I am a member of a terrific IT User group, Carolina IT Professional Group. This group is focused on educating its members, and giving back to the community. But what really keeps people to the end are the terrific door prizes. At the July meeting, I won a copy of Server 2012 R2. I had been running Server 2008 on my home network and decided that it was time to upgrade. The first lesson is this: Server 2008 is the Vista codebase, and Server 2012 R2 is the Windows 8.1 codebase. You can’t upgrade from Vista to 8.1, nor can you upgrade to 2012 R2 from 2008.
A fresh OS install on my old domain controller — and fresh drives – was appropriate. I downloaded an evaluation copy of Server 2012 R2 and installed it on one of my more capable workstations. I installed the appropriate roles, moving AD and DNS over to it. No problem. After migrating the home directories onto a 2TB drive, I went on and installed a boot disk to replace the aging mirrored 500GB drives in the old DC.
I then installed my licensed copy of 2012 R2, and went looking for my home directories. To make a long story short, lesson two is remembering about the necessity of importing “foreign drives” when you move a disk between Windows installs. Somehow along the way the security for the home drive folders got hosed, and I took a significant amount of time resetting the ACLs.
I have installed AD and DNS on my permanent DC, and am waiting for things to calm down before I remove those roles from the temporary DC.
The last lesson is this: Server 2012 R2 has the same idiot UI as 8 and 8.1. I was happy to find that Classic Shell works just fine at restoring a traditional start menu to Server 2012 R2. For my thoughts on 8.1 and Classic Shell, visit this blog post.