Re: Inplace upgread Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012
I understand what you’re trying to do and I approve wholeheartedly of the way you’re trying to test it. Unfortunately, the free downloads available appear to be designed to require a purchase for what you’re trying to test. Unless Microsoft themselves can guide you as regards how you can move forward without breaking the bank, I see no way to continue without forking out cash.
You may end up taking the plunge by buying the newer OS, then adding new member servers as 2012R2 boxes, promoting them to DCs, then retiring the older 2008R2 servers. If you do it as a rolling change, leave the Functional Level of your domain at 2008 until the last DC is retired, then promote the forest to 2012 FL. You could then do the same rolling change to the other member servers. Or set up a couple of VMs instead of using physical boxes. At least the VMs can have snapshots taken before the upgrade attempt. If it blows up, revert back and you’ve lost nothing, but gained some insight to go back to M-Soft with.