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Donna HFlag for United States of America

asked on

downgrade from 2012 to 2008R2

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.
Avatar of CITG_Carl

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

Avatar of Scott C
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.
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
Avatar of Donna H


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?
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.
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

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.
Avatar of Donna H


So I can use 2008R2 Enterprise?  I was told since I have server 2012 standard that I had to use server 2008R2 standard.
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.
No you can use Windows Server 2008 R2 STANDARD not enterprise
I agree with leew 100% on his comment.  Bare metal installs are always better.
Avatar of Donna H


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
Avatar of Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP
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