Windows Server 2016 Certificate of Authenticity: Concealment Panel Removal


Microsoft Windows Server Certificate of Authenticity (COA) labels are used to help customers identify genuine Microsoft Windows Server software. Every OEM Windows Server Operating System (OS) must have a COA label.HPE Windows Server 2016 Standard ROK COAHPE Windows Server 2016 Standard ROK COA

Starting with Windows Server 2016, a concealment panel was added to protect consumer product keys from being obtained and used by unauthorized individuals. The concealment panel consists of a small clear label with removable scratch off material applied to conceal some, or all, of the 25-characters of the product key. When a consumer requires the 5x5 product key, they should remove enough of the scratch off layer so they can read the key underneath. NOTE: Even if all silver material is removed, the clear label will remain. Any attempt to remove or peel of the underlying clear label will result in damage to the COA which may render the product key unreadable. This security feature is by design.

 Correct concealment removalCorrect concealment removal.jpg

  • To remove the concealment, use a finger nail or coin to gently scratch the silver surface off


Incorrect concealment removalIncorrect concealment removal.jpg

  • Do not use a tool, other than a coin, to remove the scratch off layer
  • Do not attempt to peel the scratch off layer away
  • Only use enough pressure and force to scratch the surface of the silver ink

Incorrect removal of concealment may result in damage to the COA.


To locate your OEM OS COA, please look in the following locations:

  • For HPE ProLiant ML(tower) servers, the COA is adhered to the front bezel
  • For HPE ProLiant BL (BladeSystem) servers, the COA is on the top of the blade (you must pull out the blade to see the COA label)
  • For HPE ProLiant DL (rack) servers and SL (scale out) models, the COA is on the side of the server (you must pull the server out of the rack to see the COA)


To keep up to date with the latest HPE OEM Windows Server 2016 news and info, be sure to follow Coffee Coaching's social channels:

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Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.