Some releases of SCCM versions require that you upgrade your site server Operating System to remain supported. SCCM 1702 and 1706 were the first to bring this new Operating System requirement.

  • With SCCM 1702, it’s required to run site servers on a Windows Server higher than 2008 R2.
  • With SCCM 1706, some of the new features like Manage Microsoft Surface driver updates, require that all Software Update Point (WSUS) runs on Windows Server 2016. We can assume that we’ll see more of those new features requiring Windows Server 2016 in the future.
  • With SCCM 2403, it’s required to run site servers on Windows Server higher than 2012 R2.

The good news is that it is supported to do an in-place OS upgrade SCCM server. There’s a couple of things that you need to know before proceeding but the process is fairly simple.

In this post, we will detail how to do an in-place OS upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016, on an SCCM primary site with SQL installed locally.

OS upgrade SCCM server – Prerequisites

Before you begin your OS upgrade on your SCCM Site server, there are a couple of points to check

Tasks before In-place OS upgrade

Before installing the new operating system, make sure to install all the latest Windows updates, as the Upgrade setup will ask for it.

OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Uninstall System Center Endpoint Protection client, if used.
OS upgrade SCCM server

This is needed as Windows Server 2016 has Windows Defender built-in. As per Microsoft documentation, not removing SCEP client, could prevent the upgrade. Also, consider validating your Antivirus solution recommended approach with in-place OS Upgrade

With the previous in-place OS upgrade from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012/R2, it was required to remove WSUS. This was due to a WSUS version change. This is no longer required, as Windows Server 2012/R2 and Windows Server 2016 use the same WSUS version.

In-place OS upgrade SCCM server

We are now ready to upgrade our site server’s operating system.

  • Insert/Mount the Windows Server 2016 media and Start Setup.exe
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Select Download and install updates and click Next
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • If there are still update, the setup will let you know
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Enter Product key, click Next
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Select Windows Server 2016 (Desktop Experience)
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Accept license terms
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Select Keep personal files and apps, click Next
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Gettings updates if still needed
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Validating before upgrade
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Warning about Windows Server upgrades. SCCM supports it, so click Confirm
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Validating available space on C:\ drive
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • If there is not enough space, you will receive the following screen. Otherwise, it will show that it is ready, click Refresh
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Installation will begin
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • The installation will proceed and automatically reboot.
OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Once completed, the logon screen will display
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server

Post Upgrade tasks

In-place OS upgrade will require post-upgrade tasks to be completed. Some services have been set to disable or haven’t started after the initial boot under the new OS.

  • IIS services are stopped and disabled
    • Many SCCM components require IIS, so this needs to be fixed
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Open the Services management console
  • Browse to World Wide Web Publishing  service, and set it back to Automatic
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Browse to Windows Process Activation service, and set it back to Automatic
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • SCCM Services are also not running.
    • Rebooting the server after validating they are set to automatic, will correct this situation.
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • Reboot the server
  • If the site server is hosting the WSUS/SUP role, action must be taken, as the WSUS Configuration Manager will return an error about the availability of WSUS on the local server
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • To fix this, Launch the Post-Installation tasks of WSUS from the Server Manager
    • Be sure to have fixed the services of IIS/SCCM and rebooted the server before run the Post-installation tasks, as WSUS relies on IIS also.
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server
  • One last reboot is needed so WSUS/SUP is correctly configured.
  • Look at the Monitoring/System Status/Component Status if any error remains. Fix them before going any further with SCCM functionally.
In-place OS upgrade SCCM server

Do not forget about Antivirus action after the upgrade. Most probably an update or re-installation will be needed.

That’s it, you’ve successfully upgraded your SCCM site server to Windows Server 2016.

Comments (35)


03.04.2021 AT 12:27 PM
Will this procedure work for secondary sites as well? If not, how do I in-place upgrade secondary sites ?


10.10.2020 AT 02:17 AM
This is the 2nd time I've done an IPU for this site server. this guide helped tremendously this time... First time was from 2012 R2 to 2016 which hit a few snags, but was ultimately successful - partly due to going into it relatively blind due to not a lot of info on the subject back when I did it This time, following the steps here, it looks to have been much easier to upgrade from 2016 to 2019, The only problems were that my SQL Server services hadn't started - all the others, IIS, etc were running Ran the site maintenance wizard and so far everything showing green I'd delayed this for so long thinking it would be a bit of a nightmare...

Jonathan Lefebvre

10.30.2020 AT 07:59 AM
Thanks for the feedback Gatt! Gald the post helped! Jonathan


08.09.2020 AT 01:38 AM
Just in case anyone else see's these. After the IPU, cannot connect to site servers In an admin PowerShell, on each site server starting at your CAS (if you have one) Set-location "D:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\X64" mofcomp netdisc.mof mofcomp smsprov.mof mofcomp smsstub.mof mofcomp cmprov.mof mofcomp bcd.mof mofcomp TaskSequenceProvider.mof While running the post install tasks, you see an error relating to starting the WSUS service Remove the Software update Services role Completely remove WSUS from your update point - re-install WSUS Add the role. All the best MP


03.09.2021 AT 04:22 PM
@MarkP, thank you for posting how you got the Management Console working again. I found that after the upgrade (to Windows Server 2019), the root\SMS namespace no longer existed. The sccmprovidergraph.exe WMI provider was also crashing. Running the mofcom ....mof commands you stated and then rebooting fixed the issue. The root\SMS namespace now existed when I checked in wbemtest and the sccmprovidergraph.exe was no longer crashing.


