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No direct, in-place upgrade path from Server 2012 Essentials to Essentials R2


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Like I said in the other thread, your server is a CA (configured that way automatically) so all certs for the domain controller and clients will be processed by it. There should be absolutely no issue here.

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  • Drashna Jaelre


  • ikon


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  • jem101


I just thought of another problem this morning. When I built my WS2012 Essentials box earlier this year, it asked me to give the domain a name. Windows tacked on ".local" to the name, so my domain name is ParietalBone.local.


For those of you who follow things in the SSL world, using NetBIOS and ".local" in SSL is a big no-no. Most reputable certificate authorities won't even issue certificates that use .local domain names or NetBIOS names, and I believe any such certificate with a validity period beyond 2015 must be revoked.


Looks like I'm going to have to rebuild my domain from scratch. I don't want something that I could never get an SSL cert for at a later date.  :(


Your mixing up 2 different things. As stated above, your private server is a CA. You can issue whatever cert you want on it. It is not a public trusted cert.


If you want a trusted public cert from a 3rd party then you need to own the domain name in the cert.


The internal domain may or may not be a public trusted name.

Edited by Section 101
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  • 2 months later...

Although no real answer had been posted on Microsoft etc. as I searched the past few months - another google search using a common statement from older migrations (Server 2008 r2 to 2012) gave me the link below after a bit of twitching to the root site. It is divided into all the steps I was looking for.

I hope this is helpful. This was very hard to get info on for the past few months, especially after the 'r2 Preview' links that were of lesser value. I am going to re-install my new r2 Essentials box again, now that it has done its domain.local away from my lab. This experience and the links below will allow me to finish & start a much larger migration of System Center 2012 SP1 to System Center 2012 R2, the server hosts, the VM's etc.

I am hopeful once the Essentials AD migration gets done I can handle re-doing System Center if that Migration falls short. That is my next search. I am glad I found this forum!

'This guide describes how to migrate from previous versions of Windows Small Business Server and Windows Server Essentials (including Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Small Business Server 2008, and Windows Small Business Server 2003) to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. It also includes instructions for migrating the settings and data to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, and it describes how to remove your existing server from the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials network after you finish the migration.'

Migrate from Previous Versions to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials



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  • 2 weeks later...

Trying to figure out how to do an in-place upgrade/install - I would like to keep the same hardware setup I have currently running WSE12.


Is it possible to install R2 in a VM on a WSE2012 setup, follow the above migration process, then "backup" the VM and recover it on the same hardware as the WSE2012?

I guess it boils down to, can I create a backup image while in the VM of the VM and then take that image and install it somewhere.  Or is there some other practice/process to migrate a VM to full HW.


OR, can I simply install on a new system drive.  I don't mind re-setting up the domain, etc.  My concern would be whether the new R2 would recognize the drive pools, etc.


I suppose as a crazy last resort I could perform two migrations using a temporary setup.  This seems painful.

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I think, before worrying about VMs and such, it might be better to just investigate if a fresh install of WSE2012r2 will pick up & recognize drive pools. The piece we seem to be missing is what pooling software you're using. For example, if it's DrivePool, DriveBender, PoolHD, etc., I would expect the answer is "Yes". I don't know the answer if you're using Storage Spaces, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's also "Yes".

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Using Storage Spaces (parity).  I hate the lack of control of balancing.  DrivePool seems to be among the top choices.  


I happened to find a similar motherboard that I can piggyback an install on and try the migration.  I'll just migrate the data too and recycle the drives. (most of the space is backups anyway and that will not transfer)


Disappointed that there's not an easier path --  wasn't the point of Essentials and the Home Server series to not have to be an IT Pro to be able to run a central server.  Now I'm dealing with setting up a replica domain controller,etc.


Forgive my ignorance please.  I've been using these servers to have central backups of all the families systems etc.as well as a central place to store docs, videos, and back them up to crashplan.  Essentials basically made that point configure and click.


Maybe a dumb question - Can I keep the server's name?  Seems like bad juju to have two systems named the same on the network. It's not a huge deal to change things - I mainly have it for the media center's pic albums and drive links on computers and such. 


Thanks for the advice.


I was hoping that I'd find a step by step guide to in-place or migration (more friendly than the MS one). 

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Windows won't be happy about that, and it could cause issues (i'm not entirely sure).


And WHS2011 was easy to manage, but Server 2012  (R2) Essentials isn't meant for home. It's meant for small businesses. 

However, if you're not attaching clients to the domain, then there is no need for a replica server.

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