Upgrading Server 2012 R2 Foundation Edition to Server 2016 anything

Copper Contributor

When we upgraded our servers from Server 2008 to 2012, I added 2 new branch servers and chose the Foundation Edition because if offered everything we needed at those locations. Now it's time to move to Server 2016 and there's no longer a Foundation Edition! Do I need to upgrade my 2012 servers to Essentials first, and then move to 2016, or is there another way? I'd also appreciate any pointers on 2012-to-2016 in-place upgrades. Buying a whole new set of servers is NOT an option.

2 Replies

Sorry but there is no in-place upgrade path period from 2012 foundation.


 "Upgrade of Windows Server 2012 Foundation is not supported."


Since you have two and assuming the hardware is supported for server 2016 (check here and with manufacturer to confirm)



You could move the fsmo roles to other server then rebuild them one at a time.

I'd check that the domain functional level is 2003 or greater. I'd use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting. Then stand up the new 2016, patch it fully, license it, join existing domain, add active directory domain services, promote it also making it a GC (recommended), transfer FSMO roles over (optional), transfer pdc emulator role (optional), use dcdiag / repadmin tools to again verify health, when all is good you can decommission / demote old one, and move to next one.


Also at some point after I'd recommend migrating sysvol replication from older FRS technology to DFSR




@Dave Patrick 
sorry for resume a old post. But is it possibile change Windows 2012 r2 Foundation to Windows 2012 Standard?