How to upgrade Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 to Windows Server 2003 R2

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Article ID: 912309 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article discusses how to upgrade Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) to Windows Server 2003 R2. This article does not discuss how to upgrade earlier versions of the Windows operating system to Windows Server 2003 R2. This article assumes that Windows Server 2003 SP1 is already installed. This article does not cover scenarios where Windows Server 2003 SP1 is not installed. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
810613 Supported paths for upgrading to Windows Server 2003 or to Windows Small Business Server 2003
Note Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Service Pack 1 is not upgradeable to Windows Server 2003 R2.

MORE INFORMATION

Windows Server 2003 R2 is unavailable as a stand-alone update for existing Windows Server 2003 installations that are not running SP1.

The following items are required to upgrade to Windows Server 2003 R2:
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 product key
Additionally, you must have the following information about the existing Windows Server 2003 installation:
  • Stock-keeping unit (Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter)
  • Platform (x86 or x64)
  • Language version
  • Installed channel type
  • Channel type for the product key

Windows Server 2003 R2 CDs

Windows Server 2003 R2 comes on two CDs. Windows Server 2003 R2 CD1 is almost identical to a CD that contains a slip-streamed version of Windows Server 2003 with SP1. Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 contains the Windows Server 2003 R2 files. CD2 is not media-specific. However, CD2 is stock-keeping unit (SKU)-specific, platform-specific, and language-specific. For example, only Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition CD2 can be applied to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. Microsoft ships both the x86-based version and the x64-based version of Windows Server 2003 R2 on CD2. Typically, only Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 is required to update from Windows Server 2003 with SP1.

Windows Server 2003 R2 channels, SKUs, and product keys

Windows Server 2003 R2 media is released by using the following channels:
  • Retail
  • MSDN
  • Evaluation
  • OEM
  • Volume license
Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 is not locked to any one channel. For example, a retail channel version of Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 is identical to an evaluation channel version of Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2. If you have the Windows Server 2003 R2 retail product key, you can use the Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 that is included with an evaluation version of Windows Server 2003 R2 to upgrade a retail installation.

The following table shows supported channel upgrades for Windows Server 2003 R2.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Retail R2MSDN R2Evaluation R2OEM R2Volume license R2
RetailYesYesYesNoYes
MSDNYesYesYesNoYes
EvaluationYesYesYesNoYes
OEMYesYesYesYesYes
Volume licenseYesYesYesNoYes
Notes
  • The column headings list the Windows Server 2003 R2 channels to which you can upgrade.
  • The first column lists the channels from which you can upgrade.
The product keys that are used during installation are unique for each channel and cannot be interchanged with another channel. For example, you cannot use a volume license product key with media from the OEM channel. You cannot use an evaluation product key with media from the retail channel. If you use the wrong product key for the channel that was used to install Windows Server 2003 R2, you receive the following error message:
The product key you entered is not valid. Please type a valid product key.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
889713 How to determine the channel that your copy of Windows Server 2003 was obtained through

Media for Windows Server 2003 R2 is released by using various SKUs, such as Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition, Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, and Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition. Product keys are unique for each SKU. Only a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition product key works with Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition media. If you use the wrong product key for the SKU that you have installed, you receive the following error message:
Setup cannot continue because the operating system edition is different from the setup edition.
The following table shows supported SKU upgrades for Windows Server 2003 R2.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Standard R2Enterprise R2Datacenter R2
StandardYesYesNo
EnterpriseNoYesNo
DatacenterNoNoYes
Notes
  • The column headings list the SKU versions to which you upgrade.
  • The first column lists the SKU versions from which you upgrade.
  • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is not supported for SKU upgrades.
When you run the Windows Server 2003 R2 Setup program from CD2 on an existing installation of Windows Server 2003, Setup prompts you for a product key. However, Setup does not prompt you for a product key if one of the following conditions is true:
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 was installed by using a Windows Server 2003 R2 product key.
  • The product key was changed to a Windows Server 2003 R2 product key before you inserted Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2.
You have to enter Windows Server 2003 R2-specific product keys only one time. If the product keys are entered during a full product installation, you do not have to reenter the product keys when you insert Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2.

