Upgrade Windows 10/8.1/8 Pro to Enterprise edition

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The synopsis: Using Windows 10/8.1 Enterprise media, Windows Pro can be upgraded to Enterprise edition while keeping installed apps, personal files, and settings.

 

The story: I ran into an interesting scenario where I needed to run Windows 8.1 Enterprise.  Pro just wouldn’t cut it because of the lack of support for BranchCache, DirectAccess, etc.  Keep in mind that I’m specifically referring to a technical solution and NOT a licensing solution to this challenge.  A valid license is still required.  After digging around the web I found 3 primary resources for the conversion or upgrade.

Change Windows 8 Pro to Enterprise

The TechNet forum thread (https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/305ac35b-9a14-4244-8e95-dd0b0c23b70a/change-windows-8-pro-to-enterprise?forum=w8itprogeneral) goes though a transformation part way down as new information became available.  There is also confusion by focusing on by licensing and technical aspects.  For the moment, ignore the thread.  After reading this post to the end, come back to the forum thread and re-read it with more/updated facts in mind.

Change the Windows Image to a Higher Edition Using DISM

The TechNet article (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825049.aspx) applies to Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Server 2012/2012 R2. 

Using the command below you can see what Editions of Windows the running computer can upgrade to.  You can then, theoretically, use another command to change the Edition.

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions

DISM /online /Set-TargetEdition:<edition name>

This sounds great and may actually work in some scenarios, but not the one I needed.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Upgrade Paths

The TechNet article (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj203353.aspx) applies to Windows 8/8.1.

Using media (ISO, USB drive) Windows 8/8.1 Pro can be upgraded to Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, but the language is misleading.

Windows 8 (non-pro) can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 and you can keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications.

Windows 8/8.1 (non-pro) and Windows 8 Pro/Pro with Media Center can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro and you can keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications.

Interestingly, the Pro to Enterprise section does not mention anything about keeping any settings, files, or apps.  The next section makes a note about not keeping settings, files and apps during a cross-language installation, then a table follows that shows several scenarios and what you can/can not keep.  Pro to Enterprise is not listed in the table.  Thus the implication is that during a Pro to Enterprise upgrade, you can’t keep any existing data or customizations.

As it turns out, this is just a lack of specificity in the article.  Upgrading Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 8.1 Enterprise does give the option to keep settings, files, and apps… and it works.

Do remember, that this is an OS upgrade… the existing installation of Windows is moved to the Windows.old folder and a new installation of Windows is created.  Ensure you have a good 5+ GB of free space on the system drive (Drive C).

 

Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade to Enterprise.

Windows 8.1 Pro installed using the sample GVLK KMS key.  DISM shows that the only Edition which can be upgraded to is Pro with Media Center.

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I installed a Windows App (Adobe Photoshop Express), 7-zip, created a WordPad document, and set Bing.com as my home page.

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Running Windows Setup from a Windows 8.1 Enterprise ISO.

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I get to keep my settings, personal files, and apps! Smile

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After a few reboots and logging in as my original admin account, we see that Windows is now Enterprise edition and there are no TargetEditions available.  The upgradation (yes, that is a real word) is complete!

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We also see that the customizations I made were retained.

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Lastly wee see the old Windows installation was backed up (renamed).

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Success!

 

What about Windows 10

I haven’t duplicated the effort for Windows 10 yet, but I’m confident the same scenario is in play.

I can say that DISM will not change the edition of an online image (a running Windows computer).

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However, the Windows Store can do that for at least some upgrade scenarios, although I’m 99.9% sure Enterprise edition will NOT work this way.

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Happy upgrading!

July 31, 2015

Posted In: Windows 10

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NTFRS or DFS-R replication for SYSVOL

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For a recent customer I was going through all of the requirements to implement DirectAccess.  One that I stumbled on a bit was that DirectAccess requires DFS-R replication but I wasn’t certain how to verify what replication type was in use.  After some digging, some assumptions, and some great tips from fellow Catapult Systems consultants, here’s the scoop.

Determine if FRS is being utilized by the Domain Controllers

Note: FRS is the abbreviated acronym for NTFRS.

