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Specifically for Azure VM. What is the recommended way to upgrade from Server 2012 VM to Server 2012 R2 on the same VM?

I prefer not to have to create a new 2012 R2 VM and really rather upgrade my existing Server 2012 as I have installed different software on it and configurations.

This question was also asked last year per and remains unanswered.

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In-place upgrades of Azure VMs are not supported by Microsoft.


Microsoft does not support an upgrade of the operating system of a Microsoft Azure virtual machine. Instead, you should create a new Azure virtual machine that is running the supported version of the operating system that is required and then migrate the workload.

I realise this might not be all that helpful, but since the Microsoft support position on this wasn't mentioned here, I thought it important to make it clear.

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There is no recommended way. If you prefer an in-place update, do it. If you prefer the migration-approach, do it.

My personal preference is to rebuild the machine, because I have a "clean" machine again afterwards, but this is personal preference. Especially if you might have had troubles with the VM in the past.

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Thank you for your feedback. Could you give me any indication how to do an in-place upgrade ? I could not find documentation on a specific step by step. – Julie S. May 4 '14 at 20:29
Put in CD/Mount ISO. Press Upgrade. Plug in Key. Wait X minutes. Done. :) – MichelZ May 5 '14 at 5:37
I don't think a CD works since this is an Azure VM. Is it not possible to download an upgrade and install so it overwrites the old one ? If so, I'd appreciate the link. – Julie S. May 5 '14 at 11:36
Yes, use the normal Windows 2012 R2 download (it's an ISO), mount it on the 2012 Computer, and start the upgrade. – MichelZ May 5 '14 at 13:42
Thank you, Michel. Hope to try it soon! – Julie S. May 10 '14 at 16:21

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