The Windows files that are used to validate the product key are from the installed Windows operating system. These files are not present on Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2.

Windows Server 2003 R2 platforms

To upgrade from Windows Server 2003 with SP1 to Windows Server 2003 R2, platforms must be identical as follows:
  • An x86-based version of Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 only updates 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003. (x86-based versions are 32-bit versions of Windows.)
  • An x64-based version of Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 only updates 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 that are based on the EM64T architecture or on the AMD64 architecture.
Note There is no Itanium-based version of Windows Server 2003 R2. Therefore, there is no upgrade to Windows Server 2003 R2 from an Itanium-based version of Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 R2 language versions

The installed language versions must be identical. For example, you can only upgrade a German language installation of Windows Server 2003 with SP1 by using a German language version of Windows Server 2003 R2. You cannot upgrade an installed German language version of Windows Server 2003 by using a French version or any other language version.

Upgrade options

Warning Take standard failure recovery precautions before you try to upgrade Windows. For example, we recommend that you back up a server before you try to upgrade it. We also recommend that you have one or more additional domain controllers online and that you remove Active Directory from the domain controller before you try to upgrade the operating system.

To upgrade a Windows Server 2003 SP1 installation to Windows Server 2003 R2, use one of the following three options. We recommend option 1 because it is easiest to implement. However, you must use option 2 or option 3 if the channel, the SKU, or the product key does not match the existing Windows Server 2003 installation. Option 1 is available only when all these items match. If the language version does not match, you cannot upgrade. In this case, you must perform a clean installation.

Option 1: Use Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 and a Windows Server 2003 R2 product key

  1. Verify that Windows Server 2003 SP1 is installed on the computer.
  2. Insert Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 in the disk drive. CD2 must be the same SKU as what is currently installed. The Windows Server 2003 R2 product key must match the channel that is currently installed. If these items do not match the current installation, use options 2 or 3.
  3. The Autorun.inf file starts. When you are prompted, enter the Windows Server 2003 R2 product key.

Option 2: Run the Setup program from Windows Server 2003 R2 CD1, and then upgrade by using Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2

  1. Verify that Windows Server 2003 SP1 is installed on the computer.
  2. Insert Windows Server 2003 R2 CD1 in the disk drive. The Autorun.inf file starts the Setup program. If the Setup program does not start, click the Setup.exe file at the root of the CD, or run the Winnt32.exe program.
  3. Select the upgrade option.
  4. Accept Microsoft Software License Terms.
  5. Enter a Windows Server 2003 R2 product key.
  6. Reapply all post-Windows Server 2003 SP1 security updates and hotfixes.
  7. Insert Windows Server 2003 R2 CD2 in the disk drive. The Autorun.inf file starts the upgrade program.
  8. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
  9. Reapply any third-party drivers that replaced Windows Server 2003 drivers.

Option 3: Use Windows Server 2003 R2 CD1 to repair the existing installation

If option 1 and option 2 are unavailable, you must use option 3 to upgrade. For example, OEM channel media does not allow for an upgrade. Therefore, if you have OEM media and an OEM Windows Server 2003 R2 key and you try to upgrade from any other channel type, you can only use option 3.

Note When you repair an installation, start from a CD, and then let the Setup program detect the currently installed Windows version. When Setup prompts you to repair, accept that option. The repair option updates the installed operating system. For certain channel types that have limited upgrade capabilities, you can update the installed media by using media that was obtained from a different channel.

Use the procedure that is described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to repair the existing installation:
816579 How to perform an in-place upgrade of Windows Server 2003
After you repair the installed operating system, you must install all post-Windows Server 2003 SP1 hotfixes and security updates. Third-party drivers that replaced drivers that were in-box drivers must be reinstalled.

Properties

Article ID: 912309 - Last Review: August 25, 2008 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (32-Bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition (32-Bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB912309

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