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Moving Essentials R2 to new hardware questions


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I posted a little while ago that I had wonderful luck at my town's e-waste dropoff and scored a rocking I7 setup.  So far its been working great as my new desktop.  That leaves my I5 system to be a good upgrade for my Windows Server box (currently on an OEM Dell Inspiron Core2Duo).

 

I don't have a hugely complicated setup, so a fresh install is probably fine, or is migration easy enough if I walk through the steps in a tutorial?  Like many others I'm in a bit over my head with windows server 2012 coming from 2011.

 

Second - if I do either, do I have to worry about licensing?  My key is MSDN-ish, but I want to make sure I don't run into some activation limit (having 2 servers up and running with the same key).  Can I just reinstall on the new PC, activate, and then reformat the old PC with 7 or some desktop OS?  Do I have to de-activate the old server?

 

Last - should I just setup an eval key server and let it run for however long they give you, then at the end of the trial input my key if everything is working correctly?  Idea being that if I muck something up I can erase and start over without using up all my activations?

 

Thanks for the help.

Edited by hoorah
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jmwills

Are you trying to upgrade from 2011 to 2012R2 Essentials?  If so, there is no "upgrade" path only a clean install.  If you try and move the drives from the old to the new it might work but probably not and even if it did, you would lose activation due to the significant change in hardware.

 

Clean install and never look back.

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Are you trying to upgrade from 2011 to 2012R2 Essentials?  If so, there is no "upgrade" path only a clean install.  If you try and move the drives from the old to the new it might work but probably not and even if it did, you would lose activation due to the significant change in hardware.

 

Clean install and never look back.

No no, going from same version to same version, just new hardware.

 

The comment about 2011 was that it was more at my experience level and 2012 I feel a bit lost in.

 

I don't have a problem with a clean install but want to be sure I don't run into any activation issues.  Also, if I installed an eval version on the new server temporarily I could keep the old box up until I get everything transitioned over, then activate my key on the new box.  Is that do-able?

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  1. Click New Installation.

  2. If you have an internal hard drive that is not displayed in the list, click Load Drivers and install the necessary driver before continuing.

  3. Select the check box that verifies all files and folders on your primary hard drive will be deleted, and then click Install.

  4. On the Choose server installation mode page, click Server migration, and then provide the required migration information.

  5. When the Your server is successfully migrated message appears, click Close.

Its that easy?  Heck, I can give it a shot. 

 

I had thought about just moving the drives over and seeing what happens.  Typically with desktop OSes I've had bad luck doing this but every once in awhile it works okay.  Re-activating I realize would be necessary in either method just wanted to make sure there weren't any pitfalls I wasn't aware of.

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Turned out not to be that easy.  Installed 2012 R2 on the new system, but never got asked if I wanted to install in migration mode.  Followed the prompts until I got to the domain creation.  Thought maybe if I put in the old one it would ask if I wanted to migrate, but no dice, just said there was already a domain named that.

 

I finally said screw it and just changed the domain name.  None of my systems are joined on the domain (I do the skip domain join on anything running the connector) and really the only box I need to have backed up on a nightly basis is my wifes, so I will just have to re-do the connector on hers. 

 

In retrospect I suppose I should have tried just moving the original drive and doing re-activation if it asked me to.

 

On a more positive note, its so much nicer working with a real chassis rather than an OEM box.  Drives go in drive bays instead of being held in place with duct tape and zip ties.

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Drashna Jaelre

It doesn't ask. Not on R2. You just join it to the existing domain before running the Essentials Experience Role wizard. (the setup wizard). 

 

Once you've done that, it will automatically enter the migration mode.

 

 

Though, if none of the computers were connected to the domain.... there there isn't as pressing a need to migrate over a clean install.

 

 

Also, for the future, you may be able to just move the system disk over. I recently migrated from and AMD system to an Intel system, and it booted right up (well, I lie... sat on the "getting hardware information" screen for 20 minutes, rebooted and loaded up into windows, no problem).

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Yeah should have just tried moving the OS drive over.  Oh well.  Like you said since no computers are joined to the domain it wasn't really that big of a deal to switch over.  The biggest part of the move is having to reconfigure mediabrowser and the file shares.

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The only caveat I would add to just moving the OS drive over is I would clone that drive 1st (and probably use the clone on the new server ;) ).

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Just updating so this might help someone in the future.

 

I had setup the new system but since I hadn't done any configuring yet, I decided to see if swapping the drives would work.  Did it and while it did take awhile at "getting devices ready", it booted fine.  This is going from an OEM dell (probably pegatron) socket 775 board with an E8500 to an ASUS 1155 board with a core i5.  Things we a little sluggish at first but after a reboot seemed to get better.

 

Of course I had to activate after.  Overall pretty convenient. 

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