Method 1

From an administrator Command Prompt on a domain controller run DfsrMig /GetMigrationState and DfsrMig /GetGlobalState

  • A value of 0, 1, or 2 means the migration from FRS to DFS-R is in progress
  • A value of 3 means the migration from FRS to DFS-R is complete (FRS is ELIMINATED)
  • A return message of "DFSR migration has not yet initialized" means FRS is in use, not DFS-R

Method 2

From ADSI Edit or Active Directory Users and Computers with Advanced Features enabled,

navigate to <domain>\System

  • if a container named DFSR-GlobalSettings exists, then DFS-R should be in use
  • if a container named File Replication Service \ Domain System Volume (SYSVOL share) exists and contains Domain Controller objects, then FRS should be in use

navigate to <domain>\Domain Controllers\<Domain controller>\

  • if a container named NTFRS Subscriptions exists, then FRS should be in use

Method 3

From a domain controller

  • open Event Viewer \ Applications and Services Logs\ File Replication Service.  If there is recent activity then FRS should be in use.
  • if <SYSVOL>\SYSVOL_DFSR\SYSVOL exists, then DFS-R should be in use.

Note: to find the <SYSVOL> share

  • From a command prompt enter reg.exe query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters and note the SysVol location
  • From a command prompt enter dir %SystemRoot%\SYSVOL\SYSVOL and note the location of the <domain FQDN> directory junction which will be in [square brackets]
  • From ADSI Edit or Active Directory Users and Computers, check the fRSRootPath attribute of the <domain>\Domain Controllers\<domain controller>\NTFRS Subscriptions\Domain System Volume (SYSVOL share) object

References

July 27, 2015

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What’s my ConfigMgr version: 2012 SP2 or 2012 R2 SP1?

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I’ve been installing a few lab and production ConfigMgr environments recently and found a little quirk with the versioning to go along with the service pack madness / confusion of the 2012 SP2 / 2012 R2 SP1 release.  Here’s the scoop:

After installing ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 as a new / fresh install, how do you know if R2 is installed?  There are really only two ways I can find:

  1. Launch the Configuration Manger Admin Console and check the about screen.  The console version will be 5.0.8239.1000 and the site version 5.00.8239.1000 for both SP2 / R2 SP1; however the product name will show “System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1” or “System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2” to indicate the difference.
  2. Review the 2012 R2 release notes (What’s New in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager) and note the new features.  If these exist within the Admin Console on the connected site, then R2 is installed.  Probably the easiest check is in Software Library –> Operating Systems –> Virtual Hard Disks.  The VHD feature set is part of R2 and won’t exist in a non-R2 site.

 

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Some additional details

Where can the R2 installer be download from?

  • If installing ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 / 2012 R2 SP1 from evaluation media, you’ll easily notice that there are 2 files to download and install.  The small (1.1 mb) file is the “R2” installer / enabler.  Otherwise the code base is identical between the versions / editions.
  • If installing from MVL media, the small “R2” installer may not exist for download.  I’ve only see 1 company’s MVL site and the file didn’t exist in any place we could think to look.  Installing “R2” from the evaluation file, SC2012_R2_SP1_ConfigMgr.exe, worked fine on multiple MVL installed sites.

When I installed R2, there were almost no indications of the change.

  • The actual install, ConfigMgr2012R2SP1.msi did not generate a log file that I could find
  • The Windows Application Event Log did show that “Product Name: Microsoft System Center Configuration manager. Product Version : 5.00.8239.1000 … Reconfiguration” succeeded, but notice that the name does not identify SP2 or R2 SP1.
  • C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log was not changed
  • C:\ConfigMgrAdminUISetup.log was not changed
  • C:\ConfigMgrAdminUISetupVerbose.log was not changed
  • I could see no entries in any ConfigMgr site logs that gave any reference to a change
  • I could see no changes in the Windows Registry at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\*
  • The site properties in the Admin Console showed no changes
  • Re-running the R2 installation gave no indication that it was already installed
  • Re-running the R2 installation (ConfigMgr2012R2SP1.msi) with verbose logging did create a log file but there was no indication that it was already installed
  • Windows Programs and Features (Add / Remove Programs) did not change the product name

 

So much for clarity!

June 16, 2015

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BITS error 0x80200013 during ConfigMgr client installation

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When attempting to install the ConfigMgr / SCCM client on a few remote computers, the installation failed (more like stalled out) when ccmsetup.exe tried to download the full client binary files.  The download couldn’t complete and the following error was generated:

Failed to download files through BITS. Error: 0x80200013, Description The server does not support the necessary HTTP protocol. Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) requires that the server support the Range protocol header.

I discovered that Microsoft KB922330 describes the issues and a workaround.

You may experience this problem if a computer is behind a firewall or behind a proxy server. This problem occurs if one of the following conditions is true:

-The proxy server environment does not support the HTTP 1.1 range request feature.

