Well, since Microsoft is dragging their collective feet on making a PP3 OEM disk for Home Server, I figured I might as well share with you all how to do so yourself. I’ve done it myself, and been using the server for close to a week now and no issues. Even activated just fine. And because I’ve had no issues with it so far, I think it is safe enough to share with you all.
First things first, you’ll need a copy of your OEM Server Installation disk. Honestly, I don’t care how you got it, just that you do. Once you’ve grabbed that, you’ll want to head over to Microsoft Download Center and download the PP3 Evaluation Install disk. Yes. The Eval copy. Okay, now you have a break for a while. It’s an 800MB download, so it will be 30 minutes to downloaded depending on your connection speed.
After you’ve finished downloading the PP3 disk, you’ll need an ISO editing tool. Use your choice, or Google/Bing for a decent one. After that, open up your RTM or PP1 OEM disk. Extract the “SVR_2003” folde. Make sure you get all of it. It should be almost 600MBs in size. Once you’ve gotten that, you’ll need to open the PP3 Eval disk and replace the SVR_2003 disk on it with the one from the OEM disk. Once you’ve done that, save the ISO.
That’s it. Seriously. The Evaluational part is completely controlled by the Server 2003 part, and not any specific WHS part, I believe. I guess I’ll find out in January if I’m actually right, if and it worked 100%.