How to Upgrade to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 in your hierarchy

Now that ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 has finally been released, a lot of administrators will start to look into the process of upgrading to this new Service Pack. In this post I’ll outline the required steps necessary in order to successfully upgrade your whole hierarchy to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 coming from ConfigMgr 2012 R2.


Here’s a brief overview of what’s covered in this blog post regarding the necessary steps required to successfully upgrade from ConfigMgr 2012 R2 to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1:

  • What’s new
  • Download software
  • Known issues
  • Upgrade path
  • Prepare environment
  • Backup hierarchy
  • Test upgrade databases
  • Upgrade hierarchy
  • Verification
  • Upgrade clients

Whats new

With the release of this Service Pack, there’s a bunch of new functionality that we can leverage. A complete list is available here:
Below is a list of some of the key changes and new functionality:

  • Management Point affinity with preferred Management Points controlled with Boundary Groups
  • Support for Windows 10, including Windows ADK 10
  • Improvements to the Automatic Client Upgrade functionality, which now also supports exclusion of servers
  • Several improvements for Pull Distribution Points, which now have their own controls for concurrent distribution settings to multiple pull distribution points
  • New workflows and filters for Driver Management
  • Support for retry Software Updates installation when an update unexpectedly restarts the computer during OSD
  • Huge improvements for the hybrid scenario between ConfigMgr and Intune, such as:
    • Windows 10 enrollment
    • Deployments of free iOS apps that can be deployed as mandatory
    • Extensions for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 have now been integrated into ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1
    • Same capabilities for Samsung KNOW that currently exist in Intune
    • Conditional Access for Exchange Online and on-prem
    • Management of iOS devices purchased through the Apple Device Enrollment Program
    • Remote Lock or Reset the passcode directly from the ConfigMgr console
    • Mobile Application Management policies that lets you modify the functionality of compatible apps
    • Association of apps with VPN profiles on iOS and Android

As you’ve probably understood by now, the list is huge and many of the new functionality are very welcome. In my own opinion, Microsoft has really invested in the hybrid scenario bringing Intune functionality to ConfigMgr. And it will only become better with the next release of ConfigMgr that accordingly to Microsoft is scheduled to be released during Q4 of 2015.

Download software

In order to get your hands on the bits, you’ve have to go to the evaluation center and register to be able to download them. You’ll find the link below:
Once you’ve registered, select the following download:

Known issues

I’ll keep this section up to date with the latest news on issues that the community is reporting. As for now I’ve seen people reporting the following issues:

More known issues can be found here in the release notes on TechNet:
I’d also advice you to install the latest Cumulative Update once you’ve successfully installed SP1 in your hierarchy.

Upgrade path

As with every Service Pack, Cumulative Update and even new releases like R2, you should always begin the upgrade on the top-level Site server in your hierarchy. If you’re running with a Central Administration Site, begin with that and move on down to your Primary Sites. If your hierarchy also includes Secondary Sites, they would be next on the upgrade list. Simply put, upgrade in the following order:

  • Central Administration Site
  • Primary Site servers
  • Secondary Site servers

With the release of this new Service Pack for ConfigMgr 2012 RTM and ConfigMgr 2012 R2, there’s been some confusing on how to perform the upgrade. As shown earlier in this post, you should download a file called SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP.exe. At least to me, this first seemed a bit confusing after I read the release notes. Jason Sandys has also written an excellent blog post regarding what upgrade path you should take, depending on what your environment looks like. I really recommend to read his post, which can be found here:
Since this post is about upgrading ConfigMgr 2012 R2 to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1, I’ll not cover the same topic that Jason has already exceptionally outlined in his post.

Prepare environment

Before you go ahead and execute the upgrade, it’s recommended that you make sure that your environment in your hierarchy is up to date and meets the following requirements:

  • Latest Windows Updates is installed on every Site server that will be upgraded
  • Verify that you have Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit 8.1 installed
  • Your hierarchy should be running at least ConfigMgr 2012 R2 RTM

As for Cumulative Updates, it doesn’t matter what version you have installed.

Backup hierarchy

I highly recommend that you have a known-good backup of every Site database in your hierarchy before you attempt to upgrade to SP1. There’s a great blog post regarding how to perform a backup of your Site databases made by Steve Thompson (MVP) which I recommend:
Steve’s blog post is about setting up backup using SQL Server instead of the built in Maintenance Task in ConfigMgr. Whichever method works just fine, but I’d recommend that you look at switching to performing a backup with SQL Server from now on, if you’re currently using the built in mechanism, since the SQL Server backup can leverage compression that saves you disk space, and at times is much faster.

Test upgrade databases

When you’ve taken a backup of your Site databases that needs to be backed up, follow the instructions in the blog post below to perform a test upgrade of a database before you install ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1:
Perform a test upgrade of the ConfigMgr database

