Upgrading a DC to Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

July 25, 2013 at 6:18 am in Domain Controller, Preview, Upgrade, Windows Server 2012 R2 by mikeresseler

As a true geek I have downloaded Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview the minute it was available. After installing a few virtual machines from scratch and playing with a few features it was time to see how an upgrade would perform.

The first server (in my demo environment of course) is a Domain Controller. But before I could actually do the upgrade, I needed to do some additional work.

First, I got into issues when I chose the upgrade path and the ability to go online to search for updates. I’ve got this error notification and I couldn’t find any logs or reports on what was wrong. As always, community to the rescue and I found a post written by WorkingHardInIT that described the problem and the workaround for it. You can find the blogpost here: http://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/in-place-upgrade-to-windows-server-2012-r2-preview-fails-with-windows-installation-encountered-an-unkown-error-and-cannot-continue/

As it states in the post, the trick is to ignore the Go Online to install updates now (recommended) and to choose No Thanks.


After that, I have gotten my compatibility report.


So I went to the URL that is included in the message but that didn’t got me very far. This article is about preparing a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Forest Schema for a Domain Controller that runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

I tried searching on the web for a newer version of this article but couldn’t find the good one. So let’s do this one without any documentation. (I know… Stupid but hey… it is a test environment :-))

On the ISO Image that was mounted on my Virtual Domain Controller, I browsed to support/adprep and there I found the ADPrep executable.


Now it is time to perform this schema upgrade. I do this in PowerShell (as an administrator) but you can do this in command prompt also.


I run adprep.exe /forestprep


Now I hit “C” to continue


And everything is being upgraded. For those who want to know exactly what is being done. This command executes the following schema changes:

From sch57.ldf till sch69.ldf and finally PAS.ldf.

Without further thinking I started the upgrade process again. (Hey, it was Monday when I did this ;-)) and I got another issue


I had to do the domain prep also. (I should have known this but…)

The command do use is ADPREP.EXE /DOMAINPREP


And now you can start the upgrade of your domain controller, sit back, relax, wait a bit and get a nicely upgraded domain controller.