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Lionel MMFlag for United States of America

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Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2

Please note that this question is about Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 and not Windows Server 2012R2.
My main goal is to ensure that this small business get as much of the benefits that Essentials Experience has to offer.

Situation is a very small network of 1 sever (currently 2008) and 5 workstations

So would I be better off with creating a new domain or joining the new server to the existing one and then remove the old server once the roles are transferred.

Considering the size of this network, very small (so easy to join PCs to new domain if need be), what are the pros and cons of each approach. I am a bit concerned that if I join the new server to the existing domain that the "Essentials Experience" will not work as designed. Additionally, if we keep the current domain, would using the connector on the PCs result in having to recreate/rebuild their profiles (desktop, setting up email, etc. etc.). Pros? Cons? Suggestion? Thanks!
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Sajid Shaik M
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as you have only 5 clients better go with complete new installation which will be easy for you .... all the best
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@Shaik M. Sajid -- OK but why -- asking for reasons (pros and cons) and not just opinions please -- thank you. Benefits, advantages, etc.
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David Atkin
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OK David thanks that makes sense. I should be doing this next week and will let you know what I think. Using VMs I actually have done both options already and once I get the new hardware I can transfer the VM to it and then take it from there. Once I am done I will get back to this question -- thanks
No problem. Let us know if you have any more questions during
OK I am trying the option to install Hyper-V and then create a VM for a new domain but I cannot get only a Hyper-V install working; keeps on wants to install the Windows Essentials Experience as well (have to keep cancelling it & can't figure out how to stop it--it seems a powershell script is being initiated to start the install wizard each time I reboot).
Hello,

Officially the hyper-v role isn't supported on the Essentials Server.  If you want to install Essentials as a VM then you need to download and install Hyper-V Server first and then Essentials as the VM.
That is not correct on R2 is is now official that you can do both.  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281793%28v=ws.11%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#BKMK_VirtualWSE

"Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials allows you to set up the Hyper-V role and virtualize your environment. The license allows you to set up another guest operating system that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials."
Ohh thanks for that.  I didn't know it had changed
So David do you know how to stop Essentials from trying to start the "add-feature" Essentials Experience from running each time I reboot. Or where can I download a non-trial version of Hyper-V 2012r2?
You can download Hyper-V from here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-hyper-v-server-2012-r2

Its an unlimited evaluation version

Note though, it is Hyper-V core so there is no GUI.

Not entirely sure about stopping the essentials configuration wizard.  May be worth waiting to see if anyone else comments.
I will open a different question on that since this is more about joining an existing versus creating a new domain.
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My solution gives my first hand experience as so I am providing that as a help to future questioners.