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Migrate WINS from Server 2008 R2 to Server 2012

CCtech asked
Hello Experts,

   I have been tasked with migrating roles from a Server 2008 R2 DC to a Server 2012 DC. This client still uses WINS as they have some legacy equipment requiring WINS. I have no experience with WINS and have not been able to find documentation on migrating WINS from 2008 to 2012. I did find this article:


which shows a migration from 2003 to 2008, but I wanted to check if it is valid for 2008 to 2012. I was also curious if there is a better way to go about this, as this will require us to take the database offline. I would like to set up replication if possible, and point the devices to the new server while the old server is still running, so we can fail back if needed.

I have added the WINS feature to the 2012 server and I see there is an area to add a replication partner, but I do not want to break any current database, I want to be sure I configure this correctly.

I have no problem migrating DHCP scopes, and DNS will replicate automatically since it is AD integrated, I am just skeptical about the WINS role. I'm not sure if it has any dependencies. I'm also curious if I migrate the DHCP scope to new server and demote the 2008 server, if WINS will still function, or if it relies on any DNS features. Thanks in advance!
Watch Question

I think the method described in that article will still work.  That said, I haven't used WINS in a long time, so I can't guarantee it.  Other ways I'd suggest to do it:

1.  You could do a migration by setting up the new 2012 server as a replication partner to the old server. Once the replication is working, you could then remove the old 2008 server from the WINS server settings for your network.  Once the systems on your network are no longer looking to the 2008 server for WINS resolution, you could stop the replication and remove WINS from the 2008 server.

2.  You could not do a migration at all and, assuming you're using DHCP to assign the WINS server setting, just change the server assignment and allow it to rebuild the WINS database on the new server.  This is fine for a smaller network, because it doesn't take very long to rebuild, but if you have a large network you might not want to go that route.
Network Engineer
My suggestion is to keep using the original IP addresses for all DNS and WINS servers. These things are usually statically assigneous to all sorts of equipment and it is really easy to miss some. What I always do is stage the new server, and then when I am ready to switch change the IP of the original server to be something else, and then change the IP of the new server to be that of the original IP of the old server. You don't even need to reboot.

For WINS I would setup replication between the two servers, and use the WINS tool to look at the new server and be sure that it it populated. After you give the new server its permanent IP, stop the WINS replication.


I was able to add replication partners and WINS replicated properly to new servers.