Migration of W2008 R2 to 2012 R2

David Sánchez 21 Reputation points

Good afternoon,

My question to ask is, we currently have a server as PDC with a Windows 2008 R2 Standard, with this being a bit old, we want to migrate to a Windows 2012 R2 Standard in a virtualized machine with VMWare Vsphere, my question is the following:

How can we transfer the roles and functions from said old server to the new one?

Do we have an official Microsoft manual?

From what I read in different forums, the FSMO & DNS must be transferred and the new server that also must be promoted to DC in order to carry out the transfer. Is this correct? Because we're not entirely sure...

I'll be pending for a response.


David Sanchez

Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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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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Active Directory
Active Directory
A set of directory-based technologies included in Windows Server.
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Accepted answer
  1. Dave Patrick 415.2K Reputation points MVP

    I'd use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting any operations. Then stand up the new 2019 or 2022, 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 decommission / demote old one.

    Also at some point either before or after I'd recommend migrating sysvol replication from older FRS technology to DFSR (if not already done)

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

    1 person found this answer helpful.

2 additional answers

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  1. Thameur-BOURBITA 17,026 Reputation points


    You can migrate your domain controller from Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 R2 by performing the steps below:

    1. Build a virtual machine on Windows 2012 R2
    2. Promote new machine as a additional domain controller
    3. If the old domain controller under Windows 2008R2 is used as DNS resolver , you should replace it by the new one
    4. move FSMO rôle to new DC under Windows 2012 R you can refer to the following link : view-transfer-fsmo-roles move-addirectoryserveroperationmasterrole
    5. Demote old domain controller on Windows 2008 R2 using dcpromo command

    Before starting the domain controller migration , I recommend you to check the domain controller health using the following command:

    repadmin /showrepl  
    Repadmin /replsum  

    I recommend you also to upgrade your controller to Windows 2019 or Windows 2016 to be able to raise the forest and domain functional level to Windows 2016.
    Don't forget to mark helpful reply as answer

    1 person found this answer helpful.
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  2. David Sánchez 21 Reputation points

    Dear All,

    Both answers really helped me a lot! But @Dave Patrick one went into much more detail.

    The process went perfectly and we demoted the old server.

    Best Regards,