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I've got a Windows Server 2008 Standard installation here that I'm trying to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Server, using the evaluation version. (The scenario is essentially that I need to test the upgrade, and specifically the upgrade process, before we spend the money on going ahead with the actual upgrade.)

When I try to upgrade, it fails with the message: "Windows Server 2008 Standard cannot be upgraded to Windows Server 2012 Standard Evaluation (Server with a GUI). You can choose to install a new... (etc., etc.)"

Is this (non-upgradability) a known limitation of the evaluation version? (Unfortunately, I haven't found a clear answer on this point.) And if not, any thoughts on where else I might look for the problem and solutions to it?

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How come you work professionally in this field and have no access to MSDN / Technet versions? – TomTom Dec 18 '12 at 16:37
Some of us work professionally for clients who are really, really cheap. – Cerebrate Dec 18 '12 at 16:59
You are joking? I work in this area for 15 years and I ALWAYS had my own licenses. If I can not afford that, I am in the wrong job. – TomTom Dec 18 '12 at 17:01
Yeah, but I don't use my personal licenses for client work, unless they're a long-term client I know well and trust. Saves me hassle when it's time for me to move on and they still haven't procured one of their own. I've been burnt that way in the past. – Cerebrate Dec 18 '12 at 17:06
Ok, WHY? According to the dewscripion you would not even USE a license - you never have to enter the key unless you carry that over more than 6 months, and that is a Long term Client. Your Statement makes ZERO sense, you know. – TomTom Dec 18 '12 at 17:18
up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, you cannot upgrade from a retail/licensed version to an evaluation version as stated in Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012.

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Somehow I missed that. Thanks! – Cerebrate Dec 18 '12 at 16:58
Where on the linked page does it say that the upgrade is not supported? – Peter Hahndorf Dec 18 '12 at 18:04
"The table below briefly summarizes which already licensed (that is, not evaluation) Windows operating systems can be upgraded to which editions of Windows Server 2012." Under Upgrading previous retail versions of Windows Server to Windows Server 2012 – cole Dec 18 '12 at 21:06

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