Convert Windows Server 2012 R2 Edition with AD Role from Eval to Full Version

Windows Server 2012 R2 allows Edition conversion using DISM and the conversion to higher edition is not reversible. If you use Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation, you can convert to full version (VL or Retail or OEM).

Now the question is

Can we convert Windows Server 2012 R2 Edition with AD Role from Evaluation to Full Version?

The short answer is YES

In TechNet: Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft mentions that Windows Server 2012 Edition with Active Directory Role installed cannot be from Evaluation Edition.

ConvertWS2012R2_ADDS_Edition_0004

If you try to convert Windows Server 2012 Edition with AD Role Installed from Evaluation to Full Version, DISM command will raise Error 50: Changing this windows edition is not supported online for a domain controller.

ConvertWS2012_ADDS_Edition_0002

In TechNet: Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft does not mention Windows Server 2012 R2 Edition with Active Directory Role installed cannot be converted from Evaluation edition.

My lab test shows that Windows Server 2012 R2 Edition with Active Directory Role installed can be converted successfully from Evaluation edition.

Lab Steps:

S1-1. Install Windows Server 2012 R2 with Active Directory Role Installed and Setup

S1-2. Logon Windows and run Windows PowerShell Console

S1-3. Execute the following command to check:

  • To Check Windows Current Edition
    • DISM /Online /Get-CurrentEdition

  • To get Domain Info Detail
    • Get-ADDomain

  • To get Windows Feature Installed
    • Get-WindowsFeature -Name AD*,DHCP*,DNS*

ConvertWS2012R2_ADDS_Edition_0001

S1-4. Execute DISM command to convert Windows Edition (Set-Edition: ServerStandard / ServerDataCenter) and reboot

In this lab test, Windows Edition is converted from Evaluation to DataCenter.

For ProductKey, you can use default KMS Key or Retail Key.

dism /Online /Set-Edition:ServerDataCenter /ProductKey:W3GGN-FT8W3-Y4M27-J84CP-Q3VJ9 /AcceptEula

ConvertWS2012R2_ADDS_Edition_0002

S1-5. Once Reboot, logon windows and run Windows PowerShell Console

S1-6. Execute the following command to check

  • To Check Windows Current Edition (Windows Edition should show ServerDatacenter)
    • DISM /Online /Get-CurrentEdition

  • To get Domain Info Detail
    • Get-ADDomain

ConvertWS2012R2_ADDS_Edition_0003

Conclusions

Windows Server 2012 R2 Edition with Active Directory Role installed can be converted from Evaluation to Full Version. However, Microsoft does not mention this is supported and I advise System Administrator to check with Microsoft before attempting to use this approach in Production.

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