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Active Directory 2016, Uncategorized, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4

Upgrade Active Directory Server 2016 from Server 2012 R2

This post will show how to deploy a Window Server 2016 Active Directory to an existing Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain and  upgrade to Windows Server 2016 Active Directory.

In my lab environment, lab.jdeployment.com, I have an existing Windows Server 2012 R2 Active Directory Domain Controller named DC02 and will deploy Window Server 2016 server SVR2016-02 and promote it as Domain Controller.


The Current FSMO Role on the Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller, which we will change later after deploying the Windows Server 2016 Domain Controller.

Roles Server
Schema master DC02.lab.jdeployment.com
Domain naming master DC02.lab.jdeployment.com
PDC DC02.lab.jdeployment.com
RID pool manager DC02.lab.jdeployment.com
Infrastructure master DC02.lab.jdeployment.com



– Configured the Network Settings of SVR2016-02 point to DC02 as its DNS and make sure the dc02 can be pinged.
– Installed the latest update to SVR2016-02.


Deploying a Window Sever 2016 Domain Controller to an existing Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain

Install Active Directory Domain Services Role


Promote Windows Server 2016 to a Domain Controller.


After installing the AD DS role, we need to configure the server as a domain controller using a separate wizard within Server Manager. (see that yellow triangle? – click on that). So in the Deployment Configuration page select the Add a domain controller to an existing domain radio button and specify the existing domain.


supply the domain credentials.


Click on Next and go through the Wizard (normally leave the defaults)


Once all the prerequisite checks passed successfully, go ahead and click on the Install button.

Transferring the FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operations) Role to Active Directory 2016

In the Windows Server 2016 Domain Controller, launch the Active Directory Users and Computers console.

Right click on the domain and select Operations Masters in the menu.

In the Operations Masters window,  in the RID tab, lets change it to SVR2016-02, click on the Change button.


Click the Yes button when asked about transferring the operations master role.


Once the operations master role has successfully transferred, click OK to continue and make sure that the Operations Master box now shows SVR2016-02.lab.jdeployment.com (Windows Server 2016).

Steps will be the same for the PDC and Infrastructure tabs as shown below:


PDC has been changed to the SVR2016-02.


Infrastructure has been changed to the SVR2016-02.

Close the Active Directory Users and Computers console when done. Next we’ll transfer the Domain naming master, launch the Active Directory Domains and Trusts. In the console, click Active Directory Domains and Trusts and in the sub menu, select Operations Manager.


In the Operations Master window, click the Change button to transfer the domain naming master role to the Windows Server 2016.


When asked if you “Are sure you wish to transfer the operations master role to a different computer” and click Yes. After “The operations master is successfully transferred.”, click OK.


Verify that the Domain naming operations master is the 2016 Server.


The last role to be transferred is the Schema Master. First, open a command prompt in administration view on the Windows Server 2016. On the command prompt window, type in regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll and hit enter key.
Once completed successfully, click on OK button to close the RegSvr32 window then close the command prompt.


Next is to add the Active Directory Schema Console in the MMC, Open a MMC console, click File > Add/Remove Snap-in,
In the Add or Remove Snap-ins window, select Active Directory Schema and click the Add >button.


Click OK to continue. In the MMC, right click Active Directory Schema and select Change Active Directory Domain Controller…, in the menu.

In the Change Directory Server window, select This Domain Controller or AD LDS instance.
Select the Windows Server 2016 and click OK.


A warning will appear stating that the Active Directory Schema snap-in in not connected. Click OK to continue.


Back in the console, select and right click Active Directory Schema and select Operations Master… in the menu.


In the Change Schema Master window, click Change to transfer the schema master role to the Windows Server 2016.


When prompt if you are sure you wish to transfer the schema master role to a different computer, click Yes.


Once the schema master is successfully transferred, click OK to continue.


Verify that SVR2016-02 is now the current schema master.


Now to verify that we’ve completed the transfer of all the FSMO roles to Windows Server 2016 Active Directory, launch a command prompt and type netdom query FSMO and hit enter.


Verify that all the operations masters are in the Windows Server 2016 (SVR2016-02.lab.jdeployment.com). We have now, successfully upgraded the Active Directory to Windows Server 2016.

Also you may want to check some helpful information from TechNet about Windows Server Installation and Upgrade

Upgrading to Windows Server 2016

For details, including important caveats and limitations on upgrade, license conversion between editions of Windows Server 2016, and conversion of evaluation editions to retail, see Supported Upgrade Paths for Windows Server 2016.

Note: Upgrades that switch from a Server Core installation to a Server with a Desktop installation (or vice versa) are not supported. If the older operating system you are upgrading or converting is a Server Core installation, the result will still be a Server Core installation of the newer operating system.

Quick reference table of supported upgrade paths from older Windows Server retail editions to Windows Server 2016 retail editions:

If you are running these versions and editions: You can upgrade to these versions and editions:
Windows Server 2012 Standard Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Server 2016 (using Cluster OS Rolling Upgrade feature)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Windows Server 2016 Essentials
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard Windows Storage Server 2016 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup Windows Storage Server 2016 Workgroup
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard Windows Storage Server 2016 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup Windows Storage Server 2016 Workgroup



5 thoughts on “Upgrade Active Directory Server 2016 from Server 2012 R2

  1. thank you very much for your instructions.
    I have a need to upgrade Essentials 2012 R2 to 2016. Would there be any additional steps to do that for essentials? Maybe with Shared folders

    Posted by dialbat | March 12, 2017, 7:41 pm
  2. Best

    Posted by best | November 3, 2017, 12:26 am
  3. The KB is fantastic and well explained. I have a question.

    My environment is purely VMware.

    Lets say that my DC1 IP is and server 2016 (gonna be DC) IP is

    But after i transfer all the FSMO roles and etc stuff, can i reassign the IP of server 2016 DC to and keep the same IP as DNS ?

    Posted by Lokesh A R | December 31, 2017, 5:38 pm
  4. Just the article I needed migrating from a 2003 to 2016. Thank you so much!

    Posted by David Turner | February 2, 2018, 12:38 pm
  5. Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Posted by In tem bảo hành | November 6, 2019, 2:58 am

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