I want to move our TFS database and application to a newer server. Both the TFS application and the SQL instance reside on the old server. The new server will be set up similarly but with updated software.

A few notes about the servers...

Old Server:

  • Windows 2008R2
  • Team Foundation Server 2013 12.0.21005.1 (Tfs2013.RTM)
  • SQL Server 2012

New Server:

  • Windows 2016
  • SQL Server 2017

I get this message when I attempt to install TFS 2013 on the new server and use the existing SQL Server 2017:

TFS Error

What is the best way to proceed? I have no problems with bringing forward the TFS to a more current version but how do I get the current database for TFS over to the new server? Do I upgrade the current server or is there a way to import the backup of the old server in a newer version of TFS.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


The Requirements page explicitly says that TFS 2013.0 is supported at most on Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 with the latest Service Packs.

Unless you also plan to upgrade the TFS version, you must use those older versions for Windwos and SQL Server.


The upgrade docs along with the "gotchas" for the different versions can be found here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-ca/azure/devops/server/upgrade/get-started?view=azure-devops I might suggest going to 2017 if you have much in the way of work item customizations, because they "Old Form" is dropped in 2018 and you'll need to update your layouts if you've customized them. If not, the diagram indicates that you can do a direct upgrade to 2019.

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