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Learn about your upgrade options. Is it time to move to a newer version of Windows Server? Depending on what you’re running now, you have lots of options to get there. The simplest way to install Windows Server is to perform a clean installation, where you install on a blank server or overwrite an existing operating system.

That is the simplest way, but you will need to back up your data first and plan to reinstall your applications. There are a few things to be aware of, such as system requirements, so be sure to check the details for Windows Server , Windows Server , Windows Server R2 , and Windows Server If you want to keep the same hardware and all the server roles you have set up without flattening the server, you’ll want to do an In-place Upgrade , by which you go from an older operating system to a newer one, keeping your settings, server roles, and data intact.

However, not every older operating system has a pathway to every newer one. For step-by-step guidance on upgrading, review the Windows Server upgrade content. This feature allows you to avoid downtime which could impact Service Level Agreements.

This new feature is discussed in more detail at Cluster operating system rolling upgrade. Windows Server migration is when you move one role or feature at a time from a source computer that is running Windows Server to another destination computer that is running Windows Server, either the same or a newer version.

For these purposes, migration is defined as moving one role or feature and its data to a different computer, not upgrading the feature on the same computer. In some operating system releases, you can convert a particular edition of the release to another edition of the same release in a single step with a simple command and the appropriate license key. This is called license conversion. For example, if your server is running Windows Server Standard, you can convert it to Windows Server Datacenter.

Keep in mind that while you can move up from Server Standard to Server Datacenter, you are unable to reverse the process and go from Datacenter to Standard.

In some releases of Windows Server, you can also freely convert among OEM, volume-licensed, and retail versions with the same command and the appropriate key. Feedback will be sent to Microsoft: By pressing the submit button, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services.

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If you want to keep the same hardware and all the server roles you’ve already set up without flattening the server, you’ll want to do an in-place upgrade. An in-place upgrade allows you to go from an older operating system to a newer one, while keeping your settings, server roles, and data intact. Before you start your Windows Server upgrade, we recommend that you collect some information from your devices, for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes.

Because this information is intended for use only if your upgrade fails, you must make sure that you store the information somewhere that you can get to it off of your device. After you’ve collected all of your Windows Server-related information, we highly recommend that you backup your operating system, apps, and virtual machines. You must also Shut down , Quick migrate , or Live migrate any virtual machines currently running on the server. You can’t have any virtual machines running during the in-place upgrade.

For internet-connected devices, select the Download updates, drivers and optional features recommended option, and then select Next. Setup checks your device configuration, you must wait for it to finish, and then select Next. Select the Windows Server edition you want to install, and then select Next. Select Keep personal files and apps to choose to do an in-place upgrade, and then select Next.

After Setup analyzes your device, it will prompt you to proceed with your upgrade by selecting Install. The in-place upgrade starts, showing you the Upgrading Windows screen with its progress. After the upgrade finishes, your server will restart. After your upgrade completes, you must make sure the upgrade to Windows Server was successful.

Make sure all of your applications are running and that your client connections to the applications are successful. Feedback will be sent to Microsoft: By pressing the submit button, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services. Privacy policy. Skip to main content.

Contents Exit focus mode. Before you begin your in-place upgrade Before you start your Windows Server upgrade, we recommend that you collect some information from your devices, for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes. Copy, paste, and store the resulting system information somewhere off of your device. Locate the Windows Server Setup media, and then select setup.

Select Yes to start the setup process. This feature isn’t compatible with Windows Server After your upgrade is done After your upgrade completes, you must make sure the upgrade to Windows Server was successful.

Related articles For more details and information about Windows Server , see Get started with Windows Server Is this page helpful? Yes No. Any additional feedback? Skip Submit. Submit and view feedback for This product This page. View all page feedback.

 
 

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The steps to access this installation media are provided below. You are upgrading a VM instance that is based on an imported disk or image: In this scenario, you cannot use the installation media provided by Google. Instead, you have to use an installation media that matches the type of media that you used to install Windows Server on the imported disk or image.

Before you begin your upgrade, review the Microsoft documentation about prerequisites and potential limitations for the version of Windows Server you are planning to upgrade to:. Verify that your VM instance meets the system requirements for Windows Server and has sufficient free disk space. Review recommendations for upgrading server roles , known issues , and the upgrade process for Windows Server R2.

Review the recommendations for planning an in-place upgrade. Verify that you aren’t affected by features removed or deprecated in Windows Server R2. Verify that any of your custom or third-party software is compatible with Windows Server R2. Review the server role upgrade and migration matrix for Windows Server and application compatibility table. Verify that you aren’t affected by features removed or planned for replacement in Windows Server Review the Windows Server and Microsoft Server application compatibility list.

Before you start the upgrade, we recommend that you create a snapshot of your VM instance , so that you can revert to a safe state in case anything goes wrong:. Create a regular snapshot for the boot disk of your VM instance. Verify that Windows Server is up to date by using Windows Update.

Disable or uninstall antivirus, antispyware, and other agents that can interfere with the upgrade or are incompatible with the Windows Server version that you’re upgrading to.

Before you can perform the upgrade, attach the necessary installation media to the VM instance. The right media to use depends on your scenario:. You are upgrading a VM instance that is based on an imported disk or image: In this scenario, you also need to attach the volume license installation media provided by Google so that you can access the necessary scripts.

Additionally, you have to attach a custom installation media that matches the type of media that you used to install Windows Server on the imported disk or image.

Go to the Google Cloud console. Set the default project ID. Create a disk based on the installation media. This command adds a disk named win-installers to your project. This disk is not attached to any VM instance. Attach the disk to your VM instance by using read-only ro mode, so that you can attach the disk to multiple VM instances if necessary:. If you are upgrading a VM instance that is based on an imported disk or image, attach the custom installation media as an additional disk:.

