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Microsoft Recommendation on Upgrade Path from 2012R2 to 2022?

New Contributor

Hello,

 

Doing some searches on the web, it's not clear if there is an upgrade path from 2012R2 to 2022 Windows Server. From the link, I was wondering if there is an upgraded diagram, or if Microsoft has a recommendation on the path forward for this route? Is this upgrade not supported, and we should opt to then do a clean install?

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/upgrade/upgrade-overview

 

Thank you

9 Replies
It is possible to upgrade from Windows 2012r2 to 2022, nice article about it here https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2021/06/in-place-upgrade-windows-server-2008-r2-to-windows-serve... It's about 2008 R2 to 2012r2 and then to 2022 in one jump
The official support aside, I've done this upgrade path twice with a 50% success rate. The first, was a quick test with an relatively unused VM, and the upgrade went well. The second, on a server that I didn't have physical access to, never came back onto the network, and a reboot didn't help. As the server was already slated to be repurposed, unfortunately I never got the chance to see what went wrong before someone clean installed it.
Avoid in-place upgrade whenever you can, as it is very unreliable, and prone to keep non-desired settings. Even if it works, you may encounter later multiple bugs and issues, potentially difficult to troubleshoot and fix.
This is even more true when you try to fill a 10+ years gap.
Do yourself a favor and plan a side-by-side migration with a fresh install of Windows Server 2022.
Is this enough information for you?

@Harm_Veenstra I appreciate the responses. My concern is that is there a official recommendation from Microsoft? Does Microsoft 'standby' that this upgrade path should work, or what I'm reading from other responses is that, it's better to do a clean install, or perform both routes just in case...

 

Thank you

best response confirmed by Zach_B635 (New Contributor)
Solution
Did a in-place upgrade from 2012 R2 to 2019 just last week for two servers, no issues.. It just depends on the installed software/drivers/anti-virus etc if it will work. But nobody thinks twice about upgrading Windows 7 tot 8 to 8.1 to 10 to 11 ;) Upgrading does work and having issues in the future because of it is something of the past in my experience. If you can migrate to a new server without a lot of work.. Please do so, but it is still an option (But keep your backup and snapshots close)
We'll keep these options in mind. Thanks for all the helpful replies here!

Actually migrating to Windows 11 needs much planning and considerations due to heavy changes to the underlying hardware security stack (TPM 2.0, UEFI, Secure Boot, VBS etc.).
Same is true for Windows Server 2022.
Just because it "works" doesn't mean it is properly configured, secured and optimized.

You certainly doesn't want your brand new Windows Server 2022 relying BIOS/MBR model by example.

To sum it up : imho, in-place upgrade is a quick-and-dirty way of migrating something.
It trades reduced initial migration costs for increased operational risks.
It's up to you to select it or not as the preferred migration method.