Trying to migrate a domain from Server 2012 R2 Essentials to a new Server 2019 Standard server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    I need to migrate data and functionality from a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials server to a new Windows Server 2019 Standard server. I'd like to remove all of the Essentials functionality and run everything as a normal AD domain; we don't need workstation backups and remote access services will be moved out to the network edge. Microsoft has plenty of documentation on upgrading an Essentials server to a Standard server but I can't seem to find anything related to moving from an Essentials server to a Standard server. Based on the limited information that I have been able to find, here is my current (probably ill-advised) plan:

    Add new Standard server to domain, promote to DC and migrate FSMO roles

    Migrated DHCP and DNS functionality

    Clone/sync shared drives to new Standard server

    Set up new group policy to map shared drives

    Uninstall the Essentials Connector from workstations and if necessary, rejoin to the domain

    Does anyone have experience with this process and could give advice on the best way to do this?


    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 5:55 PM


All replies

  • Hi,

    Migrating from WSE to Standard server, the main job is to migrate AD DS(DC) server role. Steps are same as standard DC migration. General steps as below:
    1. Prepare your WSE for migration, check system health, patch it fully with windows update/hotfix, back up important data/system and etc.
    2. Install new WS 2019, add it to existing WSE domain and prompt it to be replica DC.
    3. Move settings and data to new WS 2019.
    4. Uninstall Connector on client system, the uninstallation operation will not exit system from domain, so, there is no need to re-join client system to domain. 
    5. Migrate other server roles, such as DNS, DHCP and etc. to new WS 2019.
    6. Remove and demote old WSE.

    Below articles can be consider as reference. They are also applied to WS 2019.

    Step-By-Step: Migrating Active Directory FSMO Roles From Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2016:

    Migrate Domain Controller from Windows Server 2012 & R2 to Windows Server 2016:

    Once WSE has been removed and demoted, WSE relate limitations (such as user/device number limitation, must be PDC and etc.) are also removed, no additional operation is needed. 

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

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    • Marked as answer by Jared.Thomas Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2:02 PM
    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 6:29 AM
  • Awesome, thanks for your help!
    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2:03 PM
  • Hi,

    It's my pleasure, if there is any other question, please feel free to post on the forum.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 6:57 AM
  • For uninstalling the client connector software you can run this from an elevated Powershell prompt:

    Get-wmiobject  win32_product | ?{$ -like "*Essentials*"}

    That will return the exact name of the Essentials Connector on a client, it differs from version to version but for 2012 R2 it is 'Client Connector for Windows Server Essentials'.

    Now run:

    Get-wmiobject  win32_product | ?{$ -match "Client Connector for Windows Server Essentials"} | %{$_.uninstall()}

    This will remove the client connector completely and if you are smart with Group Policies put it in a Powershell script and link it to your clients.

    Mariëtte Knap [alumna Microsoft SBS MVP] | Linkedin | Migrations done the easy way
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:40 AM