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Upgrade a Domain Controller running Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Eval

    Question

  • Hello,

    because I couldn't wait for Server 2012 to show up on Dreamspark Premium I installed the Datacenter evaluation version after I found this blog post telling me, I could simply enter my key when I get it to upgrade to the full version.
    After entering the command I get notified that "Changing this Windows edition is not supported online for a domain controller.".
    The TechNet article for upgrading evaluation versions states the following:
      "If the server is a domain controller, see http://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh472160.aspx for important steps to follow before proceeding."
    and taking me to an article for installing/uninstalling ADDS without further comments.
    Simply typing "slui 3" and entering my key states that I have to enter an eval key.

    My question is: Is there a painless way to upgrade my 2012 DC without losing my AD config?

    Regards,

    Hans

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:31 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Please refer to the following Microsoft TechNet article to confirm if the steps of converting to full retail version are correct.

    Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204.aspx

    If the warning persists, it means Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller does not support such convert. If so, please install another Windows Server 2012 full retail version or convert to full retail version and then promote it to an additional Domain Controller for this domain. After that, transfer FSMOs to this new Domain Controller and demote the original Domain Controller.

    Regards,


    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Hans Hering Friday, September 21, 2012 8:44 AM
    Friday, September 21, 2012 4:48 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Please refer to the following Microsoft TechNet article to confirm if the steps of converting to full retail version are correct.

    Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204.aspx

    If the warning persists, it means Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller does not support such convert. If so, please install another Windows Server 2012 full retail version or convert to full retail version and then promote it to an additional Domain Controller for this domain. After that, transfer FSMOs to this new Domain Controller and demote the original Domain Controller.

    Regards,


    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Hans Hering Friday, September 21, 2012 8:44 AM
    Friday, September 21, 2012 4:48 AM
  • It actually makes sense that upgrade of a domain controller would not be supported.  After all, part of the EULA for the evaluation copy is that it will not be put into a production environment.  The only reason to upgrade a DC running on the Eval copy would be if it were created in a production environment in direct conflict of the EULA.  Microsoft generally doesn't have provisions for directly violating their own legal terms. <grin>

    Anyway, it's real easy to not lose your AD configuration.  Set up another DC.  It can be virtual or physical.  Move all the FSMO roles to the new DC and demote the DC on the eval copy.  Upgrade your eval copy to a full copy and make it a DC.

    Or, if you were following best practices, you already have another DC in your environment (you should always have at least two DCs).  That means you should be able to simply demote the eval copy, upgrade, and re-install the AD DS role and promote it to a DC.


    tim

    Friday, September 21, 2012 6:36 PM
  • "The only reason to upgrade a DC running on the Eval copy would be if it were created in a production environment in direct conflict of the EULA."

    I disagree - your line of reasoning means that no one would ever use 2012 as a DC in a non-production environment and still want to keep their environment beyond the eval period. The whole purpose of an eval version is to evaluate it - and yes, in a non-production environment. Setting up a DC in the lab is a perfectly valid test case and a if one can avoid having to rebuild the lab environment because of a licensing issue, most would prefer to do that. 

    It just makes it REALLY painful to convert to a licensed DC in this situation (which I am in). the MS site also states that when you do this, you need to install a 2nd DC that is RETAIL, then demote the current DC. Why does it have to be retail? That makes no sense. Is the customer supposed to buy two retail versions of Windows so they can end up with just one (if that's what they wanted in the end)? I see no technical reason that a retail version is required since I could install an eval copy on DC2, and move roles to it and then demote DC1, convert it to retail, and re-promote DC1 back to a DC, and then finally demote DC2 and remove it. So painful...


    • Edited by JeffSaidSo Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:38 PM
    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:29 PM
  • "the MS site also states that when you do this, you need to install a 2nd DC that is RETAIL, then demote the current DC. Why does it have to be retail? "

    Technically, it doesn't have to be retail.  To abide by the EULA, it should be retail.  Anything beyond the evaluation period is really considered production - even a lab is a production lab.  If you are keeping evaluation products running longer than the evaluation period, they are required to be licensed copies. 

    And, it only takes a few minutes to build a new DC.  I can't remember the last time I tried to mess around with this.  It is so simple and fast to build a new and replicate from an existing one, it just doesn't make sense for me (at least) to even worry about it.  So, rather than try to convert the eval to a fully licensed version, I would get the licensed version, install the DC on it, replicate from the eval version.


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 11:01 PM