Q: Can I switch a Windows Server 2012 Standard Server to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Server without having to reinstall?

A: If you have already installed Windows Server 2012 Standard, it's actually very easy to move to Datacenter provided you have a Datacenter key. At a command prompt, type the following and click Y when prompted (the machine will actually reboot twice, and after rebooting will be Datacenter). This process also works on Windows 2008 R2:

dism /online /set-edition:ServerDatacenter /productkey: /AcceptEula

dismchangeversionsml
DISM TOOL

Note: You can't just type in a Datacenter key in the Windows Activation control panel dialog box to upgrade--you will receive an error.

You can always check your current version, and the versions you can upgrade to, by using DISM as shown below:

dism /online /get-currentedition
dism /online /get-targeteditions

This server can't be a domain controller (DC) and would need to be demoted prior to perform the version upgrade using DISM. See also, "Q. Can I upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard from Windows Server 2008 Datacenter or Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter?"

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