No in-place upgrade for Hyper-V Server 2012

Microsoft’s free Hyper-V Server is a great bargain though I am beginning to think the company is pulling back on the idea. It is there for download; but the home page makes no mention of the fact that it is free, and the download page calls it trial software:


Further, support information for this specific edition is hard to come by. Here is one thing I discovered though: there is no in-place upgrade from Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, though the setup teases. This is what you get. First, an offer to upgrade in-place:


with the text, “This option is only available when a supported version of Hyper-V Server is already running on this computer”.

and then the bad news:


which in case you cannot read it says,  “Hyper-V Server (Server Core) cannot be upgraded to Hyper-V Server 2012”.

This document, which covers in-place upgrade options for Server 2012, does not even mention Hyper-V Server. It does say this about Server Core, on which Hyper-V Server is based:

Upgrades that switch from a Server Core installation to the Server with a GUI mode of Windows Server 2012 in one step (and vice versa) are not supported. However, after upgrade is complete, Windows Server 2012 allows you to switch freely between Server Core and Server with a GUI modes.

Note that it says “in one step”, suggesting that an upgrade from Server Core to Sever Core should work; then you can add the GUI later if you want. In the case of Hyper-V Server, there is no GUI option anyway; so you would have thought it should be OK. Given the lack of attention to this edition generally though, I wonder if it is a victim of “it’s the free version, let’s not bother".

Incidentally, in-place upgrade from Hyper-V Server 2008 to Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 worked fine.

Related posts:

  1. Upgrading Hyper-V Server 2012 to 2012 R2: minor hassles
  2. Upgrading to Hyper-V Server 2012
  3. Contemplating an in-place upgrade to Server 2008? Read this first
  4. Windows Server 2012: a great upgrade
  5. Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server 2012: too painful to use?

5 comments to No in-place upgrade for Hyper-V Server 2012

  • David Vincent

    Sad to hear that Microsoft is axing that product, I thought that the hyper-v edition had real promise and was pleasantly surprised when it was released. I guess it was a short term play to get them on par with vmware esxi at the time and now that Microsoft has a foothold in the market they decided it was necessary. As much as I’d like to see $199 surface tablet, I much rather see them throw some cash into supporting this type of niche enterprise product.

  • David Vincent

    Just wanted to say that as a IT SysAdmin (primarily Windows) for 15 years, I love reading your posts. Definitely the highlight of my day when I see a new post on your blog because I know that it will be in depth and no bs.



  • tim

    David it is not being axed as far as I know; it just strikes me that it is being downplayed.


  • i3laze

    Damned, the TechNet fooled me that in-place is possible.
    Stuck on the same Compatibility report 🙁

  • PolkRB

    Me too. I’m stuck on the same screen and very disappointed. Was hoping to upgrade all my machines the same way I did from Windows Server 2008 R1 to R2. It was so easy. I wonder if there will be some update to the setup utility that will allow the in-place upgrades in the future or maybe some tweak/work around?