I downloaded the Windows Server 2016 ISO Evaluation version from Microsoft, installed and setup the VM. When try to activate using SPLA key, getting the error – The edition cannot be upgraded.


Run the command prompt as Administrator

C:\>Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /AcceptEula /ProductKey:ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.14393.0

Image Version: 10.0.14393.0

Starting to update components…
Starting to install product key…
Finished installing product key.

Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEvalEdition~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.14393.0
Finished updating components.

Starting to apply edition-specific settings…
Restart Windows to complete this operation.
Do you want to restart the computer now? (Y/N)

Restart the server, Job done. but not… 

When I check the Activation status – Windows is not activated.

Click –> Activate Windows –> Troubleshoot, it will fix the problem and make you happy!

More details about the activation: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2016/10/19/windows-server-2016-volume-activation-tips/