Remote Access: Prepare to Migrate


Applies To: Windows Server 2012

Perform the following steps before you begin migrating Remote Access from your x86-based or x64-based source server to an x64-based destination server that is running Windows Server® 2012.

Membership in the local Administrators group or equivalent is the minimum required to complete these procedures. If User Account Control (UAC) is enabled, you might have to run the following steps by using the Run as administrator option.

Prepare your destination server

Complete the following procedures to prepare the destination server for the migration of Remote Access.

Hardware requirements for the destination server

Your destination server should have the same number or more network adapters as your source server. You can have more network adapters on the destination server than the source server, but the migration fails if you have fewer.


The names of the network adapters on the destination server must be the same as those on the source server, and they must have the same intention (for example, Internet facing versus intranet facing). Most Remote Access server components have interface-specific settings and configuration. Having the same number of interfaces, with the same names and intent, helps ensure that the settings are migrated to the right interface. This is critical to a successful migration. If there are more adapters on the destination server than on the source server, you must still have a one-to-one match between the names and intention of the network adapters on the source server and those on the destination server.


DirectAccess configuration can only be migrated from a computer running Windows Server 2012 to another computer running Windows 2012. Migration from Windows Server 2008 R2 DirectAccess to Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess is not supported.

Prepare the destination server for migration

To prepare the destination server

  1. Install Windows Server 2012 on the destination server.

  2. Whether or not you intend to migrate the source server name to the destination server, give the destination server a temporary computer name at this time.

  3. If you store the user accounts for remote access users locally on the Remote Access server instead of in Active Directory, and if you use the Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) for authentication, then you must perform the following additional steps before migrating Remote Access:

    1. To enable the use of CHAP authentication, you must manually configure a local security policy setting that enables passwords to be stored by using a reversible encryption algorithm.

      Security Note

      We recommend that you do not use CHAP for authentication, and that you do not enable the setting to store passwords with reversible encryption. These options are not considered secure, and they are provided only for backwards compatibility. Use them only if your environment requires the use of CHAP.

      1. On the destination server, in the Start screen, click Administrative tools, and then click Local Security Policy.

      2. In the navigation tree, expand Account Policies, and then select Password Policy.

      3. In the details pane, double-click Store passwords using reversible encryption, click Enabled, and then click OK.

    2. Migrate the local users and groups from the source server to the destination server. Do this separately and before you begin migrating Remote Access.

  4. If the source server that is being replaced is joined to a domain, join the destination server to the same domain.

  5. In the dashboard of the Server Manager console click Add roles and Features.

  6. Click Next until you reach the Select Server Roles screen.

  7. On the Select Server Roles screen, select Remote Access. Click Add Required Features, and then click Next.

  8. On the Select features screen, click Windows Server Migration Tools. Click Next until you reach the Select Role Services screen.

  9. In the Select Role Services screen, select Routing and then click Next.

  10. On the Confirm Installation selections screen, click Install.

  11. On the Installation progress screen, verify that the installation was successful, and then click Close.

  12. Server roles were introduced in Windows Server 2008, and they are also used in Windows Server 2012. Remote Access is a role service that consists of the Routing service and the DirectAccess and VPN service. In Windows Server 2003, the Routing and VPN services were not separate. If the source server is running Windows Server 2003, ensure that both the Routing service and the DirectAccess and VPN service are installed on the destination server. If the source server is running Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012, ensure that the destination server has the same Remote Access services installed as has the source server. If the source server has the routing service and the DirectAccess and VPN service, then you must install all these components on the destination server.

  13. If DirectAccess is being migrated, the IP-HTTPS and Network Location certificate must be imported to the destination server. Note that if self-signed certificates were being used on the source server, this step is not required.

  14. If DirectAccess is being migrated, run the Windows PowerShell cmdlet install-remoteaccess –prerequisite to ensure that the destination server meets all the requirements for DirectAccess.

The destination server is now prepared for migration.

Prepare your source server


Before you begin migration, as a best practice, we recommend that you perform a backup of the source server. If the migration fails, and the recovery steps to restore the source server also fail, this backup can be critical for the quick restoration of service.

Back up your source server

Install the migration tools

Windows Server Migration Tools in Windows Server 2012 allows an administrator to migrate some server roles, features, operating system settings, shares, and other data from computers that are running certain editions of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 to computers that are running Windows Server 2012.

Install Windows Server Migration Tools on the source and the destination servers. Complete installation, configuration, and removal instructions for Windows Server Migration Tools are available in Install, Use, and Remove Windows Server Migration Tools.


Before you run the Import-SmigServerSetting, Export-SmigServerSetting, or Get-SmigServerFeature cmdlets, verify that during migration, both source and destination servers can contact the domain controller that is associated with domain users or groups who are members of local groups on the source server. Before you run the Send-SmigServerData or Receive-SmigServerData cmdlets, verify that during migration, both source and destination servers can contact the domain controller that is associated with those domain users who have rights to files or shares that are being migrated.

See Also

Migrate Remote Access to Windows Server 2012
Remote Access: Migrate Remote Access
Remote Access: Verify the Migration
Remote Access: Post-migration Tasks