Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 Additional Domain Controller Upgrade Help

Copper Contributor

Hi All,


I'm having confusion about upgrading our company domain controller. I've researched from the internet everything I could gather even read all the docs from Microsoft about the guides/overviews about the upgrade on the said OS. still, I'm not 100% sure if all the research I gather will help me through the process/steps to upgrade the server from the latest/available new version. 

Our company has 4 domain controllers, 3 of them are the additional/backup DC. I'm trying to install to 1 of the additional DC. is it possible to upgrade if that additional is on a virtual machine? I'm new to virtualization and I don't know if either I will upgrade our primary DC or the additional DC. just because the additionals are still running windows 2008 R2 Standard, I somehow want to upgrade one by one of them if I get successfully upgrade from 1 of the additional. the primary is now running 2012 R2.  



7 Replies

Hi @spacegabx 


It is possible to do an in-place upgrade for a virtual machine.


best response confirmed by spacegabx (Copper Contributor)

Do not in-place upgrade them. The much simpler / clean method is to use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting. Then stand up the new guest, 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.


If 2019 were the target OS, then the two prerequisites to introducing the first 2019 domain controller are that domain functional level needs to be 2008 or higher and older sysvol FRS replication needs to have been migrated to DFSR




Hello Dave.

I also want this kind of method of migrating path because it is convenient. but honestly, I don't know how to setup. like running the new guest on our server. I have some ideas in my mind on how to deploy the new guest on the server and somehow join in the domain. but firstly, will I need to go to our console or physical server to deploy there the new guest?
Hello Dave,

I already found out that our domain controller is installed in ESXi. I logged in using vSphere Client. can I tell that using this will be my test environment?


Yes, you absolutely could setup an isolated test environment on VMWare



Thank you so much, Dave, for your help!