2008 R2 Standard upgrade to 2012 R2

Ron Stalnaker 1 Reputation point
2021-04-14T13:05:38.847+00:00

I have 2 Domain Controllers, 1 is a 2008 R2 Standard, I am wanting to upgrade this to a 2012 and then to a 2016 R2. Since this a DC what is the best way to achieve this? I have reviewed the How To doc by Microsoft, but I only see 2012 R2 Eval edition.

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Dave Patrick 330.7K Reputation points
    2021-04-14T13:11:16.717+00:00

    Do not do an in-place upgrade. No need for two steps. Simply move roles off to another healthy one and do them one at a time by clean installing the operating system.

    The prerequisite before introducing the first 2016 domain controller: domain functional level needs to be 2003 or higher

    I'd use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting any operations. Then stand up the new 2016, patch it fully, license it, join existing domain, add active directory domain services, promote it also making it a GC (recommended), transfer FSMO roles over (optional), transfer pdc emulator role (optional), use dcdiag / repadmin tools to again verify health, when all is good you can move on to next one.

    Also at some point after (if not already done) I'd recommend migrating sysvol replication from older FRS technology to DFSR
    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Storage-at-Microsoft/Streamlined-Migration-of-FRS-to-DFSR-SYSVOL/ba-p/425405

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--


  2. Dave Patrick 330.7K Reputation points
    2021-04-14T14:10:05.86+00:00

    I do not have the ability to make a new server to replace the 2008

    You don't need to. Just do them one at a time. There should not be any issues, just follow along above confirming health is 100% before starting. This should be a very quick / simple /straight forward AD upgrade. Since you have a hypervisor you could simply stand up a new one as first step so you'll have redundancy during the migration period.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--


  3. Dave Patrick 330.7K Reputation points
    2021-04-14T14:49:22.45+00:00

    I'd suggest standing up a separate windows instance for the file sharing. The domain controllers should not have other roles on them. I'd start a new thread for this sharing topic if assistance were needed.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--


  4. Dave Patrick 330.7K Reputation points
    2021-04-14T14:58:19.27+00:00

    the 2012 is a Hyper V instance. Would it be best to ensure the 2012 Hyper V is the primary

    Also this was not clear. I hope the domain controller is a guest instance. A hyper-v host should have the hyper-v role as only installed role.

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--


  5. Dave Patrick 330.7K Reputation points
    2021-04-14T15:07:03.93+00:00

    simply run the setup.exe for the 2012 r2 server on the 2008 R2, install and select keep all settings and files. I wanted to ensure this option would carry over the DC settings and not cause an issue.

    An in-place upgrade is very risky and never recommended, especially for a domain controller.

    It isn't possible to do an in-place upgrade using evaluation media. Licensed media would need to be used plus the 2012 would need to be activated in order to do the second in-place upgrade (which just doubles the risk level)

    --please don't forget to Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--