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License State Error Joining a SharePoint 2010 Server to an Existing Farm

I ran into an interesting error this week at a client site. They had been having server trouble, and that involved setting up a new instance of the operating system, and obviously all of the SharePoint bits needed to be reinstalled. Once that was done, I ran the Products and Technologies configuration wizard, set it to join an existing farm, entered the farm credentials and everything was good until Step 3 – where it connects to the configuration database. At that point it choked with:

“The license state for the current server doesn’t match the farm’s license state.”

My first impulse was that I had used the wrong key when installing the bits. Trying to join an Enterprise farm with a Standard server, or vice versa could cause this, but I was able to confirm that I had used the right key.

After a fair bit of head scratching, I realized that I had committed the mistake that I always commit with 2010, and I had forgotten to install the Office Web Applications. I had indeed installed them on the farm, and the rebuilt server did not yet have it installed. After installing them, I was happy to see that the server joined the farm successfully.

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