in place upgrade from 2008r2 standard to enterprise while running exchange 2010

I have an environment that has 3 servers.  two servers are Domain Controllers and file servers running under windows 2008r2 enterprise.  My 3rd server is an exchange 2010 server with CAS, mailbox, and hub transport running under windows 2008r2 standard.  I need to upgrade the os to 2008r2 enterprise so that I can build a DAG down the line.  I have read that you cannot do an in-place upgrade with exchange installed.  My question is:  a) is that true? and b) if it is, instead of uninstalling exchange and then doing a disaster recovery of exchange to reinstall, can I simply disable all the exchange services and then perform the DISM in-place upgrade followed by re-enabling the exchange services?  All servers are physical servers.  This is not a virtualized environment.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
It is not supported to change the version of Windows with Exchange installed. Plenty have done it, but if you have problems you could be on your own.
I also wouldn't do any kind of reinstall etc. If you are going to deploy a DAG down the line, then don't do anything with Exchange/Windows at the moment. When you get the new server, install Exchange, then move all of the mailboxes to the new server and rebuild the original.

You may want to do that anyway, because you can use Windows 2012 (NOT R2) standard as a DAG host with Exchange 2010, but both sides need to be 2012.

Anything else puts the environment at an unnecessary risk.

aerblichAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your quick response.  Am I able to move all the mailboxes, CAS, Hub, etc. to the server while my current exchange is running on windows 2008 r2 standard?  I thought if I am creating a DAG, my current server needs to be on 2008r2 enterprise?

Quote from

"In addition to meeting the prerequisites for installing Exchange 2010, there are operating system requirements that must be met. DAGs use Windows Failover Clustering technology, and as a result, they require the Enterprise version of Windows."

Therefore, yes.

Yes also for mailbox moves, no user access is lost while you do it.

Same for the various roles as long as you plan ahead (same settings).
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I don't think you quite understood what I meant.

Build a new server, Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise or Windows 2012 standard and install Exchange to it.
NO DAG configured.
Move the mailboxes to the new server.
Remove Exchange from the old server, wipe it and then rebuild it, using the same version of Windows as the new server already built. Install Exchange, create DAG.

What the old server is on has no impact on moving the mailboxes.


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