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Downgrade from Windows 2012 Server R2 to non R2

Posted on 2013-12-30
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
I've installed Windows Server 2012 R2(DataCenter) on four new VMWare virtual gussets.  I whist been told that the software we will be running on these servers does not support The R2 version, so I need to "downgrade" them to just Windows 2012 Server. Is there an easy way to do this without scrapping the four machines I've built and starting from scratch?  Thanks in advance
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Question by:tenover
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39746298
I'm afraid Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2012 are different products , there is no downgrade. R2 caught me out before Christmas, deployed R2, and the software did not support R2 (yet!)

I'm afraid you will have to reinstall a new Windows 2012 server. Windows 2012 server does not take long to install, it's the Windows Updates, that can take a while. But save some time and create a template.

But after you have done one and patched before domain join convert to template and deploy your 4 VMs.

You will then have a nice golden shiny Windows 2012 template to deploy in future.

If you have no vCenter Server, you can always Copy/Clone.

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0

HOW TO: Select the right answer to "I Moved It" or "I Copied It" in VMware vSphere (ESXi)
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Author Comment

by:tenover
ID: 39746310
Thanks. The boat is running VMware Esxi 5. Ive never created a vm template, pretty easy?
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LVL 124
ID: 39746406
If you have vCenter Server - yes.

Create your virtual machine as you would for production, all your tweaks, changes, patches, BUT before you add to the domain.

Create a template. If you have vCenter Server, Right Click the VM (when OFF), and select Convert to Template.

if you do not have vCenter Server, follow my article above.

Deploy the Template, new VMx4, and then run Sysprep, inside the VM, and then Add to Domain when done.

Save's many hours on deployment of VMs.
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Author Comment

by:tenover
ID: 39746683
I have paid for vCenter Server but havent yet installed it. Looks like I might have to do that this week.  Thx
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LVL 124
ID: 39746697
It's certainly easier with vCenter Server, BUT vCenter Server installation can be troublesome! (and long!)
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39749541
Tenover,

I want to add that if you have a small environment you could go for vCenter server Appliance which involves couple of steps in the deployment process and you will be ready to go.
This saves you the time and effort to install it on the windows server and also a Windows license.

vCenter 5.5 Appliance can hold upto 100 hosts and 3000 VM's

Here's a nice article explaining the same
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2007619
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39756710
On your Windows 2012 R2 server do you have a Windows.old folder??? If so, I m trying to see if you can revert to the files in the folder...
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