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Performing an In-Place Upgrade

If you are not in a position to do a clean install of Windows Server 2008, you can also upgrade an existing network operating system, such as Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003. The actual upgrade process is very straightforward. But as already mentioned in this hour, the upgrade of a domain controller has consequences for the entire domain. Running mixed environments in which Windows 2000 or 2003 servers must interact with servers running Windows Server 2008 makes supplying important network resources in the domain more difficult (and quite confusing at times). In an ideal situation, you can upgrade all servers on the network to Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 is fairly flexible in terms of upgrading different versions of previous Windows Server operating systems such as Windows Server 2003. For example, if you are running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, you can upgrade to the Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition or to the Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition. A Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition can be upgraded to a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition but cannot be downgraded to a Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition installation.

To perform an upgrade on a server running Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003, insert the Windows Server 2008 DVD in the server’s CD-ROM drive. Then click the Install Now button on the Welcome screen that opens.

The next wizard page asks you to provide your Windows Server 2008 product key. Enter the product key and then click Next. On the next wizard page, you are asked to select the operating system you want to install. Select the Windows Server 2008 (Full Installation) option. You cannot upgrade a previous version of the Windows Server network operating system to a core installation.

Click Next to continue. You need to select the I Accept the License Terms check box after reading the licensing information. Then click Next. On the next wizard page, you are asked to select the partition that you want to use for the Windows Server 2008 installation. Because this is an upgrade, you are installing the Windows Server 2008 files onto a volume that already contains the files for the previous version of the Windows server software. A warning box appears (when you select the partition for the installation) letting you know that you are installing to a partition that contains other operating system files (see Figure 2.3).

Figure 2.3. Click OK to install Windows Server 2008 on a volume containing an operating system.

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Click OK to close the information box. You can then click Next to proceed with the installation. The installation at this point requires little input from you. Files are copied to the server and the server restarts a couple of times. When the installation is complete, the upgraded server boots to Windows Server 2008.

By the Way

You can also use Windows Deployment Services to install multiple Windows Server installations. This enables you to install Windows 2008 Server on several computers from a server running Windows Deployment Services. This service can also be used to deploy client operating systems such as Windows Vista on your network. We discuss Windows Deployment Services in Hour 5, “Implementing Windows Deployment Services.”

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