Using ADMT to migrate to Windows 2012 Domains


Hello World,

This will be a really short post !

In my current assignment, we are preparing a inter-forest migration between two active Directory forests.  So far, nothing unusual.  There is just only little problem we have discovered.  We cannot use ADMT 3.2 in conjunction with Windows 2012/R2 servers.

It’s by Design

We discovered the hard way that the current version of ADMT (3.2) cannot be installed on a Windows 2012 (or later) machine.  This is by design.  ADMT 3.2 and PES 3.1 are not supported for installation on Windows Server 2012. The installers intentionally block unsupported operating systems. (see

You might think that simply adding a Windows 2008 R2 server on your domain would fix your issue.  The only problem here is what if you want to migrate password (using PES). Guess what ? You need to install it on Domain Controller and the domain controller needs to have Windows 2008 R2 operating System installed.
Finally, you might think that you can install ADMT and PES in your source domain and you would be able to migrate to your Target forest which contains only windows 2012 Domain controllers. Guess what ? You cannot !.  Apparently, the tool is requiring to have a Windows 2008 R2 Domain controller in the target domain as well.

Workaround  ?

The recommended workaround provided by Microsoft is to add a Windows 2008 R2 Domain controller in your domains and perform the migration.
There might be just a small issue with this workaround.  In order to add a Windows 2008 R2 domain controller in your domain, the Forest level and domain level should not be set higher than Windows 2008 R2.   In our case, the forest level and domain level were already upgraded to Windows 2012 R2.
If you do not use any features that requires Windows 2012 R2, you can revert back to a lower functional level.   This is not a new feature.  Since Windows 2008 R2, you have the possibility to lower the level of your forest/domain thorugh powershell (see
To lower your level, you will issue the following commands
  • Set-AdForestMode -identity -forestmode Windows2008R2Forest
  • Set-AdDomainMode -identity -domainmode Windows2008R2Domain

Using these Powershell cmdlet, you can lower forest/domain level down to Windows 2008 level (I Think)


Future expectations  ?

The good news is that Microsoft is working on a new version of the tool which would support the latest Operating system.  There is no release date yet but based on this post, the tool should be released during the first quarter of 2014 (which is now !).  We have not seen any other announcements yet so we assuming that the ADMT 4.0 will be delivered  somewhere in 2014.

Final Notes

If you are like me, busy with migration and where Windows 2012 R2 deployment projects coexists, you might end up in having a issue migrating your Active Directory by using the current version of the ADMT 3.2 tool.  The good news is that Microsoft provides a workaround which seems to be usable as long as you do not have enabled feature that specifically requires Windows 2012 R2 Forest/domain level.

The other good news is that Microsoft is working on a new version of the tool which will fully support the latest version of the Operating System.   We are just waiting for the tool to be released.  As soon as the tool will be available, we will provides some posts on it

Hope this post can help someone

Till next Time

See ya





6 thoughts on “Using ADMT to migrate to Windows 2012 Domains

  1. Nice advice, didn’t know it. Knowing the workaround (while waiting for final version of ADMT) will be very useful for me, thanks!

  2. Hello Marilie,

    Yes we know that Microsoft has released a QFE (ie. Quick Fix) for Windows 2012 R2 in order to have ADMT running on it since July 2014. We never had the time to update this post.
    If We have some time this week, we will quickly publish an update for that topic

    Thank you for the feedback and the visit. Thank you for sharing your experience as well…we need that

    Stay tuned
    Till next time
    See ya

  3. Hello Andre,

    Thank you for the info….we are already aware a quick fix engineer update has been released that basically do not check for the operating system version..
    We never had the time to update this post

    Thank for the visit…
    Till next time
    See ya

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