Upgrade Windows Server 2012 to 2012 R2
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Upgrade Windows Server 2012 to 2012 R2


In this video from ITFreeTraining I will look
at upgrading a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller to Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows
Server 2012 R2 is an incremental upgrade to Windows Server 2012 offering additional features
rather than making too many changes to the core operating system. Before you install your first Windows Server
2012 R2 Domain Controller you first need to meet some requirements. First of all, your
domain must contain only Windows Server 2003 or above Domain Controllers. If you have a
Domain Controller that is lower than 2003, you will need to upgrade it before you install
your first Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller. Next you need to run ADPrep /ForestPrep once
in the forest before you install the first Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller.
This makes a number of schema changes required by Windows Server 2012 R2. These changes can
be made at any time before the deployment of the first Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain
Controller and does not affect the running of the current domain. You could for example
run ADPrep months or years before you installed your first Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller. The next step is you need to run ADPrep /DomainPrep
once in each domain in the forest. Although this needs to be run in each domain at some
stage, you only need to run it in a domain that you plan to install a Windows Server
2012 R2 domain controllers in. If you have a domain that you are not planning to add
any 2012 R2 Domain Controllers to, you do not need to run the command until you decide
to deploy your first Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller. The last point to remember is this does not
affect Windows Server 2012 R2 member servers. If you want to try out Windows Server 2012
R2 and are not ready to deploy any Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controllers, you can
always install a Windows Server 2012 R2 server and add it to the domain. If you do this,
there is no requirement to run these commands before you add it to the domain. I will now change to my Windows Server 2012
Domain Controller and look at upgrading it to Windows Server 2012 R2. In this demonstration I will upgrade the Domain
Controller NYDC1 from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. In a production
environment, I would personally not do it this way. I would personally run the ADPrep
commands and then install Window Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller on a brand new server
rather than upgrading an existing server as it is less prone to problems doing it this
way. However, in the real world this is not always possible and you may need to perform
an upgrade like the one that I am about to perform. Just like if you were upgrading a client operating
system, the operating system that you want to upgrade from needs to be booted into before
you run the setup. In this case, NYDC1 is already running and I am logged in. I have put the setup DVD in the computer,
so all I need to do is open the DVD and run the setup. The setup will then start up and
I will get the option install now to start the upgrade process. The first screen of the wizard asks if you
want to go online and obtain the latest updates before starting the update process. It is
recommended to select the top option “Go online to install updates now” in order
to ensure the latest updates are installed at install time. You can always install the
updates after the upgrade, however, it is possible due to a software problem that setup
may crash. By installing the updates, this means that the latest updates will be installed
reducing the chance that there will be a problem with the upgrade and that is why I also recommend
to download these updates before the upgrade. Once the upgrades have been downloaded and
installed the setup will continue. How long this takes depends on the speed of your internet
connection. On the next screen you will need to enter in your product key. Once this has
been entered on the next screen you need to select if you want to install the core interface
or the full GUI interface. In this case I will select the Full GUI interface and move
on. On the next screen I need to accept the license
agreement and move on. The next screen you need to determine if you
want to perform an upgrade or a custom install. If you select a custom install this will install
a fresh install of Windows. I want to perform an upgrade so I will select the top option
“Upgrade Install Windows and keep files, settings and applications”. The setup will now perform a compatibility
check to see if it can detect any problems. This will check the hardware and Microsoft
software, however additional vendor applications are not checked and the administrator will
need to perform their own checks to ensure that these applications will work with Windows
Server 2012 R2. The compatibility report will be saved to
the desktop if you want to read it later on. If I scroll down, notice that there is an
error message at the bottom. Before the install can be started, the command ADPrep needs to
be run as indicated. To do this, I will exit the setup and then
once back at the desktop, I will press the Windows Key followed by the X key to bring
up the quick access menu and from this menu I will select the option for the command prompt. From the command prompt I need to change to
the directory on the DVD called support and in this directory the folder called ADPrep.
The next step is to run the command ADPrep /ForestPrep Once the command runs, it will remind you
that the lowest Domain Controller supported is Windows Server 2003. Before you run this
command, make sure that you do not have any Domain Controllers that run Windows Server
2000. To start upgrading the schema, press c and
then press enter. Once the process starts, it is not reversible so this extra step has
been added to ensure that you are aware of what is happening before you run the command
and commit to the changes to be made. The process of upgrading the schema does not
take too long to complete. The older your schema the longer it will take but the process
is generally quite fast. The next command that I will run is ADPrep
/DomainPrep. Notice this command did not take very long at all to complete. Once again,
if you are upgrading from an older domain, for example you are running Windows Server
2003, this process will take longer. Since I am already running Windows Server 2012 not
many changes need to be made. Since I have made schema and domain changes,
before I start the upgrade I want to replicate these changes to the other domain controllers.
To do this, I will run the command RepAdmin with the parameters /SyncAll and /APeD. Note
the last parameter is case sensitive and the e is lower case. This command with these parameters
will force a sync from this Domain Controller to all other Domain Controllers on the network. The speed of your network
will determine how long this process will take. It is a good idea to wait for this to
finish before starting the upgrade. If you are planning to perform an upgrade to Window
Server 2012 R2, ADPrep can be run any time before the upgrade. For example, it is not
uncommon in large companies for an Enterprise Administrator to run these commands possibly
months in advance and another administrator at a later time perform the upgrade of the
Domain Controller. Now that the changes have been replicated,
I will exit out of the command prompt and run the setup again. Since I have already
gone through this already, I will quickly select the same options that I did previously
and keep going through the install until I get the installation type screen. On this screen, I will once again select the
option “Upgrade Install Windows and keep files, settings and applications” and move
on. Like the last time the compatibility report
will be run and saved to the desktop. This time when I look at the results, there is
no error messages displayed that will prevent the install from running. Once I press next the upgrade will start.
The process does take a long time to complete. On this computer it took just over half an
hour to complete so I will pause the video and return when it is complete. Once the computer has started up I will login.
At first there does not appear to be too many changes except for the name change at the
bottom of the screen from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. Once logged in the desktop looks much the
same as Windows Server 2012. Server Manager looks the same. Once I close server manager,
notice that at the bottom left hand corner there is now a start menu icon. When I press
this button it will bring up the new start menu just like in Windows Server 2012. However,
notice that if I go back to the desktop, if I now right click the start icon I get the
quick launch menu. This is a great feature, as before you could only access this menu
by pressing the Windows key followed by the X key, however when using remote control tools
these shortcuts sometimes do not work. Lastly, notice that when I move the mouse
cursor to the top right of the screen, charms opened just like before. Well I hope you have enjoyed this video on
upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 and have found it helpful. In later videos I will be
looking at the new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 so I hope to see you in these videos
from us – All free on our web site or YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching and see you next
time.

