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Guide for Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2

Updated: September 10, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

This document contains information that you should review and steps that you should take before you performing an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. We recommend a clean installation whenever possible. However, if you decide that you want to upgrade, read this document to prepare for your upgrade. For information about performing a clean installation, see Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd379511(WS.10).aspx).

Before you upgrade, do the following to prepare for the installation:

  • Ensure that your server is supported. It is important to research your software and hardware manufacturers' support policies before you start setup. In some scenarios, upgrading is not supported. For more information, see Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Paths. In addition, ensure that your computer contains the minimal requirements (disk space, hardware, and so on). For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/system-requirements.aspx.

  • Perform a clean installation if possible. We recommend that you perform a clean installation whenever possible. For information about performing a clean installation, see Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd379511(WS.10).aspx).

  • Ensure that your applications are compatible. In the Setup Wizard, after you have selected the Upgrade option, you are presented with a dialog box that includes a link to a Compatibility Report. Be sure to follow the link and review the information about your installed applications before you proceed with the upgrade. In addition, review the manufacturer’s Web site for your installed applications to:

    • Determine if the application is supported throughout the upgrade process.

    • Verify that the manufacturer supports the application on Windows Server 2008 R2.

      Before you upgrade, we recommend that you remove any installed non-Windows-delivered software that is not supported by the software manufacturer for upgrade. Otherwise, the software may not function correctly after the upgrade. Non-Windows-delivered software is defined as any software that is not included with the Windows Server operating system or that is not delivered to the Windows Server operating system when you use Windows Update. This definition also includes Microsoft utilities and applications.

  • Test your applications. You must test your line-of-business and non-Microsoft applications before you upgrade your production servers. For specific instructions on how to test your applications, see the Application Considerations When Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2 topic.

  • Ensure that all kernel-mode software is signed. All kernel-mode software (including drivers) that runs on the computer must have a signature. If your applications use unsigned kernel-mode software (which is common in many firewall and antivirus programs), the upgrade may be blocked until you uninstall the application. If an application does not uninstall cleanly, it may continue to block the upgrade.

  • Back up your servers. Your backup should include all the data and configuration information that is necessary for the computer to function. It is important to perform a backup of configuration information for servers, especially those that provide a network infrastructure, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. When you perform the backup, be sure to include the boot and system partitions and the system state data. Another way to back up configuration information is to create a backup set for Automated System Recovery.

  • Be aware that you cannot uninstall the operating system. After the upgrade is complete, you cannot uninstall or revert back to the previous installation. However, if Setup fails during the upgrade, you can roll back to your previous operating system.

  • Review the known issues. For information about specific upgrade issues, read the Known Issues When Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2 topic. You should also read the Release Notes for Windows Server 2008 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=99299), which contains information about all the known issues in this product.

The following table contains information for upgrading server roles to Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have any of these roles installed on your server, read the specified upgrade information for actions and recommendations that pertain to that role.

 

Server Role Upgrade Information

Active Directory

  • Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS). Active Directory Certificate Services are upgraded by upgrading the operating system. No additional steps are required.

  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). For more information, see Upgrading Active Directory Domains to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 AD DS Domains (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=89032).

  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS). There are no known issues when upgrading AD FS from Windows Server 2003 R2 to AD FS in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS). For more information, see Upgrading from ADAM to AD LDS (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=186351).

  • Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS). You cannot perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, since AD RMS was not a server role in Windows Server 2003.

Application Server

You cannot migrate the Application Server role from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. Application Server includes default support for applications that are built with .NET Framework 3.0 components, such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Application Server offers optional role services that activate features in Windows Server 2008 R2 (such as Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) support for non-HTTP protocols, TCP Port Sharing, and support for IIS 7.0). If you upgrade your server to Windows Server 2008 R2 from Windows Server 2003 or an earlier operating system, and you want to use the capabilities of the Application Server role, you must reinstall the Application Server role by using the Add Roles Wizard in Server Manager. If you configure the server with the correct application services by using the Add Roles Wizard, your applications will work correctly after you upgrade.

For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions for Application Server

(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110936).

DHCP Server

The DHCP server role is upgraded by upgrading the operating system. No additional steps are required.

For information about migration of this server role involving a clean installation, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd379535(WS.10).aspx.

DNS Server

For more information, see the Active Directory Domain Services and Domain Name System (DNS) Server Migration Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=134771).

Fax Server

When you upgrade a fax server from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2, the Fax Server role is automatically installed in the upgrade. However, only certain settings are maintained during the upgrade:

  • You must reconfigure Fax Sharing.