-You are behind a SonicWALL firewall device, and the Enable HTTP Byte-Range request with Gateway AV setting is not enabled for the device.

When you copy a file by using BITS in background mode, the file is copied in multiple small parts. To perform this kind of copy operation, BITS uses the HTTP 1.1 Content-Range header. If you are behind a proxy server or behind a firewall that removes this header, the file copy operation is unsuccessful.

Note When BITS copies files in foreground mode, BITS does not use this header.

Interesting… changing the BITS priority will work around the issue and it just so happens that we can control that in the ConfigMgr client installation. 

Running ccmsetup.exe /BITSPriority:FOREGROUND did work around the BITS error during client installation.  The client successfully installed and registered with the Primary site.

We could also manually copy all of the installer binary files locally and use the /SOURCE parameter as another alternative.

 

Success!… well, not so fast.

 

From an ongoing operations perspective not much was gained.  Although Client Settings allow controlling BITS throttling, it cannot control BITS priority.  About a year ago the question about controlling BITS priority from a ConfigMgr content distribution perspective was asked on the TechNet forums and the product team did confirm that it isn’t a current feature.

 

It looks like the firewall or proxy server will have to be kicked in the shins after all.

 

Follow-up

I stumbled on to an interesting post by the 2PintSoftware guys whom have been doing A LOT of great work with BITS and BranchCache recently.

If I set the BITS Throttling Rate in SCCM, does it apply to all downloads?

Oh no. That would be too simple. Remember that the client setting in SCCM is for Background transfers only. So if you make a deployment ‘Available’ as opposed to ‘Required’, then it will be a BITS Foreground transfer that is created and it will attempt to use whatever bandwidth it can get it’s grubby little hands on.

http://2pintsoftware.com/2psfaqs/bits-throttling

So it appears that ConfigMgr does know about BITS priorities beyond the ccmsetup.exe scope, but you still can’t change it.

May 21, 2015

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ConfigMgr OSD and the HP Virtual Install Disk

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A recent customer was having an issue using ConfigMgr (SCCM) to deploy Windows on their new HP ProLiant Gen9 servers.  Their existing hardware models and virtual machines worked fine, but the new HP Gen9 models were failing with the following error in SMSTS.log:

Failed to write volume id file to disk <drive letter>:. 80070013
Failed to convert protected paths to unqiue ID. Error code 0x80070013
Failed to reboot the system. Error 0x(80070013)
Failed to initialize a system reboot. The media is write protected. (Error: 80070013; Source: Windows)
Fatal error is returned in check for reboot request of the action (Setup Windows and ConfigMgr).   The media is write protected. (Error: 80070013; Source: Windows)
An error (0x80070013) is encountered in execution of the task sequence
Task Sequence Engine failed! Code: 80070013
Task sequence execution failed with error code 80070013

This error occurs after the OS Image is installed and just before the first reboot which causes the Task Sequence to fail.

This is very similar to the error experienced in SCCM 2007 for with Microsoft released hotfix KB2516580 to resolve.

You perform the restart computer step in a task sequence and the embedded device has a RAM disk or has a hard disk drive that has no free disk space

Failed to get unique id (0x80070001)]
Failed to convert <drive letter> to unique volume id. Code : 0x80070001
Failed to convert protected paths to unqiue ID. Error code 0x80070001
Failed to reboot the system. Error 0x(80070001)
Failed to initialize a system reboot.

OR

Failed to reboot the system. Error 0x(80070070)
Failed to initialize a system reboot. There is not enough space on the disk. (Error: 80070070; Source: Windows)
Fatal error is returned in check for reboot request of the action (Disable Write Filter Action). There is not enough space on the disk. (Error: 80070070; Source: Windows)

The customer environment is ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU3 so obviously the hotfix doesn’t apply.  However, pretty much the same scenario is in play.

Cause and Resolution

The root cause is the existence of the HP Virtual Install Disk (VID) which is read only.  While ConfigMgr should be able to handle the scenario, the easiest solution we found was to simply disable the VID.

Disabling the HP VID

To disable the HP VID, boot the server and press F9 to enter the BIOS/Platform Configuration (RBSU).  Then…

  • on an HP ProLiant Gen8 server: Advanced Options -> Advanced System ROM Options -> Virtual Install Disk -> disable -> F10 to save -> Reboot
  • on an HP ProLiant Gen9 server: System Options -> USB Options -> Virtual Install Disk -> disable -> F10 to save -> Reboot

May 18, 2015

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