Error Guide to Server 2003 to 2012R2

Since Server 2003 is finally at the end of life cycle, we had to update to a new domain controller. Supposedly you can update Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012. This is apparently true but not without great difficulty. Since I get to see alot of different environments and systems. I also get to organize quite a few Server 2003 to Server 2012R2 updates at the same time. Below are various errors that came up and fixes you need to get around them.

Windows Server 2003 to Server 2012 WMIC error.

In Server 2012 you can join it to a 2003 domain without doing adprep as it does that remotely from the 2012 server. While that’s all fine I found that it didn’t work for me at all. During the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard, this comes up.

Verification of prerequisite for Active Directory preparation failed. Unable to perform Exchange Schema conflict check for domain mydomain.local.
Exception: Access is denied.
Adprep could not retrieve data from the server 2003server.domain.tld through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

If you got that you might of searched around and found things like,

Promoting a Windows 2012 Server Into a Server 2003 Domain Function Level Environment


adding new server 2012 DC in existing 2003 forest

Which basically boils down to rebuild WMIC or move to 2008 first then 2012. Those did not work for me at all.

With some digging through event logs, you’ll find that this error is basically just that WMI isn’t working remotely. Conveniently though Microsoft has a tool to test that.

WMI Diagnosis Utility

After running that it found that i had DCOM disabled and the impersonate as a service was set to a non-default level. I ran the 2 registery it said I needed to fix it and I was able to promote the Server 2012 after a reboot.


You may be unable to run post-deployment configuration wizard after you install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role.

This also applies to Installing Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Not just the experience role on a STD server.

You may be unable to run post-deployment configuration wizard after you install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role – The Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server Blog

Now you may or may not come into this issue. I found on Server 2003 SBS there’s a default Group Policy Object that restricts sign in as a service. Now if you read the Guide to update from Server 2003 SBS to Server 2012  it will actually mention to remove that restriction from Group Policy. However the upgrade guide for Server 2012 R2 Essentials doesn’t make note of that same policy, so depending on the guide you follow you might miss it.

The short for that link is as below

This issue may occur if the Logon as a service Group Policy is configured under Default Domain Controller Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment.

There is an account ServerAdmin$ that is used for initial configuration and needs the logon as a service user right for the task to complete. The current workaround is to add ServerAdmin$ account to this policy:

Can’t access the network shares, printers, or join the server from Window XP Clients

For this issue you might experience errors such as “The specified network name is no longer available” when trying to do any of the above. If you try to ping it or resolve DNS it both works perfectly. Both you can’t actually view shares or basically anything SMB related. The issue for this is actually on the Server 2012 side. There’s a role service for SMB 1.x Clients that’s installed by default. But for some reason it doesn’t actually start properly. You can change the dependancy for the Server Service to fix it with this registry edit.


Original Value: SamSS Srv2

Change to: SamSS Srv

This fix is thanks to Nicolas Moreno1 on Technet

Can’t access UNC share on Windows Server 2012 R2


6 responses to “Error Guide to Server 2003 to 2012R2”

  1. Thanks
    Do you run the WMI diag on 2012 or 2003 box? 2003 box complained that it is not the right machine type to allow it to run.

  2. You run WMI Diag on the 2003 machine. You might want to try and make sure your 2003 box is fully up to date.

  3. I received the same message that WMIDiag 2.2 is a valid image but not the right machine type. I used WinRar/7Zip to extract the contents of the file. Then I had an issue when trying to run wmidiag.vbs. It would immediately fail with a message similar to: 0x1A8 – Object required and that it could not write the log file. I finally figured out that I had Windows Script Host 5.6 installed. Once I upgraded to 5.7 for 2003, wmidiag worked.