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Upgrade from Windows Home Server 2011

    Question

  • Even though Windows Server 2012 Essentials is being mentioned as a replacement for Windows Home Server 2011, there doesn't seem to be any documentation or mention of can you upgrade from Windows Home Server 2011 to Windows Server 2012 Essentials? Will this work with the beta download and will we then be able to upgrade this version to the RC and/or release version?

    As you may guess I have a Windows Home Server 2011 and am interested in looking at Windows Server 2012 Essentials to see what it offers me. The storage spaces sounds exactly what I want to replace the drive extender on the previous home server version. The problem is that I don't mind sacrificing my present server box by installing the beta but it would be nice if it actually retained what settings it could via an upgrade option, which I could then have a chance of using with a proper release version.

     
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:43 AM

Answers

  • Can I ask a follow on question here re domains - can you leave your existing machines in the workgroup mode, or if they are already domain joined (e.g. work laptop) leave these untouched as well?


    No they must join the domain and there is no upgrade path from WHS :(

    Grey

    Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:03 PM

All replies

  • And wouldn't providing a simple low cost upgrade path from Windows Home Server 2011 from Windows Server 2012 Essentials like the one being offered for Windows 8 be a way of supporting your loyal Windows Home supporters for all the hard work over the last years?
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 10:39 AM
  • I can try it later, but I think not.  Your 2 choices are new or upgrade.  But upgrade is actually migration from another domain.  Whs does not have a domain :(

    Grey

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:50 AM
  • By upgrade what I really meant was:-

    Pick up basic settings from the existing set up such as machine name, locale, time zone

    Work headless as like most windows home servers mine has no monitor, keyboard and mouse attached.

    I have seen the other thread on 'Will it work on a headless server?' and so there is hope that the later will work.

    Friday, July 13, 2012 3:30 PM
  • It willl work headless no problem.  Installing headless we are gaining on :)  But as far as upgrade/migrate/capture anything looks like it ain't going to happen.  Migrate is from a domain that WHS does not have.


    Grey

    Friday, July 13, 2012 11:19 PM
  • With no upgrade path. A ~ 400 cost  This is certainly not a "replacement" for Home Server market.  WHS is dead for sure.

    Please note WHS 2011 is still available and will be available and I have backed up Win 8 desktops with it.  There is no reason to not continue to use it for years to come.

    Perhaps in time M$ will wake up and appreciate us.  They "may" make a product that we want.  Not what they wants us to want :)

    Someone please mark this as the answer LOL


    Grey

    • Proposed as answer by Airbrushed Friday, January 04, 2013 4:25 PM
    Friday, July 13, 2012 11:28 PM
  • I've been actively using WHS since v1 Beta.   With the lack of drive extender in WHS2011 (even with the somewhat successful add-ins that have tried to fill in this functionality), it was never really an upgrade (I just can't consider a newer version with fewer features, an "upgrade).   I'm currently using WHS2011 with DrivePool, and while it works mostly, I would much rather have the duplication of my data "built in".    I am seriously looking, also, at WS2012E as a replacement.  I actually have it installed on a separate machine, and while you can't "upgrade", I can already see wanting to immediately move over to it.   I, also, am in hopes that there will be a low cost "upgrade" (even though that's not technically what it is) for WHS loyalists.   If not, I may just bite the bullet for the stability that WS2012E would give me.

    It should also be mentioned, that even though WS2012E forces you to set up a domain, you don't actually have to use it.

    It also appears that add-ins for WHS2011 will install...

    • Edited by r-tech73 Saturday, July 14, 2012 4:51 PM
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 4:51 PM
  • Not sure what you mean by you do not have to use it?  WSE12 does allow you to connect win7 home versions, but requires the boxes to have a passworsd and you cannot use autologin without a reg hack

    Yes it is a great replacement for WHS,does all the neat stuff then some.  But 400 bucks for 25 pc's is steep for the home.  If I am not too far confused I think WHS v.1 was retail ~180 when launched.   425/25*10= 170

    Why the could not offer a 10 pc version for $170, I have no clue.  All the work is done...


    Grey

    Saturday, July 14, 2012 10:10 PM
  • Grey, I have a Win7 Home box connected to WS12E _where the only user account active on the box does not have a password_. When I restart the box I am dropped at desktop without password input, but the Launchpad asks me for a password.

