After you have decided to transition from Windows Server 2012 Essentials to Windows Server 2012 Standard, complete these two steps:
- Purchase a license for Windows Server 2012 Standard and the appropriate number of user and/or device Client Access Licenses for your environment.You can purchase a license for Windows Server 2012 Standard from a Retail Outlet, a Distributor, or with the help of a Microsoft Partner.
Note If you purchased Windows Server 2012 Standard initially and exercised your downgrade rights to install one of your two virtual instances as Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you do not need to purchase anything additional.
If you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard through the Volume Licensing channel, you can download an ISO image and a product key for Windows Server 2012 Standard from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
If you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard from all other channels can download an ISO image and an evaluation product key for Windows Server 2012 Essentials from the TechNet Evaluation Center. Performing the transition as described in the next step will convert the evaluation product to a fully licensed and supported product.
- Open Windows PowerShell as Administrator, and then run the following command.dism /online /set-edition:ServerStandard /accepteula /productkey:Product_Key
Where Product Key is the product key for your copy of Windows Server 2012 Standard.
The server restarts to finish the transition process.
If your server is sitting behind the kms server, first find the “KMS client setup keys ” for your server edition https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/kmsclientkeys .
Then replace the product_key with the kms client keys. After that, do the kms activation with command:
After the transition, the Windows Server 2012 Essentials features remain on the server and are supported for up to 75 users and 75 devices. If you exceed either of these limits, you should use the Windows Server 2012 Standard native tools to manage user accounts and devices.
Additionally, after you transition to Windows Server 2012 Standard, the Media features of Windows Server 2012 Essentials are no longer available. This includes the Media features of Remote Web Access, and the Media Settings on the Dashboard.
If you no longer need the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard or other value-add features to manage the server, you can turn the features off and remove them from your server.
The Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard helps you uninstall the features. It also cleans the server of files that were created by the Windows Server 2012 Essentials server software. Some cleaning operations are performed immediately, while others are initiated after the server restarts.
The Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard requires that you manually uninstall all add-ins before you can complete the wizard. To view a list of installed add-ins, open the Application page in the Dashboard. The wizard will alert you if it detects installed add-ins, and prompts you to uninstall them.
The Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard allows you to choose whether to keep backup files for client computers after turning off the Windows Server 2012 Essentials features.
There are two ways to run the Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard from the Dashboard:
From the alert
From the Dashboard, open the Alert Viewer.
In Organize list, select the alert that reports information about turning off Windows Server 2012 Essentials features after transition.
In the alert, click Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features.
From the Get Help and Support pane
On the Home page, Click Get Help and Support.
Click Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard.
It is possible that some tasks performed by the Turn off Windows Server 2012 Essentials Features Wizard will not complete successfully. In some cases, this can prevent the Dashboard from running. If this occurs, you can start the wizard manually by running the file:
%systemdrive%\Program Files\Windows Server\Bin\TurnOffFeaturesWizard.exe