SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Hello.  I'm attempting to simulate an SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials migration in a VM test environment.  

I have the SBS 2003 box fully prepped per the following guide:

I've downloaded an 180 day eval of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.  When I boot up the new destination server VM using the ISO, I'm presented with a typical Windows 2012 setup.  There is NO option to do a migration installation.  

When I finish the base install, a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials configuration Wizard pops up asking for Time & Date, etc.  Again, there is NO option to do any kind of Migration Setup.  

I've made sure the TCP/IP config is good on the new server - it can ping the test SBS box and sees the domain.

The ONLY option seems to be setting up the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Box in a brand new domain.

Please help.  This is driving me crazy!

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Rob StoneCommented:
I've not used Essentials, but looking at this article the migration tool looks to be in the support tools:

Search for 'To install and run the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server'
Cliff GaliherCommented:
2012 R2 Essentials is indeed a different beast when it comes to migrations. There is no longer a GUI. Now you simply cancel out of the configuration wizard, join an existing domain, then resume the configuration wizard after you've joined.

The exact process is documented here, including the config cancellation step:

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dpmoneyAuthor Commented:

Thanks.  I had a feeling something must be different in R2 because none of the documentation was lining up.  Ironically, I came across the website you linked to above, but I ignored it (foolishly) because I was specifically looking for an article that focused on migration from SBS vs. "previous versions of Windows".  I'm going to review the article in detail and test tomorrow.  I'll then circle back with this post.

Overall, this client is a 1 server shop (old SBS 2003) and 10 Win 7 workstations.  They only have 3 user IDs on the network (shared) and 1 critical app on the server.  I was really contemplating not bothering with migrating the domain at all, and instead, buying a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition, making it a workgroup (nice and simple), then removing all the PCs from the domain profile and making them work in a workgroup setup.  However, if I can migrate the domain to 2012 Essentials cleanly, get Exchange out of AD, it would be nice to not have to touch the workstations.  Any thought on that and which way I should go?


[Follow-Up]  I just peeked at the article and it looks like I'm going to have to do some work on the workstations as well.  Makes me further think about just going with a simple workgroup model.  I don't really care about the Office 365 integration.  I do plan to use Office 365 for hosted email, but will gladly manage that via the web (just a few email addresses).  More to follow.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Even in small businesses, workgroups are a royal pain. Because there is no centralized account or password management, users *always* seem to manage to get mismatches and then call because they are getting password prompts. The number of helpdesk calls goes up dramatically. If you are an employee, that is never fun. If you are a consultant that offers support at a set price, calls cost you money. If you charge by the hour, your client gets upset because a change you made is now costing THEM money. It is a no-win situation.

Whether you build up a new domain or migrate the existing one, a domain is still the way to go. Migrating is pretty trivial so I'd go that route, but regardless I'd not go with a workgroup.
dpmoneyAuthor Commented:
Good advice.  Thanks for your assistance!  I'll award the points!
Greg MasonOwnerCommented:
"Migrating is pretty trivial" This is actually NOT TRUE. Migrating is a nearly impossible task, (cleanly at least). I've seen more disasters (even with MS support services doing the work) and after ten attempts we no longer even give it a shot.
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