We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Check out our new AWS podcast with Certified Expert, Phil Phillips! Listen to "How to Execute a Seamless AWS Migration" on EE or on your favorite podcast platform. Listen Now


Advice on upgrading Windows 2003 SP2 to Windows 2003 R2?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey all,

     We have this issue we need to deal with, at least, short-term, and right away, by setting up file replication between two server shares, on servers in different location. We have reasons that we cannot yet upgrade to 2008 R2 server, which is more what we've been used to in recent years.

The 2 servers are currently Windows 2003 SP2. (Not 2003 R2). One of them is basically a file server. The other has AD and Exchange 2003.

As we are under pressure about this, and want to make sure we do this right... and our 2003 stuff is a little rusty in this area, can anyone refresh my understanding of a Windows 2003 SP2 to Windows 2003 R2 upgrade?  I seem to remember that it can be done in-place. Anyone know of some good documentation that makes it easy, so this can go quickly and confidently, without upsetting what is installed on the servers now.

This is something to bridge a gap for us, but the content/services on the servers are still important for the time being.

 Thanks in advance!
Watch Question

You should be fine as R2 is like a Service Pack for normal Windows.

Just make sure you have a full backup before starting.



So, is there not really any AD schema updates?  like forest/domain prep?

I still have to find our software, but does it sound familiar that there were 2 discs for installation. One for win 2003 and the other that updated it to R2?

If I can't find the software, any idea if the 2003 R2 update is available for download somewhere?

If you happen to know these things, any help/advice very much appreciated. I'd just like to be confident about this.

You are updating windows not Exchange so there is no schema update forestprep/domainprep

Talk to MS licensing to ensure you have the right upgrade (and software)


Microsoft recommends removing Active Directory from the domain controller before you try to upgrade the operating system. This would be a huge deal of course. "Recommend" does not sound like it is required.
Unlock this solution and get a sample of our free trial.
(No credit card required)


Just looking at the options. Thanks for your patience.
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a sample view!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.