07.09.2020 AT 08:47 AM
Hi, two questions: Do you have to stop the SCCM services before upgrade? Do you have to do a site reset after the OS upgrade? /Martin


08.03.2019 AT 01:46 AM
Throwing out an experience I had upgrading a Distribution Point from Server 2012r2 to Server 2016: - The Netlogon service was set to Manual and Stopped after the upgrade, which caused issues authenticating new users, resolving existing users, and updating Group Policy - I installed Server 2016 1607 (14393.2248) which did not include a fix for CredSSP error when connecting via RDP. I remotely copied the MSU for KB4103723 to the machine, used a pssession to expand the MSU file, then DISM to install the extracted CAB file. After a reboot, RDP worked properly. - Content Distribution was failing from my Primary site to the DP. Had to re-import "smsdpprov.mof" on the DP


06.13.2019 AT 08:43 AM
I did an in-place upgrade from 2012R2 to 2016 and that went well so I then went from Server 2016 to 2019 and I've followed all the post installation tasks above and all services were already running but I cannot PXE boot to the server any more and when I try and run the SCCM program it says it cannot connect to the site database πŸ™

Jose Colon

02.19.2019 AT 02:17 PM
After successfully upgrading the OS to Server 2016 do you need to perform a site reset in SCCM? Please clarify that step.


12.20.2018 AT 02:07 PM
I don't need to uninstall WSUS or anything to go from server 2012R2 to 2016 do I ? Just run the OS upgrade? You guys have helped me do my job for years. No one shares information about SCCM like you do. Thanks.

Jonathan Lefebvre

12.20.2018 AT 02:26 PM
Hi Papacucku, correct, no need to remove WSUS, but follow the steps after the OS upgrade, otherwise it will no longer work. Glad we help πŸ™‚ Jonathan


12.21.2018 AT 09:54 AM
That is what I am talking about Jonathan. Try to get a straight answer on technet forums. There is just no support out there for SCCM. It is strange. Thanks again.


09.18.2018 AT 06:29 AM
Hi, it worked. Thank you! Windows 2012R2 to Windows 2016 SCCM 1806 Hotfix KB4459354 But in our case not the IIS Service was stopped after the upgrade, but the WSUS Service was disabled. We have to enable the service and restart the server before we could Launch the Post-Installation tasks.


06.15.2018 AT 08:27 PM
Had issue opening console after upgrade from 2012 r2 TO 2016. Ran mofcomp smsprov.mof and console started working.


05.08.2018 AT 11:13 PM
Jonathan, I'm getting ready to do an in place upgrade of my 2012r2 to 2016. My ConfigMgr version is CB1802. When reading your article you say that removing the SUS role is no longer needed? Can you please confirm? Thanks, -Bruce


04.13.2018 AT 11:01 AM
Tried following your guide upgrading SUP Site system from 2012R2 to 2016 that hosts FSP and WSUS roles with remote SQL (SCCM CB 1706). Run in to issues after upgrade when running WSUS postinstall tasks. First got this error: System.SystemException: The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed. No issues on the box itself just the wsus component that had trust relationship issues. Rejoined the domain and was able to move further but then got another error when running WSUS postinstall tasks: FixSubscriptionCategories failed. Exception: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Cannot open database "SUSDB" requested by the login. The login failed. Login failed for user 'Computername$'. Tried cleaning up WSUS install completely on SUP and SQL with complete reinstalls with no luck. MS pointed to article ( and said that we should: "Before you upgrade to a different operating system, you must uninstall WSUS from the server. You may keep the SUSDB and reattach it once WSUS is reinstalled. " Ended up getting a new site system for SUP (or could have reinstalled the OS on the box) and all worked afterwards, so it seems like even though it’s not exactly our scenario it is the only solution: In this case, the only known corrective measure is to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows Server 2012 R2.

Mark Chinery

01.22.2018 AT 08:36 AM
I had the following issues after the 2012 R2 to 2016 upgrade on the PS Server SMS Host Service would not start - Removed and reinstalled the SCCM Client on the Primary site server - FIXED IIS Worker Process/W3wp.exe taking 100% CPU - Ended w3wp.exe task(to free up CPU), Install latest Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 - FIXED


01.10.2018 AT 09:33 AM
I gave this a shot and did an in place upgrade on our site server thats running wds, iis, and wsus. I followed the steps to re enable wsus services and go through the post installation tasks. When I click on the post installation tasks to finish it up, it errors out and disables the W3SVC service. Any ideas?

Andy Barzyk

12.28.2017 AT 10:51 AM
If you want to eventually go to 2016 v1709, for 2012r2 or older, it's best to switch to Core. 1709 is core only AND Server 2016 can only be installed as "Desktop Experience" or "Core" and there's no switching!


03.15.2018 AT 03:39 AM
Andy Barzyk - that isn't really relevant though. Server 2016 1709 is a completely different channel so you can't upgrade from Server 2016 to 2016 1709 anyway, it has to be a clean install. Also, Server 2016 1709 is for two specific scenarios (hence making it core only), so you would never use it for System Center.

Jonathan Lefebvre

03.15.2018 AT 10:32 AM
thanks Hackmuss πŸ™‚ Jonathan


11.22.2017 AT 12:42 PM
Hello Jonathan, I am currently running 1606 on Server 2012R2 and although SCCM reports successful patching of our 2016 servers, when actually viewing installed updates on the machine they were not updated since July/August 2017. So we had to go back and run a script to force them to download and install latest updates directly from microsoft. All of the 2008R2, 2012R2 servers show patched and actually have the patches installed. Why might I be getting a false report on 2016 patch status and why might those servers not be getting patches installed? My question is really are there any known issues in 1606 or WSUS or SCCM running on 2012R2 that may cause this? Outside of this I'm in the process of opening a Premier Support ticket with MS... Thank you! John