Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have currently provisioned a workstation desktop as a server. I run Windows Server 2012 for running a few of my web apps and doing database work. While I have no complaints on Windows Server 2012, I miss the desktop features like audio, using high resolution graphics and sleep (WOL) for saving energy when the system is idle.

Can I switch to windows 8? When I tried this, there appears to be no way but a complete reinstall. Is there a way to keep my programs and data and just move the OS from Windows Server 2012 to Windows 8?

share|improve this question
1  
You can enable these features on Windows Server. I am currently using Server 2008 R2 as a desktop. –  kinokijuf Jan 1 '13 at 0:17

4 Answers 4

No there is no "upgrade" path from 2012 to Windows 8 (nor vice-versa), you must reinstall to switch OS's.

share|improve this answer

The best method would be to backup all of your data and do a fresh install of Windows 8. If you download the Windows 8 ISO on a Windows 7 computer you will be able to purchase the cheaper upgrade version. After you have installed Windows 8 you will be able to restore your files.

The reason being that Windows Server 2012 is quite different to Windows 8 in terms of available software. As far as I know there is no direct upgrade route. If you are running it as a fully fledged server you will most certainly run into a few problems trying to get the same setup going on Windows 8.

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 both serve two different purposes so I don't think Microsoft has any reason to great a direct upgrade route.

share|improve this answer

I think you should be able to install Windows Easy transfer, if it's not included in server, and at least migrate your settings and profile. I don't believe there is a way to 'upgrade' from server to workstation and keep installed applications in tact.

If you have the extra hard drive space for a second partition you could dual boot and run both. Windows 7 Ultimate/Enterprise has a boot-able virtual hard disk that can run alongside Server 08, so they might have a similar function for 8 and 2012 and not even need the seperate partition?

Otherwise Sam has it right with doing a good backup on your data, and a fresh install.

share|improve this answer
    
Windows Easy Transfer is not included with Windows Server 2012. –  Oak Apr 1 '13 at 10:47

If you want the desktop niceties like audio, etc., then perhaps instead of up/down/side-grading your OS, instead enable the "Desktop Experience" features of Server (2012), which will make it behave (more) like a desktop/workstation OS.

To enable it in Server 2012:

  • Open Server Manager and click the Add roles and features link.
  • In the right panel scroll all the way down to Roles and Features, click the Tasks drop-down and choose Add Roles and Features.
  • Navigate through the wizard.
  • When asked, select Role-based or feature-based installation.
  • Pick the (local) server.
  • Skip the Roles page, as we're enabling a feature.
  • At the Select Features page, expand User Interfaces and Infrastructure
  • Check-mark the Desktop Experience option.
  • Finish the wizard, rebooting if necessary.

More info here.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.