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In place upgrade Win2008R2 to Win2012R2

jpmoreau asked
Last Modified: 2017-04-18

I'm running a network with two Windows 2008R2 DC. I run Exchange 2013CU10 in the network two. Is it easy to upgrade my DCS to Windows 2012R2 without updating the AD level and the forest level? Does Exchange have known issues regarding this kind of update?

I will propably update my AD and forest level in a second phase.

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Todd NelsonSystems Administrator
Top Expert 2016

Backup, backup, backup!

If you have more than a single DC you could do that--provided you don't have any enterprise-class applications installed.

Personally, I would recommend that you build a new DC and migrate DNS, DHCP, time, etc. to it.

As far as Exchange goes, provided it is on a separate server, upgrading a DC should not be an issue.



And what about upgrading the AD and forest level?
Systems Administrator
Top Expert 2016
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Agree with Todd.  Upgrades are NEVER as stable as clean installs.

You should also read up on what exactly the domain functional level and forest functional levels are.  What they mean.  Because unless you want to utilize specific features of Active Directory that require them, you don't need to upgrade them at all.  (Though at some point, of course, I would upgrade them).

If you don't want to take the time to learn about these things, then I STRONGLY recommend you find a pro to help you out and make sure you get these things done right.  There are books on the topic and forums can only help so much.  For those of us that know the technology, knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what to do.  And in some cases, it may be "second nature" to us and we may forget to mention a key detail that causes you MAJOR problems because we just consider it obvious or always do it and don't think about it.
Shaun VermaakSenior Consultant
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019

Is it easy to upgrade my DCS to Windows 2012R2 without updating the AD level and the forest level?
Yes, I do this frequently takes less than 45min. I do however prefer to copy install to disk and run setup from there (not DVD or mounted ISO)
Does Exchange have known issues regarding this kind of update?
No issues

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