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A Geeks Guide for upgrading to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and MDT 2013

Oct 27 2013

In this post you learn to upgrade an existing ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 and MDT 2012 Update 1 environment to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and MDT 2013.

Known issues

Before diving into the guide, please note that you need to install the KB2905002 hotfix if you want to do OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2. The hotfix solves an issue where PXE feature doesn’t work when using the site server as a DP. The hotfix also solves the OSD performance issues that was reported in ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

Update 2014-03-14: The KB 2905002 hotfix has been replace by the KB 2910552 hotfix. Read more on this post: Do not do OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 without this hotfix.

For more information about installing the hotfix, this blog is a must read:

You may also run into that the network account cannot access the server. See later in this guide for workarounds


Upgrade process overview

In this guide you upgrade a single primary site server named CM01, currently running ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 on Windows Server 2012 and with SQL Server 2012 SP1 installed locally (of course). The ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 installation is also integrated with MDT 2012 Update 1, and has a working OSD environment configured. The high-level steps are the following:

  • Backup your ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 server
  • Testing the site database for upgrade
  • Uninstall ADK 8.0
  • Install ADK 8.1 (make sure to download the re-release, available on October 17, 2013)
  • Install ConfigMgr 2012 R2
  • Install MDT 2013
  • Post configuration (fix a few things like creating new boot images, new sequences, and possible fix network access account and PXE)

Backup your ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 server

Before beginning the upgrade, make sure you have a backup of your ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 server. A full image of your ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 virtual machine is optimal, but at least make sure you have SQL Backup of your site server database. Also review the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Upgrade Checklist on TechNet before continuing.

Note: The best guide for ConfigMgr backup configuration is of course Steve Thompson’s excellent post: SQL Server Backup Recommendations for Configuration Manager

Testing the site database for upgrade

In addition to the backup I highly recommend testing the site database for the upgrade. This by copying the site database to a separate SQL Server (in my case SQL01), and running the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 setup with the /TESTDBUPGRADE command-line option. For more details, see Test the Configuration Manager Site Database for the Upgrade on TechNet.

Successfully testing the site database upgrade after restoring it on a separate SQL server.


Uninstall ADK 8.0

To uninstall ADK 8.0, first close all programs (especially the ConfigMgr admin console) then simply go to Programs and Features, and uninstall ADK 8.0 from there. After the uninstallation, make sure the Windows Kit folder in C:\Program Files (x86) was deleted by the setup.

Uninstalling ADK 8.0.

The C:\Program Files (x86) folder after uninstalling ADK 8.0.

Install ADK 8.1

To install ADK 8.1, make sure you have have downloaded the ADK 8.1 setup files after October 17, 2013. This since Microsoft re-released the ADK 8.1, and the re-release contains important updates. If you want to download ADK 8.1 before installing, simply select that option during the wizard, or run adksetup.exe /layout "D:\Setup\ADK 8.1".

The ADK 8.1 (re-release) folder after downloading the setup files. Note the new Patches folder.

During the ADK 8.1 setup, select only the following components:

  • Deployment Tools
  • Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)
  • User State Migration Tool (USMT)

The ADK 8.1 Setup.

Install ConfigMgr 2012 R2

After ADK 8.1 is installed, you are ready to install ConfigMgr 2012 R2. Run the setup, and select the Upgrade this Configuration Manager site option.

Running the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 upgrade.

Install MDT 2013

To install MDT 2013, first close all programs (especially the ConfigMgr admin console), and the run the MDT 2013 setup with the default settings. Once the setup is complete run the Configure ConfigMgr Integration wizard and select to install the MDT extensions.

Installing the MDT 2013 extensions.

Post configuration

After ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and MDT 2013 are installed you need to do a few more things to make OSD work again. In this section you do the following:

  • Create new boot images
  • Create one or more task sequences
  • Configure the network access account(s)
  • Fix PXE

Create new boot images

The ConfigMgr 2012 R2 upgrade process does not upgrade your existing custom boot images, so you need to create two new WinPE 5.0 boot images using the MDT wizard (one for x86 and one for x64). WinPE 5.0 is required to support Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 deployments. Don’t forget to enable the boot images for PXE if you are using that.

Creating the x86 WinPE 5.0 boot image.

Create one or more task sequences

You also need to create a new MDT 2013 package, and that is done during the creation of a new task sequence. I have also found a few time to many, that the upgraded task sequences doesn’t work as expected, so for R2 upgrades I simply always create new task sequences, and copy over any changes from the upgraded ones. The new task sequence(s) you create, should be configured to boot from the WinPE 5.0 boot image, to use the new USMT 6.3 package, and the updated ConfigMgr Client package.

After creating the task sequence, and the MDT 2013 package, don’t forget to distribute it.

Creating the new MDT 2013 package while creating a new task sequence.

Workarounds for known issues

Fix potential Network Access account problems

Sometimes after an upgrade to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 upgrade, the network access account does not work anymore. Workarounds are:

  • Create a new network access account and add that (ConfigMgr 2012 R2 can use multiple accounts), and delete the old network access account.
  • Create a seccond Dummy user and add that as an NAA, after that you can remove it again and SCCM will now find the original account (Have worked for some, but not all).


Sloooowly downloading the WIM image in ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

Happy Deployment / Johan
- Follow me on Twitter: @jarwidmark

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