Migrate Windows Server 2008/R2 Active Directory to Windows Server 2012/R2 Active Directory

Forest Functional Prerequisites

  1. Check to ensure the Domain Functional Level is currently setup to at least Windows 2003 mode.
  2. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers console, select the domain via the right mouse button on it.
  3. Select Raise Domain Functional Level and review the Current domain functional level reported minimum Windows Server 2003.

RBAC Requirement

Your account must be a member of Domain Admins, Schema Admins and Enterprise Admin.

Systems Requirement

Processor 1vCPU
Free disk space requirements 32 GB
Screen resolution 800 x 600 or higher
Network 1 Ethernet

Prepare Windows Machine

  1. Download Windows Server 2012 R2.
  2. Build Windows Server 2012 R2
  3. Join the Server to Domain with a static IP

Prepare Forest and Domain

  1. Mount Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controller.
  2. Log on to Windows 2008 R2 Domain as an administrator.
  3. Open command prompt as an administrator, and type adprep /forestprep and press enter.
  4. Open command prompt as an administrator, and type adprep /domainprep and press enter.

Install AD DS Role

  1. Open the Server Manager console and click on Add roles and features
  2. Select Role-based of featured-based installation and select Next.
  3. Select the Active Directory Domain Services role.
  4. Accept the default features required by clicking the Add Features button.
  5. On the Features screen click the Next button.
  6. On the Confirm installation selections screen click the Install button. Check off the Restart the destination server automatically if required
  7. Click the Close button once the installation has been completed.
  8. Once completed, notification is made available on the dashboard highlighted by an exclamation mark. Select it and amidst the drop down menu select Promote this server to a domain controller.
  9. Select add a Domain Controller into existing domain
  10. Ensure the target domain is specified.  If it is not, please either Select the proper domain or enter the proper domain in the field provided.
  11. Click Change, provide the required Enterprise Administrator credentials and click the Next button.
  12. Define if server should be a Domain Name System DNS server and Global Catalog (GC). Select the Site to which this DC belongs to and define Directory Services Restoration Mode (DSRM) password for this DC
  13. Click the Next button on the DNS options screen.
  14. Click the Next button once completed.
  15. Specify location for AD database and SYSVOL and Click the Next button.
  16. Next up is the Schema and Domain preparation.  Alternately, one could run ADPrep prior to commencing these steps, if ADPrep is not detected, it will automatically be completed on your behalf.
  17. Finally, the Review Options screen provides a summary of all of the selected options for server promotion. As an added bonus, when clicking View Script button you are provided with the PowerShell script to automate future installations. To click the Next button to continue.
  18. Should all the prerequisites pass, click the Install button to start the installation.
  19. After it completes the required tasks and the server restarts, the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller setup is completed.

Check New Domain Controller in AD Sites and Services

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers, expand <Your Domain> and click the Domain Controller OU to verify your server is listed.
  2. Open DNS Manager, right-click on <Your Domain>, select Properties and then click Name Servers Verify that your server is listed in Name Servers: lists.
  3. Open Active Directory Sites and Services; verify that your server is listed in Servers under Default-First-Site-Name.

Check New Domain Controller in DNS Manager

  1. Open DNS Manager in new Domain Controller
  2. Expand Forward Lookup Zone
  3. Select FQDN of domain> Double Click on Name Server (NS)>Properties>Check New Server in Name Server Tab.

Transfer FSMO Role

Now transfer all the FSMO roles from windows 2008 domain controller to windows 2012 R2 domain controller. Log on to windows 2008 domain controller as enterprise admin. Open command prompt type these command as follows:




connect to server WIN2012R2SERVERNAME


Transfer domain naming master

Transfer PDC

Transfer Schema Master

Transfer RID master

Transfer infrastructure master
Change DNS Properties of Servers and Workstation

On each server and workstation within the target domain require a NIC properties configuration update to point to the new Domain Controller. Open the DHCP management console, select Option no. 006 and under server scope options and add the IP address of your new Domain Controller as DNS server.

Removing the Windows 2008 R2 domain controller

  1. On the Windows 2008 R2 server click Start, Click Run, type dcpromo, then click
  2. After the Welcome to the Active Directory Installation Wizard page, be sure to leave the Delete the domain because this server is the last domain controller in the domain
  3. On the Administrator Password Page, enter your password and click Next.
  4. On the Summary page, click Next, wait for the process to end, then click
  5. On the Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, click
  6. On the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Restart Now to Restart the server.
  7. After the reboot is completed, delete the Windows Server 2008 R2 server from the domain to a workgroup and remove any unnecessary record from Active Directory Sites and Services.

Note: Wait for all schema object to be cleaned automatically. Do not rush to clean any schema object or DNS record in new Domain Controller.

About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
This entry was posted in Microsoft Active Directory and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s