    The main reason for me visiting this thread though was to ask if it was possible to perform similar upgrade WHSv1 to WHS 2011? AFAIK it _was not possible_ to do similar 'carry-over of machine/user definition, 'upgrade' (including import of the previous backups)' SO the situation _has not changed_. Move from WHS 2011 to WS12E is _very similar_ (throw out the baby and the bathwater) to the move from WHSv1 to WHS 2011.

    or maybe I'm wrong in that I do not know of a previous process, doing the WHSv1 to WHS 2011 move.

    Sunday, July 15, 2012 2:46 AM
  • Grey, I have a Win7 Home box connected to WS12E _where the only user account active on the box does not have a password_. When I restart the box I am dropped at desktop without password input, but the Launchpad asks me for a password.

    The main reason for me visiting this thread though was to ask if it was possible to perform similar upgrade WHSv1 to WHS 2011? AFAIK it _was not possible_ to do similar 'carry-over of machine/user definition, 'upgrade' (including import of the previous backups)' SO the situation _has not changed_. Move from WHS 2011 to WS12E is _very similar_ (throw out the baby and the bathwater) to the move from WHSv1 to WHS 2011.

    or maybe I'm wrong in that I do not know of a previous process, doing the WHSv1 to WHS 2011 move.


    No, there was no upgrade path from WHS v1 to WHS 2011 (v1 was 32-bit only, 2011 was 64-bit only).
    Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:45 AM
  • Can I ask a follow on question here re domains - can you leave your existing machines in the workgroup mode, or if they are already domain joined (e.g. work laptop) leave these untouched as well?

    Monday, July 16, 2012 7:44 AM
  • I certainly second this, assuming the system can work as per WHS without clients being domain joined. Even if this is some form of special offer "upgrade" for existing WHS users, who have been so vocal in supporting Microsoft in this endeavour (and who have put up with a fair few disappointments over the years).

    What would be awesome would be a bit more flexibility - allowing workgroup mode for the server as well as domain mode, and allowing an upgrade install from WHS2011 for this scenario (that is using workgroup mode - it may well be harder offering "upgrade" from workgroup to domain mode). On the "upgrade" front, at least allowing the existing backups to be carried across from WHS2011, as I assume the basic format of these is the same.

    The Anywhere Access and Client (image) Backup features provided by WHS and in WS2012E are still brilliant capabilities which can't be done (in their totality, or as well) just using Windows 8.

    Monday, July 16, 2012 7:55 AM
  • Just clarifying about the 'upgrade path' and 32b vs 64b.

    Yes, no in-place upgrade. However, one could theorise about some form of 'migration' being possible, where the list of users, the content of your shares, the current backups, would be 'moved' from old box to new.

    I was in fact pretty sure no such process existed. (Wouldn't it be neat though? AND in future _at least theoretically_ possible, using processes similar to SBS AD migration.)

    From this perspective putting the new box onto the network is similar to replacing WHSv1 with WHS11, in that nothing is carried over. No gain, but no lesser. Working on currently available information.

    The later comment about the work laptop is, TTBOMK, a resounding 'NO'. When attempting to join a member of another AD the 'connect' process stated 'You must 1st remove the PC from the other AD'. I haven't tested this extensively but believe that PC's _capable_ of operating in an AD (Pro, vs Home, versions) will be made members of the WS12E AD. It is only PC's that do not have 'domain join' capability that are left in workgroup mode.

    TTBOMK, AFAICS, so far, etc...

    • Proposed as answer by SuperGumby Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:08 PM
    Monday, July 16, 2012 10:00 AM
  • Can I ask a follow on question here re domains - can you leave your existing machines in the workgroup mode, or if they are already domain joined (e.g. work laptop) leave these untouched as well?


    No they must join the domain and there is no upgrade path from WHS :(

    Grey

    Sunday, July 22, 2012 10:03 PM
  • There is no migration path supported directly through setup, however, we are investigating
    on a helping document to guide user on migrating resources from WHS 2011 to
    Essential Server 2012.

    Feel free to post your suggestions here.

    Thanks.



    This post is "AS IS" and confers no rights. Ning Kuang[MSFT] Windows Server Program Manager


    Wednesday, August 01, 2012 4:54 AM
  • If a document is being worked on to help guide a user migrating resources from WHS2011 to Essential Server 2012, couldn't this guide be somehow automated? I guess what I'm asking is, wouldn't it be awesome if WHS2011 users could have a carryover of already done backups instead of starting over and Essential Server 2012 recognizing those backups that is done through a wizard. I think that would ease the pain of some of us who will probably bite the bullet and move to the new version.

