Mar 29 '16 at 6:57
  • @Tom, the AVMA keys worked with the Trial ISO I downloaded from MS. I think it was something with the media, the genuine installer disk came with the server is not good for VM install? Once I finished install, I'll remove the trial with the genuine original OEM key
    – Csaba Toth
    Mar 29 '16 at 23:35
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I needed to download the 180 Trial installation media and used the AVMA keys. After the install (and resolving connectivity issues https://serverfault.com/questions/767204/hyper-v-guest-doesnt-see-the-internet-through-external-virtual-switch) I activated the guest with the host's key. So far it seems to work fine.

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