Upgrade hierarchy

When you’ve prepared your environment, backed up the database(s) and verified that everything is in order, you can now go ahead and perform the upgrade starting with the top-level Site in your hierarchy. Below is a step-by-step guide that takes you through the upgrade wizard. The process is almost the same for a CAS, Primary Sites and Secondary Sites.
1. Run SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP.exe and select to unzip it to e.g. C:\Install\CM2012SP2.
2. Go to C:\Install\CM2012SP2 and launch splash.hta.
3. Click on Install.
4. On the Before you begin page, click Next.
5. On the Getting Started page, make sure that Upgrade this Configuration Manager site is selected and click Next.
6. Accept the license terms and click Next.
7. Accept the prerequisite license terms and click Next.
8. Click Browse on the Prerequisite Downloads page and choose a folder where the files will be stored, e.g. C:\Install\CM2012SP2Prereq. Click Next and wait for the files to be downloaded.
9. On the Server Language Selection page, your previous configuration of languages is shown and it can not be changed since this is an upgrade. Click Next.
10. As for the Client Language Selection page, simply click Next.
11. Click Next on the Settings Summary page.
12. Setup will now launch the prerequisite checker which displays any errors or warnings that you may have to remediate before you continue with the upgrade. Wait for the process to finish. As a note here, any errors during this check will cause setup not to continue. Warnings may present valuable information that could potentially bring problems in the future. I’d recommend that you remediate any errors or warnings shown in this step before you continue with the upgrade (In my lab environment I’ve not configured enough memory for my SQL Server, but that’s not something I’d recommended in a production environment).
13. Once the prerequisite checker has finished, assuming that everything was in order, click Begin Install.
14. If you’d like to see a detailed view of the actual upgrade process, click on the View Log button to open C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log.
15. As shown in the picture below, we can now follow along with the upgrade process on a more detailed way.
16. After a while the upgrade process should have successfully completed and you will see the following:
At this point, the upgrade is completed but there are still some jobs running in the back ground. In my lab environment it took an additional 5-10 minutes before everything turned green in the wizard. I’d recommend that you do not attempt to restart the server or begin working until the upgrade process has completely finished and that you’ve verified that the upgrade indeed has completed in the C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log file, looking like this:
Once the wizard has caught up, it should look like this:
Now that the top-level Site in your hiearchy is upgraded, make sure that you verify that everything is working as expected and then continue on with the next Site in line.


With this Service Pack installed, the new version of ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 is 5.00.8239.1000. We can verify this with the following methods:


On your Site server check the value called Full Version, found under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\Setup. It should read 5.00.8239.1000. In addition to the Full Version value, the CULevel should now be set to 0.

Site Properties

1. Launch the ConfigMgr console.
2. Go to Administration – Site Configuration – Sites, right-click on your site and choose Properties.
3. On the General tab, verify that the Version information is correct:

Upgrade Clients

When your whole hierarchy consisting of Site server are upgraded to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1, you need to upgrade your Clients as well. Ronni Pedersen has created an excellent blog post that covers the Automatic Client Upgrade feature, which can be found here:
To enable this feature, go to Administration – Site Configuration and select Sites. Click on Hierarchy Settings and go to the Automatic Client Upgrade tab.
I highly recommend that you make use if this feature, unless that you want to create your custom Client Upgrade Package specifying the necessary parameters for ccmsetup.exe which are required in your environment. If you choose to use this feature, remember to not set the Automatically upgrade clients within days value to low, as it might cause an extra load on your Site servers when too many clients are trying to upgrade at the same time. If you for instance set the value to 2, all of your clients with a lower build number than the site that it’s assigned to will retrieve the policy and create a local task to run within a randomized time frame between 1-2 days.
Also remember that if you choose to create your own Client Upgrade package, ccmsetup.exe will automatically detect whether the Operating System architecture is 32-bit or 64-bit, so there’s no need to create collections that contains architecture specific clients.
Below is a query that you can use to create a collection containing all clients that has been upgraded to the latest version:

select SMS_R_System.ResourceId, SMS_R_System.ResourceType, SMS_R_System.Name, SMS_R_System.SMSUniqueIdentifier, SMS_R_System.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup, SMS_R_System.Client from  SMS_R_System where SMS_R_System.Client is not null  and SMS_R_System.ClientVersion = "5.00.8239.1000"

I hope your upgrade goes well, and let me know if you have any questions!

Nickolaj Andersen

Chief Technical Architect and Enterprise Mobility MVP since 2016. Nickolaj has been in the IT industry for the past 10 years specializing in Enterprise Mobility and Security, Windows devices and deployments including automation. Awarded as PowerShell Hero in 2015 by the community for his script and tools contributions. Creator of ConfigMgr Prerequisites Tool, ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd, ConfigMgr WebService to name a few. Frequent speaker at conferences such as Microsoft Ignite, NIC Conference and IT/Dev Connections including nordic user groups.


  • Hi Nickolaj,
    Is it possible to do a In-place upgrade on the Servers OS version, SQL versions and SCCM version? I’m having 2 servers created to replace my Primary and Secondary servers.
    I have to move from these older version to newer ones, I’m 13 versions away from CB 1606.
    1.) Move from Windows Server 2008 R2 to a new Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.
    Can I keep the current site codes?
    2.) Upgrade and move DB from SQL 2008 Express to SQL 2012 R2 or should I go SQL 2014?
    How should I export the old Primary and Secondary CM databases and then Import into the new SQL database?
    3.) Upgrade SCCM 2012 R2 then move to a different new SCCM CB 1606 server?
    What should I export from the old CM box and then Import into the new CM box?
    Any thing would be great.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi,
    Thanks for your post its very useful. I have SCCM 2012 R2 RTM and want to upgrade to SCCM 2012 R2 SP1. Do I need to uninstall the Windows ADK 8.1 and install Windows ADK 10 or not?

  • Good afternoon! I have just upgraded my CAS server to CM 2012 R2 SP1 (Still have two primary sites). after taking a look at the console, I realized that the primary sites didnt get upgraded automatically (Thought it would be like that). My question is: Should I ran the SP1 Installation wizard on the primary sites as well? (As we normally do for any CU (Cumulative Update)?
    Thank you in advance.

  • Hi,
    Thanks for the post. The bits you link to are evaluation bits. If i use those in production, which is licensed properly, will it change the installation to evaluation?


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