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guide to migrate from SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 to SCCM 1511

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I'm looking for a guide to migrate from SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 to SCCM 1511.

SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 is installed on Win 2008 R2 and the database is on SQL 2008 R2 too.

I want to have SCCM 1511 installed on a new Win 2012 R2 server with the database on SQL 2014.

How to proceed ?

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I hope you are aware that this software (System Center Configuration Manager version 1511) went GA yesterday, it takes a lot of time (and effort) to write the guides !


you have a number of options, do a site backup (content and db) and then install the new site with the same computer name, once installed do a site restore, or use the migration feature to migrate what you want from one site to the other. The following guide should give you enough ideas of how a migration is done.




I'm separating your post into it's own topic.

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I attempted this in my lab yesterday. I ran into some issues due to the SQL version (2008), also my OS was 2008R2, which wasn't ideal. Anyway, I had some big problems trying to upgrade SQL, so I decided to change the approach - I decided to run a site restore instead. I will itemise my steps below. Please excuse if there is anything I missed, as I am typing this from memory.

So my existing ConfigMgr VM looked like this:

  • Win 2008 R2
  • SQL 2008
  • ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1
  • MDT 2013 Update 1


  • I backed up my DB via site maintenance. If you want the most current backup, go to your system services and run the SMS_SITE_BACKUP and wait for it to complete before copying the files to an accessible share.
  • If you store your Sources folder on the same site server, make sure you copy it to an accessible location also.
  • It may be also worthwhile backing up your WSUS and MDT databases. *Note, I did not do this myself, so not sure if it is recommended or necessary. I can see the benefit of backup the MDT more than WSUS.
  • Backup any custom reports you may have, and copy them to an accessible network location. I have found ReportSync useful in the past. *Note, I did not try this during this test as I did not have any custom reports on my test server.
  • Disconnect the VM from the network, or power it down completely. I left mine online with disconnected NIC, in case I needed to reference anything



  • I built up a new VM with the same name and spec as the original, but using Win2012R2 and SQL2012 (I didn't have a copy of SQL2014 handy)
  • Joined the domain. I did not use the same IP address, although you may prefer to.
  • Copy sources files back to same location on the server and share out with same permissions. Obviously, as long as the path to the sources folder is the same as the original, then you can actually store them anywhere on the server and share from there.
  • I then used the ConfigMgr Prerequisites Tool (https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ConfigMgr-2012-R2-e52919cd) to install prepare the machine for ConfigMgr install.
  • Make sure to also install ADK 10 using the PreRequisite tool
  • Installed SQL 2012 manually. You can also use Niall's script provided here: http://www.windows-noob.com/forums/topic/13368-how-can-i-install-system-center-configuration-manager-current-branch/
  • Because my ConfigMgr version was 2012 R2 SP1, which means that I could not run a recovery directly in 1511. I had to first recover into version 2012 SP2, using the SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP, available here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-2012-configuration-manager-and-endpoint-protection . If you are currently running an older version you will need to recover to that first, then upgrade to ConfigMgr 2012 R1 SP1 or ConfigMgr 2012 SP2.
  • Unfortunately I did not record my recovery steps, but it is fairly straightforward to do a site recovery if you are familiar with ConfigMgr in any way.
  • Once the recovery was complete, I was then able to perform the upgrade. Again, I did not record the steps, but it was easy enough once you have already gone through Niall's guidelines in his main post.

So far, everything looks good. I have noticed some minor issues browsing through my existing task sequences, but I suspect this could be due to the fact that I have not configured MDT yet.


EDIT: Nickolaj A has a good write-up on the upgrade process here: http://www.scconfigmgr.com/2015/12/04/upgrade-to-configmgr-1511-in-your-hierarchy/


I hope this helps. I will update this post on any further findings as I come across them.


Edited by conorofarrell
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Thank you for sharing your experience !


I've decided to perform the upgrade in 3 steps :

- move the DB to SQL Server 2014

- move SCCM to a new Win 2012 R2 Server (backup&restore)

- upgrade to version 1511


The DB has been moved successfully.

On second step, I'm trying to recover the site server using the last backup I did, and I'm getting the following error :


Invalid backup location was specified. The backup location must be ConfigMgr backup location and must have read permission for the site recovering.


I think that permissions are good and I specify the right location (I've copied on the new server the XYZBackup folder).


Any ideas about what I'm missing ?

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One more information : the new server has the same name as the old one.


Edit : the backup files were not good ! I got a good backup and now the restore step worked better !

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Hi Airka


Glad to hear go got it working. be sure to update with any findings.


As an update to my earlier post, I did fond that my Task Sequences no longer showed any errors, once I integrated MDT correctly.


I have read that if you use a side-by-side migration, that you can not migrate the collections. Can anyone confirm this, or offer a solution?


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Interesting topic. We are considering the possibility of a side-by-side migration soon. Figured it gives us more control over migration of clients as we can keep the old site running.


My plan was to build a new server, new site code etc and then use powershell to export as much as I can (collections, applications, task seq's etc) and then re-import them into the new site.


Although this adds some extra work, we are left with a "clean" site and can tidy up some of the "bad practice" that was carried out by the previous sccm admin when installing.

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Hi airka,


could you tell my please your steps for upgrading sccm 1511 with windows 2012 R2 and SQL 2014 SP1?

I have the same issue, I am using at the time windows 2008 R2 , SQL 2008 R2, sccm 2012 R2 SP1 CU2.


I decide to do the following steps on the new machine:


1) install windows 2012 R2 with the same name

2) install SQL 2014 SP1

3) backup the runing sccm 2012 R2 SP2 via site maintenence

4) backup all the DBs of sccm 2012 R2 SP1 with SQL 2008 R2

4) restore the backup of sccm 2012 R2 SP1 on the new machine

5) restore the SQL DBs to the SQL 2014

6) upgrade to the sccm 1511


Have I to install the sccm 2012 R2 SP1 on the new machine again or I dont need that?





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Hello Keywan,


You need to run SCCM 2012 R2 setup, and select "Recover a site". Then provide the backup files and follow the instructions.

Before you recover the site, be sure to have all the prerequisites installed on the server.

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Hello airka,


Ok I know that but what I dont know, is, should I install the WSUS/role on the new machine or I dont neet that? Is the WSUS in the backup content?

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