I have a Windows Server 2003 box which I want to upgrade to Server 2008 R2 and use hypervisor to manage a bunch of VMs.

I want to use the latest release candidate of Server 2008 R2 and I want to know if this will be upgradable to the RTM / final version (like Windows 7 is) on launch or will I have to reinstall with the proper RTM version?

Thanks in advance


  • 3
    Heh at first I mis-read the question as "lunch" rather than "launch". My first thought was I would eat first it may take longer than you think. :) Commented Jul 21, 2009 at 18:05
  • I wish I could upvote that, very funny. Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 10:06

4 Answers 4


Now they say you can. According to this ms article (on 7/21/09), "Upgrade of Hyper-V installations from RC versions to RTM of R2 will be supported. You can perform an upgrade of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 from RC to RTM."



Ned Pyle over in the Microsoft Enterprise Platform support division reckons not:

Yes and no:

You can upgrade Windows Server 2003 x64 and Windows Server 2008 x64 to Windows Server 2008 R2 - this is supported.

However, Win2008R2 Beta and Win2008R2 Release Candidate are not supported upgrade paths - i.e. you cannot upgrade Beta to RC in a supported fashion or RC to RTM in a supported fashion. Beta's/RC's are simply too unstable to be considered a good upgrade path to RTM.

  • If this is for production use, then I would follow the advice given in the link above, and not do this. It's not a supported upgrade path. Commented Jun 24, 2009 at 14:03
  • I hate this answer, because it's not what I want to hear! But +1 because I need the info. ;) Commented Jun 30, 2009 at 19:42

I'd go with RTM Windows 2008, and then upgrade to R2 when it is ready. You'll meet your short-term goal of virtualization, while still maintaining a supported upgrade path. All you'll really be missing is a couple of tools, and that's only temporary.


I agree with the other answers about not running the RC in production as a general rule of thumb. There is no upgrade path, and it's just a bad idea in general.

However, IF you're already willing to take the risks of running unreleased software and IF this server really is only going to be hosting VMs, the lack of upgrade path doesn't really matter since the "meat" of the server is in the VMs. When 2008 R2 is released, you can just backup the VMs, blow away the beta installation, and re-import them on a fresh non-beta installation.

  • +1 as this is what I am doing. I run R2 RC because of HyperV 2.0 and when it RTM's will do just as you say. The R2 only acts as a file share besides hosting VM's
    – Wayne
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 0:45

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