Follow the steps in Creating an image from an ISO file to create a disk from the ISO image that you want to use as custom installation media. Attach the disk to your VM instance, by using read-only ro mode so that you can attach the disk to multiple VM instances if necessary:. By default, Windows Setup prompts you for input at various points during an upgrade.

Because you can’t connect to the VM instance by using RDP during the upgrade and therefore can’t provide any input, run the upgrade in unattended mode. For more information, see Connecting to instances. Change the working directory to the installation media. The correct working directory depends on the Windows Server version that you are upgrading to:.

Start the Windows upgrade. The required steps to start the upgrade depend on the Windows Server version that you are upgrading to and whether your VM instance is based on a public operating system image or on an imported disk or image:. Run upgrade. The script completes the following steps:. In some cases, Windows Setup might show a Select Image screen. If you see this screen, select the configuration that matches your current configuration:.

If you currently use Windows Server with full desktop experience, select Datacenter Desktop Experience. Depending on the machine type of your VM instance and your Windows Server configuration, the upgrade might take between 10 and 60 minutes to complete. During that time, you can observe the status through the serial port output :. Wait until the machine has rebooted four times.

Depending on the configuration of your VM instance, it might take 30 minutes or more for these reboots to occur. You can recognize a reboot by output that looks similar to this:.

After the fourth reboot, wait until the output GCEMetadataScripts: Finished running startup scripts or No startup scripts to run appears.

You can now connect to the VM instance to verify that the upgrade has been successfully completed. Restart the VM instance to ensure all changes take effect. It might take 1 to 2 minutes for the reboot to complete before you can connect to the VM instance again. Connect to the machine by using an RDP client.

Use Windows Update to install the latest Windows updates. You might have to restart the VM instance multiple times during this process. If you suspect that the upgrade failed or is not progressing, use the following approaches, in order, to diagnose the situation:.

To check the progress of the upgrade process, view the serial port output of the VM instance:. During the upgrade, you should observe four reboots. If you don’t observe any progress for more than 30 minutes after the first reboot, it is likely that the upgrade failed.

Go to VM instances. Using the EMS console, check the Windows Setup log files and the event log for indications that the upgrade is still progressing or for information about any errors that might have occurred. When prompted for credentials, enter the username and password of an administrative user account.

Use the remote PowerShell session to check the Windows Setup log files and the event log. If you can’t connect to the instance by using Windows Remote Management WinRM , you can cancel the upgrade and analyze the log files from a different VM instance. To do this, follow these steps:. Stop the VM instance. Detach the boot disk from the instance. Create a new, temporary Windows Server instance, and attach the boot disk of the original instance as an additional disk. Use the temporary Windows Server instance to analyze the setup log and event log files of the instance that you were trying to upgrade.

After you have completed the analysis, detach the disk from the temporary instance and reattach it as a boot disk to the original VM instance. For information about troubleshooting your Windows Server instances, see Tips and troubleshooting for Windows instances. To avoid incurring further costs after you have completed this process, delete the installation disk.

You can create an installation disk based on the Google-provided image at any time. If you don’t plan to upgrade more VM instances in the same zone, delete the installation disk:.

In Cloud Shell, delete the win-installers disk that you created earlier:. Learn how to bring existing licenses to Compute Engine. Learn how to connect to Windows instances. Learn about sole-tenant nodes on Compute Engine. Work through more Windows tutorials.

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Google-quality search and product recommendations for retailers. Speed up the pace of innovation without coding, using APIs, apps, and automation. Accept the terms, then you can choose whether to keep personal files and apps. Click Next to continue. This indicates that you are trying to upgrade to a different product line – such as Datacenter to Standard. Wait for a while and click Install to start upgrading.

After finishing, your PC will automatically restart. As mentioned earlier, in-place upgrade is a convenient but not always reliable upgrade method, so if you want to avoid all possible upgrade failures as much as possible, then a fresh install may be better for you. Here’s how to clean installing Windows Server step-by-step.

Select the version of Windows Server you want to install and click Next. Then, accept the license terms and select Custom: Install Windows only advanced to perform a fresh install. If everything runs well, you can then choose what to restore to the Windows Server system from the previous backup image. It also has some conspicuous limitations such as the 2 TB limit for backup, the numbers of backups it could keep, the lack of individual file backup feature, etc.

It has different editions, and the Server edition is specially designed for Windows Server. For instance, you can create scheduled incremental or different backup , set up retention policy to auto delete older backup, restore system image to different hardware, etc.

And the operation is much simpler than WSB. Moreover, it contains Sync features to copy your data with original format and structure, Clone features to duplicate hard drive and therefore migrate Windows Server to SSD. Have a try and find more practical tools.

Click Backup on the left pane and choose a backup type. An in-place upgrade allows you to go from an older operating system to a newer one while keeping your settings, server roles, and data intact. This article will teach you how to move to a later version of Windows Server using an in-place upgrade.

We recommend that you collect some information from your devices for diagnostic and troubleshooting purposes in case the upgrade is unsuccessful. We also recommend you store the information somewhere you can get to even if you can’t access your device.

Open an elevated PowerShell prompt, make a note of your current directory, and run the following commands. Using File Explorer , navigate to the directory you noted down, and copy the files to a USB flash drive or network location off of your computer. Get-ComputerInfo requires PowerShell 5.

If your Windows Server version doesn’t include Powershell you can find this information in the registry. After you’ve collected all of your Windows Server-related information, we recommend that you backup your server operating system, apps, and virtual machines.

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