So today was RTM of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials released. I immediately tried to do an in-place upgrade of an existing RTM 2012 Essentials to RTM 2012 R2 Essentials, but get:

Windows Server 2012 Essentials cannot be upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. You can choose to install a new copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials instead, but this is different from an upgrade, and does not keep your files, settings, and programs. You’ll need to reinstall any programs using the original installation discs or files. To save your files before installing Windows, back them up to an external location such as a CD, DVD, or external hard drive. To install a new copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, click the Back button in the upper left-hand corner, and select “Custom (advanced)”.

This seems a bit odd, is this really the case? I can't find anything in the official documentation stating that this upgrade isn't possible.

  • Unless I missed something pretty big, 2012 R2 Essentials RTM has not been released. Are you sure you're not trying to install the preview, which would be bad in a production environment. – MDMarra Sep 9 '13 at 20:47
  • Yes I am sure and you are correct, you have missed something. blogs.msdn.com/b/stevengu/archive/2013/09/09/… – Magnus Sep 9 '13 at 20:49
  • Well, that is good news, since MS had been silent on early release info! – MDMarra Sep 9 '13 at 20:51

It doesn't appear that an in-place upgrade is available, rather you need to migrate. Same as in SBS 2011 to 2012 Essentials.

See here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/41695fc1-6e0c-4218-bb7a-0984e54d5ce5/will-i-be-able-to-upgrade-or-migrate-my-current-windows-server-2012-essentials-installation-once-r2

No inplace upgrade.

You will need to migrate from 2012 to 2012 r2 by installing R2 in migration mode and copying data/can't copy backups over, decommissioning the old box.

and "official" Microsoft Technet article here: Migrate from Previous Versions to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

  • Oh well, sad panda. :( – Magnus Sep 9 '13 at 20:52

For Windows Server Essentials, upgrade is not supported. Migration would be recommended.

Best Regards, Eve Wang

  • Hello, could you please provide source/reference? – bgtvfr Apr 26 '17 at 9:07

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