27 Comments

  • Peter

    You probably should've noted that if you're on a 32bit version of Win2003, the adprep tool won't work as it's 64-bit only on in >2012. Either way you just manually need to raise forest a domain functional levels via GUI.

  • groMMit1981

    1. Can you use the WS2012 key to upgrade or do you need to purchase an upgrade license to upgrade to WS2010 R2?
    2. Is Desktop Info a 3rd party utility?

  • Tom Bosko

    I have DHCP and DNs running on the 2012 Standard version now, any issues going through the  R2 inplace upgrade? Thank You!

  • Carl Chard-Maple

    You mention that you can only get the quick launch menu in Server 2012 by pressing the Windows key followed by the X key, but you can get this menu also by moving your mouse to the bottom left corner which displays a miniture image of the Start menu.  If you move you cursor arrow into this and Right Click you will also access the launch menu in the same way as Right Clicking on the button in 2012 R2.

  • Coolsane2007

    Great Video. 

    Question 1: Can I use my windows server 2012 standard key to upgrade to windows server 2012 standard r2?

    Question 2: Will I need to purchase windows server 2012 standard r2 to upgrade windows server 2012 standard?

    Questions: Where can I download windows server 2012 standard r2?

  • Rory Schmitz

    Hi, great video.  I never knew about doing the replication command after the ADPrep.  I've been doing it wrong all of these years!  Also, it was my understanding that 2012 and newer didn't require the ADPrep commands as it does this during setup?  Maybe it's only for mixed environment (2003/2008/2012)?  Have you experimented with this in a lab?

  • dferara

    Excelent Tutorial, Thankx. What programs or option do you use to display the information on the DESKTOP!?Cheers

  • Knight niru

    i need your help please…
    currently im using Windows server 2012 standard evolution with the domain, and the free trial is expired, so it works only one hour and then it will shutdown, so is it possible to upgrade to windows server 2012 R2 with such condition ?

  • Herbe Vázquez

    excellent tutorial, I have a doubt, when performing this procedure, I would lose my instance of sql server ??

  • Shafraz Mohamed

    hi, i have a branch office with a 2012 standard DC running a sub-domain, with head office holds the parent domain. my branch has another 2012R2 DC virtual server in the environment and also have 1 more 2012R2 DC across a vpn. should i still need to run forest prep or domain prep? we dont have exchange in our environment by the way

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