  • Any settings on the Security tab in the Properties dialog box of Fax Service Manager revert to the default settings.

  • Fax user accounts (Fax Users and Fax Routing Assistants) are features in Windows Server 2008 R2, and they are not created when you upgrade. You must create them manually.

File Services

The Wbadmin command replaces the Ntbackup command that was released with previous versions of Windows. You cannot recover backups that you created with Ntbackup by using Wbadmin.

A version of Ntbackup is available as a download for users who want to recover backups that they created using Ntbackup. This version of Ntbackup enables you to perform recoveries of legacy backups only.

To download this version of Ntbackup, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=82917 For more information about Ntbackup, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974674.

Internet Authentication Service (IAS)

IAS is renamed to Network Policy Server (NPS) in Windows Server 2008 R2. For information about upgrading IAS to NPS, see the Network Policy Server Migration Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=156768).

Print Services

Use the Print Migration Wizard to back up and restore the print server configuration. An in-place upgrade will not preserve print server information, and can result in print configuration data loss if the data has not been properly backed up before installing the new operating system.

For more information, see Migrate Print Services

(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110939).

Remote access/VPN server

You can perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 64-bit edition only. The following settings are not migrated and must be configured manually after the in-place upgrade:

  • Network policies are not migrated. You must create new network policies by using the Network Policy Server (NPS) server role.

  • Static routes are not migrated. Note the routes before you upgrade, and then manually recreate the routes after the upgrade is complete.

  • Telephone number information associated with VPNH ports is not migrated. Note the telephone numbers and the associated VPN port before the upgrade, and then manually re-enter the telephone numbers for each VPN port after the migration is complete.

  • RAS trace settings are not migrated and must be manually reconfigured after the upgrade is complete.

Streaming Media Services

For more information, see the Windows Media Services 2008 Upgrade and Migration Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=188628).

Terminal Services

Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) can be migrated from Windows Server 2003 R2 servers to Windows Server 2008 R2 servers. However, migration of the Terminal Services server role itself cannot be migrated.

For more information, see the Remote Desktop Services Migration Guide http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=196697

UDDI Services

UDDI Services are no longer a server role in Windows Server 2008 R2, but are now part of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. For more information, including upgrade and migration steps, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd464641(VS.85).aspx.

Web Server

For more information, see:

Windows Deployment Services

For more information, see the Windows Deployment Role Step-by-Step Guide

(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84628).

WSUS

For more information, see Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Migration Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=156772).

The following resources are available:

 

Resources Description

Windows Server Catalog

(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=80785)

Provides a comprehensive list of software and hardware that has passed testing for Windows Server 2008 R2.To ensure your software is compatible, ensure it has received one of the following certifications:

  • Works with Windows Server 2008 R2 Software

  • Certified Windows Server 2008 R2 Software

  • Certified Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110948)

Assesses and conducts an inventory to help plan your migration. This includes hardware assessment, virtualization recommendations, and a software installation inventory for migration. We recommend using the MAP Tool as a reference tool rather than as a comprehensive source.

noteNote
The MAP tool finds only applications that are installed by using Programs and Features.

Application Compatibility Resources for IT Professionals and Developers (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/aa905066.aspx)

Technical guidance and information about free, downloadable test tools that help enterprise IT professionals, custom application developers and independent software vendors test third-party and custom in-house applications for compatibility with Windows Server 2008 R2.

Migration forum on TechNet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110954)

Community discussions regarding migrating to Windows Server.

Microsoft Customer Service and Support (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=992)

When you upgrade, Microsoft provides technical support for the operating system, Windows-delivered software, and Microsoft applications. Windows delivered software is defined as any software or software component, role, or function that ships with Windows Server or is delivered to Windows Server through Windows Update. This includes Microsoft utilities and applications.

The support provided is in accordance with your organization’s technical support agreement and Microsoft’s technical support policies. If you experience issues while upgrading, Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) will assist you in restoring your upgraded Windows Server 2003 environment to a supported state, even if non-Windows software may be contributing to the issue.

  • If a backup of the operating system is available, CSS will follow disaster recovery processes to assist you in restoring your server environment to a pre-upgrade status. There is no guarantee that any data can be recovered.

  • If a backup is unavailable, CSS will assist you in recovering to a supported state as quickly as possible. For example, CSS will assist in reinstalling Windows Server 2003.

During the recovery process, Microsoft will engage independent software vendors (ISVs), independent hardware vendors (IHVs), and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) at its discretion to assist in the effort to preserve application or operating system data.

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