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downgrade from 2012 to 2008R2

Posted on 2013-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-06-13
I purchased a Windows Server 2012 Standard volume license so we could migrate to Exchange 2013.  Then plans changed and we are going to install server 2008R2 and Exchange 2010.  I was told that I can down grade to 2008R2 using my 2012 license then when I want to go to Exchange 2013 I can upgrade the OS to 2012 and lose no information.  Do I have to install 2008 R2 standard or can I install enterprise?  I am not sure I understand how to downgrade to 2008 R2 using 2012.
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Question by:atcitdept
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by:CITG_Carl
ID: 39194280
You would need to install Windows 2008 R2 Standard edition.

Yes you can upgrade from 2008 R2 to 2012 as both 64-bit architectures.

What licensing agreement have you purchased the license? You can request downgrade key from the Microsoft licensing service centre

Cheers
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by:ScottCha
ID: 39194290
There is no "downgrade" installation path if that is what you mean.  What they mean by downgrade is you can use the license from 2012 and apply it to 2008R2 as it is a lower version.  This keeps you in software compliance.

There is no "enterprise" version of 2012 just going from standard to datacenter; so you will need to do an installatin of 2008R2 Standard.

If you have already intalled 2012 you will need to do a fresh install of 2008R2.
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by:CITG_Carl
ID: 39194299
Depending on the agreement the Windows 2012 license key will not apply on Windows 2008 R2. You have to apply for the downgraded license key from License service centre
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by:atcitdept
ID: 39194310
Scott. The person that I am working with told me that when I upgrade from 2008R2 to 2012 that I will not lose any of the Exchange 2010 info and that I can install 2012 over 2008R2.  I would think if I do that I will lose everything because it would be like fresh install of 2012 right?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39194321
You can install Enterprise.  2012 Standard is functionally identical to data center so by using 2008 R2 Enterprise you are not gaining any features you wouldn't have had with 2012 Standard.

When you log in to the Volume License Web site, you should be able to download Enterprise and obtain keys.  If you didn't have the right to downgrade to it, it shouldn't be available for download on the VL website.
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by:CITG_Carl
ID: 39194323
You can do an inplace upgrade from Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 standard.

Remember to backup all data prior to the upgrade just in case, but you should not lose any data

Cheers
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by:ScottCha
ID: 39194333
You can to an upgrade install from 2008R2 to 2012 as long as both your hardware and 2008R2 are 64-bit and you will keep all information and installed programs.

If you install 2008R2 over 2012 you will indeed be doing a fresh install and lose everything.

Regardless, you need to make sure you have a good backup so you won't lose any data.
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by:atcitdept
ID: 39194334
So I can use 2008R2 Enterprise?  I was told since I have server 2012 standard that I had to use server 2008R2 standard.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39194335
BUT you should never do an in-place upgrade since they can cause MANY problems both predictable and unpredictable.  Even though it's supported, MIGRATIONS to new versions on clean installs is always the best option.
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by:CITG_Carl
ID: 39194339
No you can use Windows Server 2008 R2 STANDARD not enterprise
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by:ScottCha
ID: 39194341
I agree with leew 100% on his comment.  Bare metal installs are always better.
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by:atcitdept
ID: 39194376
Scott/Leew  that is what I wanted to hear. thank you.  I am leaving for the day but will/might have more questions next week.  I am going to leave this open until then.  Thank you
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39194515
CITG_Carl,

You CAN downgrade to Enterprise:

Because of changes made to the licensing of Windows Server with the release of the 2012 version and because of the elimination of the Windows Server Enterprise edition, Windows Server 2012 Standard edition also has Down-Edition rights in addition to Downgrade Rights.  When purchased through a volume license agreement these rights are listed in the Product Use Rights (PUR).  The PUR applies to software sold via the Volume Licensing channel and is the equivalent of the License Terms that accompany OEM and FPP software.  The Down-Edition rights for Windows Server 2012 Standard edition allow running an instance of Windows Server Essentials or Enterprise (of the same or any earlier version) in place of the Standard edition in any of the licensed OSEs.

From http://blogs.technet.com/b/licensing/archive/2013/02/07/downgrade-rights-explained.aspx
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