I have a windows server 2012 essential as a dc in my domain abc.local.

We have purchased another HP Proliant Server with windows server 2012 essential to intsall an erp software.

I am trying to add this new windows server 2012 essential to my network, but there seems to be problem with that

Its asking for either a clean install or server migration. I am unable to add my windows server 2012 essential to my network as a member server.

Is there any way i can install a windows server 2012 essential as a member server in my existing windows server 2012 essential domian network .

IF that is not possible , I have windows server 2008 r2 enterprise key , can i install that as a member server to my network or can i install windows server 2008 r2 essential.

Please help me figure out, i am behind these for the last two days.

  • I am trying to add this new windows server 2012 essential to my network. Please edit your question to describe in more detail what steps you are taking to add the server to the existing domain. – Twisty Impersonator Dec 14 '16 at 20:24

No, you cannot have two Server 2012 R2 Essential servers in the same domain, as you have already been pointed out by the setup. Unless you are migrating from one to the other, which ist not the case here.

Some sources:

  • The Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials once deployed, must be the domain controller at the root of the forest and domain, and must hold all the FSMO roles.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials can only be deployed into a single domain. Also, a read-only domain controller cannot exist in this domain.
  • It can be installed in a pre-existing Active Directory domain only on the pretext that you are migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Note that there is a grace period of 21 days for completing the entire migration from previous versions of Windows Server Essentials or Small Business Server editions.


Can you install a Server 2008 R2 as a member server into your active directory? Sure. But keep in mind that mainstream support has ended and extended suppport ends 14. Jan. 2020 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search?sort=PN&alpha=Windows%20Server%202008%20R2&Filter=FilterNO)

Is there a Essentials role for Server 2008 R2? If there is, why would you want to install it?

I answered your question, but let me give you an advice. From my point of view, you don't seem to know a lot about what you are doing. (I remember the other question about the Foundation server.) Maybe think about getting professional help with the installation of your server. It might be worth it in the long run.

  • What, then, is the migration path for a company which outgrows Server Essentials? – Michael Hampton Dec 14 '16 at 21:44
  • @MichaelHampton Add a Standard as a domain controller that does not hold the FSMO roles, migrate, move FSMO roles and remove the Essentials server, I would assume. – Daniel Dec 14 '16 at 21:53
  • @MichaelHampton Funny you should ask, because that's what I'm doing right now. ;) This was originally a comment, but it deserves a longer answer. serverfault.com/questions/821249/… – Katherine Villyard Dec 16 '16 at 22:33

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