Windows Server 2016 has been released, so it's time to update your Windows 2012 servers now to benefit from the features of the new release. If your active directory is configured on server 2012 R2 and you want to upgrade it to Windows Server 2016, then this tutorial is the right one for you.

Upgrade active directory Windows Server 2012 to Windows server 2016

Upgrading an active directory Windows Server 2012 to Windows server 2016 has following three major parts:

  • Installing the active directory domain services on Windows Server 2016.
  • Configuring the active directory domain services on Windows Server 2016.
  • Upgrading to Windows Server 2016 by transferring it five FSMO roles.

Installing Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016

Step 1: From the Server Manager Dashboard, click on Add Roles and Features.Add Roles and Features
Step 2: Before you continue, make sure you have a strong administrator password, a static IP is configured, and security updates are installed on your machine. Then click Next.

Check the prerequisites

Step 3: Choose Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next.

Step 4: Select the destination server on which you want to configure active directory from the server pool. In our case, it is the local server which is selected by default, so click Next.

Step 5: Choose Active Directory Domain Services from server roles page. Once you have chosen ADDS role, a window will appear showing you additional required features. Click Add Features.

Step 6: Click Next.

Step 7: Keep Group Policy Management as default selection and click Next.

Step 8: Read the important notes about Active Directory Domain Services and click Next.

Step 9: Review the installation and then click Install.

Step 10: When an installation completes, Click Promote this server to a domain controller.

Configuring Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016

Step 1: Choose: Add a domain controller to an existing domain. Provide a domain name and click Select. A security window will pop up, provide user name in the format <domain>\<username> and password. When done, click OK. Choose the domain from forest and click OK. Click Next.

Step 4: Provide Directory Service Restore Mode (DSRM) password and click Next.

Step 6: Ignore warning and click Next.

Step 7: Click Next.

Step 8: Note down the AD DS database, log files, and SYSVOL paths and click Next.

Step 9: Click Next.

Step 10: Click Next.

Step 11: Click Install after prerequisites check.

Upgrading Active Directory Domain Services Server 2012 R2 to Server 2016

Step 1: Open active directory users and computers. Right-click your domain and then click Operations Masters.

Step 2: Open RID tab and click Change. Ignore the warning and click Yes. When an operation completes, click OK.

Step 3: Open PDC tab and click Change.

Step 4: Click Yes.

Step 5: Click OK after successful operation.

Step 6: Go to Infrastructure tab and click Change. Click Yes.

Step 7: Click OK after successful operation.

Step 8: Open active directory Domains and Trust. Right-click Active Directory Domains and Trust and then click Operations Master.

Step 9: Click Change.

Step 10: Click Yes.

Step 11: Click OK.

Step 12: Open command prompt and type regsrv32 schmmgmt.dll and press enter.

Step 13: Click File -> Add/Remove Snap-ins. Choose Active Directory Schema, click Add and then click OK.

Step 14: Right-click Active Directory Schema and then click Change Active Directory Domain Contoller.

Step 15: Choose your Server 2016 machine and click OK.

Step 16: Click OK.

Step 17: Right-click Active Directory Schema and then click Operations Master.

Step 18: Click Change.

Step 19: Click Yes.

Step 20: Open command prompt in Windows Server 2016 and "type netdom query FSMO" to confirm Windows Server 2016 machine is holding the five FSMO roles and it is now acting as a DC.

How to Upgrade Active Directory Domain Services from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Server 2016

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