Migrating to SCCM 2012 R2 can be a big undertaking. This guide covers your pre-upgrade checklist, upgrading the infrastructure, and deploying the new SCCM client.

SCCM 2012 R2 is filled with new features and streamlined processes. Using these additions isn’t hard; getting your SCCM infrastructure upgraded can be. Before starting the upgrade, you will have quite a few tasks to complete first.

The SCCM 2012 R2 upgrade checklist ^

Your entire Configuration Manager environment should be on SCCM 2012 SP1. The cumulative update version does not matter for the upgrade. You will need to uninstall ADK 8.0 on the site server and install ADK 8.1. More information on ADK 8.1 and a download link can be found here. Your ADK installation will need to include the Deployment Tools, Windows PE, and USMT. Your environment should meet the other 2012 R2 prerequisites; you can double-check each role here.

Once ADK 8.1 is installed, you will want to verify that no existing conditions are present in your infrastructure. In the Configuration Manager Console, navigate to Monitoring\System Status\Site Status. Ensure that each site and component status is good, and check any warnings or existing errors.

This SCCM Site is good to upgrade

This SCCM site is good to upgrade.

If needed, apply any missing critical Windows updates now on any server in the environment, and reboot the servers. A pending reboot will derail the SCCM 2012 R2 upgrade. A few regular tasks can also interrupt the install. Under Administration\Site Configuration\Sites\Site Maintenance, ensure that any scheduled maintenance task will not start during the upgrade. Disable any that might potentially start. Be sure to note any that you disable. If your environment supports multiple servers, languages, or load balancing, see these additional considerations.

Upgrading to SCCM 2012 R2 ^

We are almost ready to start the upgrade! Before continuing, double-check that you have a recent backup of your site database. For comfort, I also snapshot any machine that I am upgrading. Insert the SCCM 2012 R2 media and launch splash.hta. Proceed through the wizard and select Upgrade this Configuration Manager Site.

Upgrading to SCCM 2012 R2

Upgrading to SCCM 2012 R2

Continue through the upgrade wizard and accept all three prerequisite licenses, including the SQL 2012 Express EULA. Next, specify a path to store any needed downloads and updates. This can be a UNC or a local path. If you have several upgrades, you can prestage this content by searching the installation media for Setupdl.exe and selecting a storage location.

After your content is downloaded and your install languages/language packs are selected, the prerequisite check will start. Resolve any warnings that the check highlights. Ensure that the upgrade is being performed as a user with sysadmin rights to the SQL database. If not, you will receive errors like the two below:

  • Software Update Points in NLB Configuration
  • Distribution Point Package Version and Software Distribution Hash Failed

Once the prerequisite check clears you for takeoff, you can begin the installation. This process might take up to an hour. When the core setup has finished, you will notice that some of your tasks are completed and some are still underway. You will need to repeat this process for any primary site in your environment. You will be able to close the wizard at this point and launch the updated Configuration Manager Console.

Our successful SCCM 2012 R2 upgrade

Our successful SCCM 2012 R2 upgrade

Enabling Automatic Client Upgrade for the SCCM 2012 R2 client ^

Re-enable any maintenance tasks that you disabled before the upgrade, and then navigate to Administration\Site Configuration\Sites in the Configuration Manager Console. Right-click Sites and select Hierarchy Settings. In the Site Settings Properties window, select Automatic Client Upgrade and enable the Upgrade clients automatically checkbox.

Automatic Client Upgrade make deploying the SCCM 2012 R2 client easier.

Automatic Client Upgrade makes deploying the SCCM 2012 R2 client easier.

Depending on the number of clients that you support, consider increasing the upgrade window. In our environment, we set the upgrade window to seven days. This allowed us to perform a stage and slow rollout and prevented any server from being overwhelmed. The client upgrade will only update existing clients. You will still need a way to get the latest client version onto new machines.

With this guide, you prepared your environment for SCCM 2012 R2, updated your servers, and enabled automatic client upgrading for the new SCCM client. Now you can enjoy the new mobile portal apps, role-based reporting, improved OS deployments, and much more!

  1. ondur kiyelo 8 years ago

    Hello Joseph,
    thankyou for the tutorial i have ever have some questions that i hope u will help me put to rest
    i recently set up my sccm and all was configured well but the major issue i am having is that my dhcp server is the cisco core switch which has given me hard time in running a pxe boot then my application catalog site which i thought i cd use to run fresh windows installing is giving me a 404 error that the site is ether un available or has been relocated pliz help

  2. Author
    Joseph Moody 8 years ago

    Hi Ondur – if you can, ask this question here:


    I don’t have much experience with the first issue but someone on the forums might.

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