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Quick Reference for Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2

Quick Reference for Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2

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With the announcement of Windows Server 2012 R2 I have been receiving a lot of questions around upgrading.  To assist, I have put together a quick reference slide.  For details utilize the link referenced at the bottom of the slide.



Clean Install – wipe clean – install and restore via back-up

Upgrade – In place – settings, server roles and data kept in tack

  • Even with supported upgrade paths certain roles may require additional  preparation – see Technet

Migration – Move from existing OS to current on new hardware

License Convert –For example move from Standard to Data Center in same release or Evaluation to Licensed

  • Use DISM tool
  • To convert evaluation to current release – from elevated prompt provide edition ID and retail product key. The server will start twice.
  • To convert from Evaluation to 2012 R2 Essentials – you must enter license or key via slmgr.vbs command.
  • Domain Controller evaluations cannot be converted you must install an additional DC on a server running a retail version and remove AD DS from the DC

Minimum Windows Server 2012 R2 requirements referenced above are the minimum for Core Server installation. 

Kathleen Molosky 2013

Kathleen Molosky

  • Hi Kathleen. Can I directly upgrade from Server 2012 standard evaluation to Server 2012 R2 standard? I have a license key for R2, but I don't want to buy a license for Server 2012 only to make an upgrade. THank you

  • Yea, i have exactly the same question: can we go from *eval* 2012 to retail 2012 R2? Thank you in advance.

  • Same exact question-- can Server 2012 Standard Eval be licensed with a 2012 R2 Standard key?

  • Hi. Kathleen. I am a MS partner and have installed server 2012 standard using one of the license keys for that install. Can I upgrade to Server 2012 R2 without using a new license key or will the server go automatically register using a new key.

  • I work for a distributor. I've had the exact question from 3 different resellers now and cannot find the answer. Can you upgrade from 2012 STD (non R2) EVAL to 2012 R2 STD, I see no answers here.

  • "in tack" ? you mean intact

  • Seriously Tony, go for a walk or something. Live a little.

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