Upgrade System Center Configuration Manager 2012R2 to 1511 to 1606

If you have System Center Configuration Manager 2012/2012R2 and you want to upgrade to the latest package 1606 you first have to upgrade to 1511. This should be the last upgrade you’ll need to manually perform, after you can upgrade straight from the SCCM console itself. Thank you Microsoft!

The supported in-place upgrade paths are below, more details found here.


Upgrading from SCCM 2012 to 1511 is straightforward. Before starting your installation of 1511, download this patch from Microsoft and install it.


Download and install Windows 10 ADK even if you don’t have Windows 10 in your environment yet, because you will soon enough. Choose based on your version of Windows 10, the latest is 1607 at the time of writing.


Check that are using a supported version of SQL Server and then download and install SCCM 1511. We downloaded it from Microsoft VLSC because we have a volume license account with Microsoft. If you need an evaluation copy you can find the current branch here.


Install package, you know how this works. Just keep selecting Next, no surprises.


I suggest restarting your server after completion just for peace of mind.

After your SCCM server has a chance to sit for a bit it will automatically download builds 1602 and 1606. Go to Administration > Cloud Services > Updates and Servicing to view.


Note if it gets stuck in “Downloading” for too long, open Services.msc and restart the service named “SMS_EXECUTIVE” and downloading will resume.


If you wait for a while (less than 30 minutes), then restart your server you will get a popup that lets you know the latest version is available for download.


Install Update Pack from the console, you can skip to 1606.


The steps are again really boiler plate, just keep selecting Next.


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Once installation is complete, then force update your client agents. Go to Administration > Site Configuration > Sites > Hierarchy Settings



If interested here is additional documentation from Microsoft.

Call it a day!

How to Migrate SYSVOL from Oldschool FRS to DFSR

If you have any battle-worn domain controllers that have been upgraded multiple times, your domain is probably still running the outdated replication engine, File Replication Service (FRS), which dates back to Server 2000 and 2003. I am not sure why Microsoft doesn’t publicize this as much as upgrading to the latest OS, because it is just as important.

If you have domain controllers that are 2008 or newer, you absolutely should migrate to DFSR today. As it was designed in a bygone era, domains will often have replication errors or poor performance when using FRS in today’s demanding environments. Follow these steps to migrate to DFSR.


  •  All DCs must be at least Server 2008
  •  Domain Functional Level must be at least Server 2008
  •  Active Directory services must be in good general health
  •  Active Directory replication must be fully functioning

I would also suggest performing this migration after hours to minimize potential impact to users on the network. Ensure you have valid backup of all DCs before starting.

Note: perform this operation on your Primary Domain Controller (PDC)

There are 4 main stable states during this migration and you must wait for each to finish before moving on or you could cause yourself some serious problems.


  •  State 0 – Start
  •  State 1 – Prepared
  •  State 2 – Redirected
  •  State 3 – Eliminated

Open an elevated Powershell session on your PDC, run this command to go from Start through Prepared State.

dfsrmig /setglobalstate 1


After running the previous command, wait for about 10 minutes or so then run the following command to see where you are at. Wait until you get a message that all domain controllers have reached a consistent state.

dfsrmig /getmigrationstate


Once you are in Prepared State run this command.

dfsrmig /setglobalstate 2


Again, wait for about 10 minutes or so then run the following command to see the migration status. Wait until you get a message that all domain controller have reached a consistent Redirected state.

dfsrmig /getmigrationstate

Once the operation is complete, you should open all of you domain controllers and check that you can navigate to the SYSVOL and it is the Redirected State. It is usually found here: C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\yourdomain.com

You need to check this because the last phase, getting to Eliminated State, cannot be undone and could cause some undue sadness if you didn’t reach Redirected. When ready run this command.

dfsrmig /setglobalstate 3


Check status again with this command.

dfsrmig /getmigrationstate

Final Eliminated State message.


After your reach Eliminated State you may get this error popup, do not be alarmed. This is telling you that the old SYSVOL is gone because it has been “Eliminated.” The new folder is called SYSVOL_DFSR, located here:  C:\Windows\SYSVOL_DFSR\sysvol\yourdomain.com


You might also want to check that the FRS service is completed stopped and disabled on every DC. Open up services.msc and find File Replication Service, verify it has been disabled.


If it hasn’t been disabled open the service object and manually disable it.


You should be good to go at this point.