Windows Server 2008R2 in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012/2012R2

 

Previous article showed that in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 is possible only if it has Hyper-V role configured and it is impossible to do that on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Situation looks much better when you plan to do in-place upgrade of Windows Server 2008 R2 into Windows Server 2012/2012R2. This is supported but requires some administrator’s attention before server will be upgraded.

Below you can find some hints for that process.

First of all, you need to evaluate if software installed on your Windows Server 2008 R2 is compatible and supported on Windows Server 2012/2012R2. When you find any incompaticle software you need to

  • upgrade it to supported version before OS upgrade (recommended action)
  • uninstall it from the server before OS upgrade
  • leave it as is but remember that Windows Server after in-place upgrade may not function properly

Important! Some applications may be compatible with Windows Server 2012/2012R2 but their version might not be sufficient to support full application features. You need to evaluate it also before OS in-place upgrade.

When all appropriate steps were taken, are able to start in-place upgrade. To do that follow procedure listed below

Start Windows Server 2012/2012R2 setup wizard from DVD media

Windows setup wizard

Windows Server 2012 setup wizard

Windows Server 2012 R2 setup wizard

Windows Server 2012 R2 setup wizard

Wait for Windows to copy necessary files to the server

Setup is copying necessary files

Setup is copying necessary files

Setup is starting

Setup is starting

When those files were copied to local hard drive, you should go on-line and install all new Windows Server 2008 R2 updates (recommended)

Note! The Internet connection will be required!

Updating Windows Server 2008 before in-place ugrade

Updating Windows Server 2008 R2 before in-place ugrade

Wait for system update to finish the process

Windows Server 2008 R2 on-line update

Windows Server 2008 R2 on-line update

At this moment you have to provide valid Windows Server 2012/2012R2 product key to start installation

Provide valid Windows Server 2012/2012R2 product key

Provide valid Windows Server 2012/2012R2 product key

When system is updated, you’ll see a screen where you need to choose appropriate Windows Server 2012 edition to which you want to upgrade Windows Server 2008 R2

Select Windows Server 2012 edition to install

Select Windows Server 2012 edition to install

Accept license terms and go to the next step

License terms

License terms

Now, everything is ready to start in-place upgrade. Click on “Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications

In-place upgrade initiation

In-place upgrade initiation

Review applications compatibility report and if there are no errors, continue the installation

Compatibility report

Compatibility report

Compatibility report

Compatibility report

Windows Server upgrade will start

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

During the upgrade process, several actions will be executed like:

  • collecting files
  • collecting settings
  • collecting applications
Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

In the next step, Windows Server will install its own files

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Your server will be restarted when all files were extracted. During system restart, you have short time to decide if you wish to continue in-place upgrade or you want to roll back to the previous Windows Server 2008 R2 OS

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 starts preparing itself for devices configuration

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

The server will be restarted to finalize settings

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress

and finally, logon screen will appear. That means the in-place upgrade process has been finished.

Windows Server 2012/2012R2 logon screen

Windows Server 2012/2012R2 logon screen

That’s all!

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Author: Krzysztof Pytko

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12 responses to “Windows Server 2008R2 in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012/2012R2”

  1. Cyril says :

    Ok, this works only in best case scenario. I popped my 2012R2 in the DVD drive and start the process however after I select the OS type that I want, I get an obnoxious error:

    Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart installation.

    From there, I click ok and can’t proceed with the update.

    This is a physical box, no VMs involved.

    Any Ideas?

     
  2. Cyril says :

    In the event logs, nothing beside “The Software Protection service entered the running state”

     
  3. Cyril says :

    Tried another ISO download from Microsoft, same results. Bummer!

     
  4. Cyril says :

    I tried my ISO on another server and I can go through the process. The server I want to upgrade is a domain controller, what gives?

     
  5. Babu says :

    I am doing an inplace upgrade in my virtual infrastructure , Windows Server 2012 upgrade progress Takes more than 2 hours and still rotating. will it be a successful upgrade..?

     

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