In Place Upgrade Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2019: A Comprehensive Guide for Dev

Greetings, Dev! As a software developer, you must have come across various operating systems in your line of work. One of the most popular operating systems for servers is Windows Server, and its latest version is Windows Server 2019. If you are still using Windows Server 2012 R2 and want to upgrade to the latest version, this article will guide you through the entire process step-by-step.

Why Upgrade to Windows Server 2019?

Before we delve into the process of upgrading, let’s discuss why you should upgrade to Windows Server 2019 in the first place. The latest version of Windows Server comes with a host of new features and improvements that can benefit your organization in many ways.

Improved Security

Security is always a top priority for any organization, and Windows Server 2019 comes with advanced security features to protect your server from cyber threats. With features like Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Shielded Virtual Machines, and Host Guardian Service, you can safeguard your data against malicious attacks.

Better Performance and Scalability

Windows Server 2019 is faster and more efficient than its predecessors, with better performance and scalability. You can run more workloads on a single server without compromising on performance, thanks to features like Storage Spaces Direct and Cluster Sets.

Enhanced Hybrid Cloud Capabilities

With Windows Server 2019, you can seamlessly integrate your on-premise server with cloud services like Azure. The Hybrid Cloud capabilities of Windows Server 2019 allow you to leverage the benefits of both on-premise and cloud environments.

Preparing for the Upgrade

Before you start the upgrade process, you need to make sure that your server meets the hardware and software requirements for Windows Server 2019. Here are the minimum requirements:

Component
Minimum Requirement
CPU
1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
RAM
2 GB (4 GB recommended)
Hard Disk Space
32 GB or more
Network Adapter
1 Gigabit Ethernet adapter

You also need to make sure that your server is running the latest updates and patches for Windows Server 2012 R2. It is recommended to take a backup of your server before starting the upgrade process to avoid any data loss in case of failure.

The Upgrade Process

Now that you have prepared your server for the upgrade, you can start the upgrade process. There are two ways to upgrade to Windows Server 2019: using the Installation Wizard or using the command line interface (CLI). We will discuss both methods in detail below.

Upgrade Using the Installation Wizard

The Installation Wizard is a graphical user interface (GUI) that guides you through the upgrade process step-by-step. Here’s how to use the Installation Wizard:

Step 1: Mount the Windows Server 2019 ISO

You need to mount the ISO file of Windows Server 2019 on your server. If you have a physical server, you can burn the ISO to a DVD and insert it into the server’s DVD-ROM drive. If you have a virtual machine, you can mount the ISO as a virtual DVD drive.

Step 2: Run the Setup.exe File

Once the ISO is mounted, navigate to the DVD drive (usually D:\) and run the Setup.exe file. This will launch the Installation Wizard.

Step 3: Select the Upgrade Option

In the Installation Wizard, select the Upgrade option and click Next. The wizard will check your server for compatibility and readiness for the upgrade.

Step 4: Enter the Product Key

Enter the product key for Windows Server 2019 and click Next.

Step 5: Accept the License Agreement

Read the license agreement and accept it by clicking the checkbox. Click Next.

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Step 6: Choose the Installation Type

Choose the Server with Desktop Experience option for a full installation of Windows Server 2019 with a graphical user interface (GUI). Choose the Server Core option for a minimal installation without a GUI. Click Next.

Step 7: Select the Partition to Upgrade

Select the partition where Windows Server 2012 R2 is installed and click Next. The wizard will check for available disk space and warn you if there is not enough space for the upgrade.

Step 8: Wait for the Upgrade to Complete

The Installation Wizard will now start the upgrade process. This may take several hours, depending on your hardware and the amount of data on your server. Once the upgrade is complete, you will be prompted to restart your server.

Upgrade Using the Command Line Interface (CLI)

The CLI is a text-based interface that allows you to perform tasks using commands. Here’s how to upgrade using the CLI:

Step 1: Open an Elevated Command Prompt

Open an elevated Command Prompt by right-clicking on the Windows icon and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2: Navigate to the Windows Server 2019 ISO

Navigate to the directory where you have saved the Windows Server 2019 ISO file using the cd command.

Step 3: Run the Setup.exe File with Command Line Parameters

Run the Setup.exe file with the /auto upgrade /quiet /norestart command line parameters. This will start the upgrade process silently without any user intervention.

Step 4: Wait for the Upgrade to Complete

The CLI will now start the upgrade process. This may take several hours, depending on your hardware and the amount of data on your server. Once the upgrade is complete, your server will automatically restart.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Will my applications and data be preserved after the upgrade?

Yes, your applications and data will be preserved after the upgrade. However, it is always recommended to take a backup of your server before upgrading to avoid any data loss.

2. Do I need to uninstall any software before upgrading?

It is recommended to uninstall any antivirus software before upgrading to avoid any compatibility issues. You should also remove any third-party drivers that are not compatible with Windows Server 2019.

3. How long will the upgrade process take?

The upgrade process may take several hours, depending on your hardware and the amount of data on your server.

4. Can I upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2019 directly?

No, you cannot upgrade directly from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2019. You need to upgrade to Windows Server 2016 first, and then to Windows Server 2019.

5. Are there any post-upgrade tasks that I need to perform?

After the upgrade, you should install the latest updates and patches for Windows Server 2019. You should also check for any driver updates and install them if necessary. It is recommended to run a system check to ensure that everything is working properly.

Conclusion

Upgrading from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019 may seem daunting, but it is a necessary step to take advantage of the latest features and improvements. With this guide, you can easily upgrade your server to Windows Server 2019 using either the Installation Wizard or the CLI. Remember to prepare your server thoroughly, take a backup, and follow the instructions carefully to ensure a smooth upgrade process. If you have any questions or issues during the upgrade process, consult the Microsoft documentation or seek professional help.