Our mission is to undertake an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2008 to R2.
Topics Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2
- Install Phase One
- Install Phase Two
- Three tasks in the ICT manager
- Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Installation
Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2
In a nutshell it was easy. One day Gung-ho Guy will come unstuck, but not on this job. I say upgrading to R2 was easy because I followed my usual path of ignoring all instructions, just clicking on setup and following my nose, and it worked. I have done this for every Microsoft operating system since Windows 2. Say what you will about Microsoft, their installs are the best of any software that I have ever seen. If it worked for me, then it will be even smoother for an organized person who reads the release notes, checks the pre-requisites.
One thing to note about Microsoft installs, the past never equals the future, each operating system setup has its idiosyncrasies, menus that I have never seen before.
What get’s me through is a belief that this setup will work. So if it stalls, then you do have to go back and read and re-read the menu to see what it wants you to do. I confess to sometimes doing silly things just to see if the install can cope. This time I tried to print out the product key while install was collecting data. This was particularly stupid as:
A) You don’t need the product key until AFTER the upgrade.
B) Printing seemed to upset the install. Intelligently, it asked for a reboot then carried on without trouble.
With Windows Server installs you always get options, such as do you want Core (headless server) or Web server. Ah yes, it has to be on 64-bit hardware, phew I was OK. These day’s always take the time for install to see if it has any updates, presumably late breaking corrections in the light of customer feedback.
I saw install reboot automatically at least once, but then I left it to get on with install, it did not need me to do anything at all. I had stuff in the startup folder, no worries, it handled that easily. I also had AutoAdminLogon set to 1, so I don’t know if install would normally require a physical name / password logon.
In passing I noticed it stuck on 18% Expanded for about half an hour, but eventually it finished that aspect and proceeded.
I cannot say how relieved I was to see the install transfer 97% of my old settings. This saved me hours of work, and of course all the apps like Word for Windows were there and did not need re-installing. I almost forgot, all the old server services such as DNS were there just as I left them in W2K8.
The only two imperfections that I could vaguely blame Microsoft for were I had to a new version of IE8, even though the old Server 2008 had IE8. Also I had to find PowerShell in the ‘Turn on Windows features’ (Control Panel), it was expecting a bit much for it to detect the CTP version of PowerShell and upgrade that.
The IE8 for W2K8 R2 (Windows 7) opens up a whole can of worms, add-ons flash, silverlight. Could not find a Adobe Flash add-on.
SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
Perhaps the NPM’s best feature is the way it suggests solutions to network problems. Its second best feature is the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you give this Network Performance Monitor a try.
Other Minor Irritations
In-place upgrades have different challenges from fresh installations. One plus is all the apps and hardware are there, at least 80% will give no trouble and work just as before. With the other 20%, how can put this, at least you know they are there, you can remember where to find them on your system, its just you have a challenge finding a driver, or re-installing them. What I am trying to say is that with a fresh installation, you get hassle when you want a program but you have forgotten where you filed the DVD, or you have lost the product key.
I had to Enable the Sound, which I did in the Control Panel, Hardware, Sound.
I then had to Disable Windows sounds! I like music, but I don’t like my speaker squawking when I click in Explorer, I tweaked this setting via Change system sounds, and adjusted ‘No sounds modified’ to plain: ‘No sounds’.
Like many other Windows 7 / W2K8 R2 aficionados, my web camera gave up the ghost after the upgrade. I phoned Logitech, they took all my details, made me read-out product codes on the camera’s lead, but could not find me a driver. In a fit of pique I then punched these same numbers into Logitech’s download section, and low-and-behold, there was a recommended driver of about 50 MB, even more impressively, it worked my web camera burst into life. A classic case where a germ of an idea leads to a solution, I would never have written down those numbers left to my own devices.
Skype needed re-installing, I guess if I had done any sort of compatibility check, then I would have found this out ahead of the Windows Server 2008 R2 upgrade. (You WILL have the same problem, but with different program.)
Taskbar is new. Very much in the style of Windows 7. The downside is no shortcuts are no longer allowed in this area. You have to create a new toolbar with Quick Launch attributes to get that feature back.
Your upgrade is bound to have similar wrinkles. So my bet is your upgrade will provide you a good working platform with all your old important Windows Server 2008 stuff just as before, however, I guarantee there will be minor glitches with peripheral hardware, or moody software may not work. Your salvation is a little research on the software site, or from the superuser forum.
The strange case of the silent Microsoft Product Key. Did I miss it? Did I dismiss it? Anyway I found in the usual place, Control Panel System and Internet, System (Again), bottom of the screen click on: ‘Change product key’, naturally you need a genuine 24 digit number.
Features – Hybrid Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.
Windows Desktop Experience
What’s in the Desktop Experience Feature? The Desktop Experience feature includes the following Windows Vista components and features: Windows Calendar Windows Mail Windows Media Player Windows Aero and other desktop themes Video for Windows (AVI support) Windows Photo Gallery Windows SideShow Windows Defender Disk Cleanup Sync Center Sound Recorder Character Map
Minimum Recommend Optimal
Processor: 1 Ghz 2 Ghz 3 Ghz
RAM Mem: 512 Gb 2 Gb Depends on the edition
Disk Space: 8 Gb 40 Gb 80 Gb
Also common sense actions, disable UPS, remove any anti-virus software, realize once get the GUI, the firewall is active by default.
- Disconnect the UPS
- Run the Windows memory diagnostic tool
- Get updated mass storage drivers
- In Phase Two – disable the firewall to connect to other servers
- Disable Virus Protection (If you are upgrading)
- If all else fails, check ‘Help and Support’ on the first menu of the Windows Server 2008 setup.
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