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Windows Server 2012 Downgrade Paths


Today, we want to take a moment to let you know about the new process for getting the Downgrade kit for Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. While Windows Server 2012 is a cloud-ready new offering, some customers may need to downgrade their Windows Server 2012 license due to legacy applications. Thanks to Downgrade rights, they will be able to do this.


Windows Server 2012 Downgrade rights allow customers to use prior versions of the software, such as Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, until they are ready to move to the latest version of Windows Server.


Let's learn a bit more about Downgrades for WS2012 by watching our HP OEM Windows Server Product Manager Steven Bark's Coffee Coaching Session where he explains us more about  this interesting topic. 





It is important to note that although every Microsoft Windows Server license includes the right to use previous versions, a program to obtain media and keys for downgrade versions does not accompany every type of license. For example, there is no downgrade media & key program for Microsoft COEM licenses. However, HP does offer such a program when you choose an HP OEM Windows Server 2012 license.


You may be wondering how these Downgrade rights work. Customers can now purchase HP OEM Windows Server 2012 with their preferred HP ProLiant platform and request the downgrade kit at the time of purchase. This kit includes both the media and keys and allows customers to have the complete solution purchased in one simple step.


If a customer already has an HP Windows Server kit, they can buy the downgrade directly from HP. In order to do this, customers must provide a proof of purchase for their Windows Server license (in the form of an invoice or a picture of their COA label).


HP Resellers may not stock downgrade media kits. Instead, as a Reseller, you will be able to request the kit after you have sold the HP-branded OEM Windows Server 2012 licenses, upon request by the end-user customer. HP Server OEM end users or Resellers may request downgrade & down-edition media and product keys by visiting (remember to have the shipping information ready and complete all the fields according to the downgrade needed).  


The following OEM versions of Windows Server Software are eligible for downgrade and provided by HP:

-          Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition can be downgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, Enterprise, or Standard editions

-          Windows Server 2012 Standard edition can be downgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 Enterprise or Standard editions.


We hope this has taught you a bit about the process for getting Downgrade kits for Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. Be sure to check out the helpful infographic “Downgrades for Windows Server 2012”.


Get more information on Windows Server 2012 and join the Coffee Coaching community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn

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About the Author


Juan Cruz Martinez

We have bought a HPE Server ML30 gen 9 with server 2016 standard ROK ad we need a downgrade to 2012 R2 Standard.

Can you please help us? The links in this page are broken.

Best regards


Hello Juan Cruz Martinez, 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise offers downgrade options for several Windows Server ROK products purchased from HPE or an HPE authorized reseller.

If your Windows Server 2012 R2 ROK license was purchased from HPE or an HPE authorized reseller please visit and “Request New Order”.

You will need your proof of purchase and COA# available when you make your request.

To learn more about the downgrade process, check out this infographic:

Please let me know if you have further questions we can assist you with and thank you for letting us know these links are not working, we will work to get them fixed. 

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