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Server 2012 Eval to Retail

Posted on 2013-01-15
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Last Modified: 2013-02-05
I made a big mistake here and need some help correcting. I installed and setup a server 2012 standard edition eval, registered it and I now have like 170 days to activate it. I have my purchased activation code. but when I enter it i get an error that I cant activated and must run windows setup. So I did some research and found this from MS.

If the server is running an evaluation version of Windows Server 2012 Standard or Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, you can convert it to a retail version as follows:

1. If the server is a domain controller, you cannot convert it to a retail version. In this case, install an additional domain controller on a server that runs a retail version and remove AD DS from the domain controller that runs on the evaluation version. For more information, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh994618.aspx.


2. Read the license terms.


3. From an elevated command prompt, determine the current edition name with the command DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition. Make note of the edition ID, an abbreviated form of the edition name. Then run DISM /online /Set-Edition:<edition ID> /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula, providing the edition ID and a retail product key. The server will restart twice.


My server I setup is a domain controller. What is the process I should take to resolve. The server I setup is a vm running in exsi so I need to setup another server in the vm as a domain controller. Once I have the new server setup what is the process of promoting the new server as the primary ? I then can remove AD from the eval server and then I can activate it. Can I then add AD back to the orginal server and remove the newly created?
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Question by:pgator
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38779169
1. If the server is a domain controller, you cannot convert it to a retail version. In this case, install an additional domain controller on a server that runs a retail version and remove AD DS from the domain controller that runs on the evaluation version. For more information, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh994618.aspx.

I had the same issue and I had to install another VM, promote it as a DC, move all the roles from first machine and then decomission the old machine.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38779182
If you have another DC on your network running make sure all the FSMO roles are running on that domain controller and during the weekend you can decommission this one and delete the VM, then create another VM with the same name and IP Address and promote that one as a DC, then you should be able to use the retail key.
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by:pgator
ID: 38779382
Is there a way to do this without delete the eval domain controller. I have shares setup and user redirection pointing to this sever
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38779438
Unfortunately no, because you have to install the OS from scratch.
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by:pgator
ID: 38779571
The way I am reading the Microsoft instructions it appears that if you are running 2012 standard in eval mode you can activate it but you just have to remove the AD roles. What if I create a vm of 2012 server AD and promote this to primary remove the ad roles from the eval server and then activate it and then reinstall the ad roles after activation and promote it back to primary and then remove the newly created vm
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38779766
That can be a solution. Try that. It may work.
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by:pgator
ID: 38779953
Can you provide me with the proper steps to promote/demote a 2012 server. This will be a first for me. The way it looks on researching it. I just install the new domain controller and then on the eval one run the add remove rolls and it will ask to demote this controller. Once it becomes demoted does the new controller automatically become the primary or is there something that needs to run on the new one as well
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38781457
First thing is how many DC's you have on your environment?

If this is the only one then:

1. Install another VM with 2012 OS. Assign an static Ip Address
2. From Server Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features > Active Directory Domain Services
3. Go to Server Manager you will see an exclamation mark, click on it, and then Promote this server to domain controller
for more details have a look on this link: http://www.vkernel.ro/blog/creating-a-first-windows-server-2012-domain-controller
4. Transfer the FSMO roles: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/step-by-step-learn-how-to-transfer-and-seize-fsmo-roles-in-active-directory/5081138
5. Demote the eval DC: http://terrytlslau.tls1.cc/2012/03/domain-controller-demotion-on-windows.html
6. Install the KEY
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by:pgator
ID: 38783400
I only have one domain controller at this point. I have created a cold backup of the vm and I am going to install it on a test exsi machine and test this out.
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by:pgator
ID: 38795590
Ok, I have promoted the new domain controller and moved all the roles and demoted the eval server. I must have to do something with DNS as well, The eval server will not login to the domain it says no login servers available,Now I just found out that I have purchased a volume lic key and that volume lic keys can not be activated on eval software, you must have a retail server 2012 standard key. Any idea of where to find a retail key to test with before I spend that kind of money.
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by:pgator
ID: 38805692
I am having some issues. when trying this, thank god for snap shots... When I move all the roles the eval server to the new server the eval server says it still have Global Catalog on it. But when I promote the new one it installs GC as well is this ok? If not how does one remove the GC from the eval server as well. Also What needs to be done with dns since this has to be transferred as well. When I install DNS on the new server it appeaers that everything looks good and is in there, does this automatically come through via the directory ? When I turn off the eval server active directory becomes very sluggish and unresponsive although it does come up. When I turn the old server back on AD seams to resond well again.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38806781
That's OK to install the GC on the new server. Also install the DNS on the new server when you promote it as a DC. Make sure you don't shut down the old server before the replication between the NEW and OLD DC happens.
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by:pgator
ID: 38810142
I am having a issue with moving DNS. When I follow the process above and I remove the old server from the domain. my DNS setting are removed as well and no workstations can connect. ( no logon servers available.) Also my users and groups permisions are remove from folders. and are replaced with a bunch of numbers like 40-122341234-1234-12-34--12341234-?
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38810355
Are you sure that you moved all the FSMO roles before shutting down the OLD DC?
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by:pgator
ID: 38810442
I went into AD users and Computers. and change to the new DC then went to operations master and on the RID tab clicked change and PDC tab click change and Infrastructure tab clicked change. When I clicked change on each of them the new servers name appears in both lines so I bleive that is correct. Then closed that and went to active directory domains and trusts and went to the operations master in there and clicked change to chang ethat to the new server as well. That is 4 areas am I missing one?
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by:pgator
ID: 38810527
It looks like I am missing the schema tranfer? Where do I find this? Online talks about a schema snaping but I cant find this in 2012
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by:pgator
ID: 38810956
Ok, I found the schema transfer and did this as well. The only thing I am having issues with is the permissions/security on the old server folders. It looks like when I remove AD from the old server it removes all the permissions as well and leaves entries in the security area of a bunch of numbers like it does not know who the users is. 12---12010291910-129192? Do I need to copy these folders with permission prior to removing AD from the server?
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38811605
Those numbers are SID's for all your user accounts so NO it would not help to copy all the folders to the new server. After moving all the roles check for error in event viewer. Then turn off the old server and check the permissions again.
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by:pgator
ID: 38811710
The folders with permissions are on the old server so I can shut it down without moving the folders off first. I dont quite unders stand why after removing AD from the server that it removes the security of the folder structure of the folders.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38811752
In that case you need to move the folders before shutting down that server. After you moved the folders to the new DC and before shutting down the OLD DC check the permissions on those folders. If the permissions are mangled that means that you have assigned permissions using some local accounts from old DC.
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by:pgator
ID: 38811764
Got it. I just am running a veeam backup now. I will try it as soon as it is done.
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by:pgator
ID: 38840050
Ok, here is a new spin on what to do. Out of blue I decided to run the install iso against the eval version. I booted up the eval version vm then connected to the ISO of the volume lic version and ran the setup , I selected upgrade option keeping files in tact and it ran rebooted up and everything this there, All I have to do now is activate. I am going to revert my eval server back from a snapshot and try this one more time to verify but I dont have to promote - demote or do anything but run the installer setup against it. This is good new. I will update in a little bit.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38840108
OK. Sounds good. I never do it before. Hope that works OK for you.
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pgator earned 0 total points
ID: 38840703
Ok, Here is the solution. If you have installed the eval version and want to change that version to a regular version all you have to to do is this.

Please the cd or connect to the ISO of the full version and run the setup of server 2012 standard. Then when asked choose the upgrade option that allows you to keep existing file structure. The install will begin and will take about an hour or so. Then it will reboot a few times and everything is now ready to go. I had to setup my static ip address again and then activated it and that was it.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38841087
Perfect. Glad that worked fine. Thank you for the update.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pgator
ID: 38854320
After completing many test my solution is the best one available.
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