    I would also like to think that during the set up a third option could be added to the two existing options. There is A) Clean Install B) Server Migration and what about C) WHS2011 Migration. With the Home Server functionality added to Essentials, wouldn't it be nice to also just migrate from WHS2011? Is a domain really needed for a home user?

    Saturday, August 04, 2012 7:42 AM
  • Could I suggest a more general guide about moving from WHS (both WHS v1 and 2011) to Essential Server 2012. Something that can help people trying to make a decision about moving. What is the same, what is different, and of course, what you will not longer be able to do.

    Also, I have read that Essential Server 2012 only supports Windows 7 and 8 clients. I still have XP and Vista clients using WHS. Why will these not work?

    Sunday, August 05, 2012 8:39 PM
  • Ning and the Windows Server team: great to bring in Windows Server 2012 Essentials, but not so great to not have a home version at a lower cost and for less users (10) as suggested. To me this is an obvious move, a home server is a still a requirement in plenty of homes and as long as it works with W8 then it will continue to have a role for the home user market. Sharing data is not exclusive to the cloud. A step forward and a shuffle backward by MS here. Have a re-think on this MS, WHS 2011 was bound to have a limited shelf life with W8 coming devices coming along , but it should be replaced and by a dedicated Home version even if that is WSE cut down a tad.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 2:42 PM
  • Feel free to post your suggestions here.

    Ning, the main suggestion, in my mind, is to rethink the pricing. At $425 versus $40, WS2012E will never be a serious contender as a successor to WHS2011.

    We might almost think that, at this price, Microsoft want to deliberately kill off this route.

    While Microsoft might think that the Cloud is a viable alternative to a home server, for many of us, that is certainly not true. I need a home server, and would be willing to pay $100 for the privilege. I am NOT prepared to pay $425 for it.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 4:13 PM
  • Bringing us back to the idea that $425 is a very attractive price for a _BUSINESS_ of 10-25 users (and up to 50 Devices), but with WS12E replacing both product designed for this market _and the completely different home market_, the differences _cannot_ be reconciled.

    One size DOES NOT fit all.

    'homies' were quite happy with the <10. Also, though MS figures show that the great majority of SBS implementations were <25, the small number of orgs >25 is also a SIGNIFICANT number. Neither group is happy.

    It would seem an easy task to create a 2nd version, the only difference being User/Device count. 'Home' gets 10U/20D, 'Pro' gets 25U/50D. As the system doesn't actually count CALs there's not even (much) code change required.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:55 PM
  • I did however have a significant thought about that 'home' vs 'pro' scenario.

    It would indeed benefit from a major code change. 'home' would benefit from not being required to run AD.

    and as I'm making noise anyway 'pro' could do with more users, but not necessarily a greater number of devices.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 9:06 PM
  • Not only do you have to pay $400+ for the new WS2012E software but you may need to purchase a new server too unless there's a way to install WS2012E headless like there was with WHS 1, 2011.

    After all of this is purchased and installed, does anyone know for sure that WS2012E will backup and restore Windows 8 clients on UEFI/GPT systems (as WHS 1, 2011 will NOT)?

    Regards,

    Stuart.


    Stuart

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 5:57 PM
  • From my perspective I think it is important to provide a migration path for client backups from WHS2011 to WES2012. I have backups from client computers that are points in time I want to be able to revert back to under certain conditions.

    I have seen registry keys which can be added to client computers before installing the WES2012 connector that prevent it from joining the client computer to the WES2012 domain and these do work. 

    I would have thought migrating the client computer backups would have been possible as I was of the understanding that WHS2011 used Data Protection Manager technology and this is the technology that WES2012 uses also. Surely DPM can be migrated from one server to another? What about a catalogue repair within DPM to read the WHS2011 backup catalogue and reinstate it within the WES2012 platform?

    DPM is a very mature technology at this point in time so I would think there should be great tools within MS to provide this level of migration between WHS2011 and WES2012.

    Monday, January 13, 2014 5:05 AM
  • DPM and WHS/Essentials are totally different.  Not saying MS could not stream out the backup and read it back in the new database, just saying they are not going to do it.

    Grey

    Monday, January 13, 2014 1:54 PM