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aeardley
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Upgrade a 2008 r2 Standard server to 2008 r2 DataCenter edition

Hello

I've got to upgrade a 2008 r2 Standard Edition server to DataCenter to take advantage of the additional memory I have installed.  It is currently a DC and I have read that I will need to demote, update using dism and the promote the server again.

I just wanted to find out if anyone knows the correct steps - this is a production server and I can't afford for it to be out of action for more than a weekend.

thanks

Andrew
Windows Server 2008

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Lee W, MVP

8/22/2022 - Mon
M A

aeardley

ASKER
I think I'm happy with the dism part - except it will want to use a local image.

The bit I'm concerned about is demoting and then promoting the DC, without losing the configuration.

Thanks
M A

1. Take a full backup first.
2. Demote the server.
3. Upgrade to datacenter

I hope you have an additional domain controller in place
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James Murphy
yo_bee

Just out of curiosity why Datacenter edition for a DC?
Normal best practice is to not have DC's run anything other than the necessary roles and features to run a DC for security control. With that no DC needs memory above Std 2008 R2 limits.  

If you are planning to virtualize servers in your environment and use the Server that currently is running DC as your future Hypervisor I would recommend doing a P2V of your DC and have it stand up on your Hypervisor. Since this method would make the physical server a standalone or a member server you can do the I place upgrade as others suggested. I would not do any upgrade until you know that your DC is working without any issues do the upgrade.

Also if you have more than one DC in your environment the demotion of the DC should have minimal impact.
M A

yo_bee brings up a point I had missed.  You can convert your current 2008 domain controller to a VHD using Sysinternal disk2VHD and attach as a guest.
As suggested above convert it and make sure it is running before shutting down the hardware.

So I suggest you follow this order.
1. Convert to VHD
2. Test the VHD to make sure it is running/working.
3. Format the hardware and install 2008 Datacenter
4. configure this VHD (which is a domain controller)  as a guest in the new datacenter OS.
aeardley

ASKER
This is a server I have inherited from another it support company.

The customer is running Remote Desktop service on it and has 72gb installed, but can only use 32gb due to memory limitations of standard edition 2008 r2.

The previous company installed the memory, upgrading from 16gb to improve performance - but couldn't get it to use all 72gb.

It is only a small company and they don't need anything fancy - 1 server is sufficient, they need some remote workers to access a specific program and this is why it was setup this way.

Not the way I would have done it, but that is how it is.

Thanks.
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Lee W, MVP

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