Join computers to the new Windows Server 2012 Essentials server


Updated: November 21, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

The next step in the migration process is to join client computers to the new Windows Server 2012 Essentials network and update Group Policy settings.


If a client computer is already joined to the Source Server, you must first uninstall the Connector software on the client computer before you can connect the computer to the Destination Server.

The process to connect a client computer to the server is the same for domain-joined or non-domain-joined computers.


The Windows Server Connector software does not support computers that are running Windows XP or Windows Vista. If you have computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista that are already joined to the domain, you can skip this step.

Ensure that Group Policy has updated


This is an optional step, and it is only required if the Source Server was configured with custom Group Policy settings such as Folder Redirection.

While the Source Server and the Destination Server are still online, you should ensure that the Group Policy settings have replicated from the Destination Server to the client computers. Perform the following steps on each client computer:

  1. Open a command prompt window.

  2. At the command prompt, type GPRESULT /R, and then press ENTER.

  3. Review the resulting output for the section “Group Policy was applied from:” and ensure it lists the Destination Server, such as DestinationSrv.Domain.local. For example:

        Last time Group Policy was applied: 1/24/2011 at 1:26:27 PM  
        Group Policy was applied from:      DestinationSrv.Domain.local  
        Group Policy slow link threshold:   500 kbps  
        Domain Name:                        Domain  
        Domain Type:                        Windows 2011  
  4. If the Destination Server is not listed, at a command prompt, type gpupdate /force, and then press ENTER to refresh the Group Policy settings. Then perform the previous procedure again.

  5. If the Destination Server still does not appear, there may be an error in the Group Policy settings or an error in applying them to this specific client computer. If the Destination Server does not appear, perform the following steps:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type rsop.msc (Resultant Set of Policy), and then press ENTER.

    2. Expand the tree with the “X” on it until you get to a node.

    3. Right-click the node, and click View Error for information about why the Group Policy settings are failing on the computer listed.