In-place Upgrade from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012

This afternoon, we began the process of upgrading our main internal server running Windows Server 2008 R2 as a HyperV host to Windows Server 2012.

Some pre-requisites.

  1. Burn the ISO on to a DVD or Bootable USB.
  2. Make sure you have your Product Key for WS2012 handy. This edition of windows server does not allow you to continue without a valid product key.
  3. Make sure your backups are up to date.
  4. For HyperV servers, delete all snapshots.
  5. Shut down all running Virtual machines.

The Process.

  1. Insert the media and run Setup.exe in the root of the installation media.
  2. Follow the prompts and select Upgrade existing Windows installation. The setup will check if your system is compatible and report on any issues if found.
  3. Upgrade.
    (At this stage, I went off for a run to the supermarket and returned an hour later)
  4. Log in, start up all VMs and upgrade the HyperV Integration Services for each VM.
  5. Restart the VMs after the upgrade.

No errors were encountered and All systems were operational within 2 hours. The process could not have been more painless.

Watch this space for more details on Windows Server 2012! We will be working with a fantastic new feature called HyperV Replica, which will be an important milestone in setting up simple, low cost Disaster Recovery solutions for small businesses.

8 thoughts on “In-place Upgrade from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012”

  1. Great, so it is possible! It is hard to find definitive documentation on upgrading to 2012 from 2008 R2 with hyper-v enabled. I did see a document about an issue upgrading 2008R2 hyper-v core. I don’t have to worry about that. I will attempt my hyper-v 2012 upgrade this Friday. Thanks!


  2. Was this just a simple one host shop, or did you have a cluster you upgraded? I have a three host cluster with HA/FO enabled, and would like to look into this, but I’ve heard horror stories.

  3. I have 2 2008 r2 hosts in a cluster and I want to upgrade them to 2012. So has anyone tried it with an in place upgrade?

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