ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 and R2SP1 – From here to there

With the recent announcement of the latest service pack release for the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) product line ( there seems to be a bit of confusion on what to install and in which order.  There is some official documentation available at  I'm going to make an attempt to clarify it for everyone here as well.

Starting version Step1 Step2 (if needed) Final version
Fresh 2012 SP2 2012 SP2
Fresh 2012 SP2 2012 R2 SP1 2012 R2 SP1
Fresh 2012 R2 2012 SP2 2012 R2 SP1
2012 SP1 2012 SP2

2012 SP2

2012 SP1 2012 SP2 2012 R2 SP1

2012 R2 SP1

2012 R2 2012 SP2

2012 R2 SP1

What may confuse people is that R2 SP1 is a very small file.  It is essentially enabling the R2 feature set for those with the correct licensing to do so.  An upgrade for R2 won't need it since that proper licensing will be detected from the current install.

Another note for those that have a hierarchy.  Step1 will need to be done for the CAS and each primary site independently.  Step 2 will only be necessary on the CAS and it will do the upgrade for the entire hierarchy.

On a related note, if you have a R2 SP1 DB backup and need to recover the site, running recovery from the SP2 media and pointing at the backup DB should work and give you back a fully functional R2 SP1 site.

5/29 update - Removed RTM upgrade path since 2012 RTM isn't supported.

6/1 update - Added 3rd "fresh" entry for clarification

9/15/15 - Point of clarification.  "Fresh" means you have no ConfigMgr installed yet and you are wondering what DVD to put in the tray for your install.

Comments (33)
  1. Anonymous says:

    "SCCM" is not the official acronym for System Center Configuration Manager. Trademark is owned by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (

  2. Krint – Valid point, but I have found that if I don’t include "SCCM" in my blog posts then nobody finds them when they do searches. I always try to include that and the full, proper, name

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice article and thank you for the clarification!

  4. Josh says:

    Thanks Mike. This is helpful.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Comme évoqué récemment ici , Microsoft a mis à disposition deux services packs pour les deux versions

  6. Luisffl says:

    Great!! thank you for the clarification Mike.

  7. Nick B says:

    after reading the second link to the official documentation – it implies your second "fresh" install the wrong way around ?? ie install R2 then SP2 ?

    BTW, seeking clarification, not points scoring 🙂 – also I dont suppose anyone has any clear information on the licensing model, there seems to be 101 options around System Center and SCCM (which appears to be available separately ??)

  8. Hi Nick. I can see the confusion. To get to R2 SP1 you could either install SP2 and R2SP1 or R2 and SP2. To my knowledge and understanding either would be supported and get you to the same end point.
    As for licensing.. I stay away from that and leave it to other experts at Microsoft. Your Microsoft Account team should be able to get clarification for you. I’m just a tech guy. 🙂

  9. Terry Davis says:

    The chart was very helpful, and I have upgraded from SP1 to SP2. However, when I run the splash.hta for SC2012_R2_SP1_Configmgr to enable the R2 SP1 features, I get an error specifying that "You must have local Administrator permissions to install this
    software." I have tried multiple admin accounts and get the same popup every time. Any thoughts on how to resolve this?

  10. Glenn says:

    Are you saying that we can't upgrade direct from SCCM 2012 RTM to SCCM 2012 SP2?

  11. 2012RTM says:

    Looks like you're missing a 2012 > SP1 > SP2 row

  12. The clarification I got was that 2012 RTM is no longer a supported product so, officially, it isn’t supported to upgrade directly from the RTM release. It may work fine, I haven’t tried it, but I’m not sure how much testing that scenario got.

  13. Matt P says:

    Hi Nick – qq for you. If i'm building a hierarchy from scratch, and my intended end-state is R2 SP1, do I need to have the CAS and Primary sites built on R2 first, and then install SP2, or can I install the CAS with R2, patch the CAS with SP2 (with no
    Primaries yet isntalled), then install the Primaries with R2. If it is the latter of those two, would I then need to run SP2 on the Primaries as well, or would the CAS automatically update the Primaries when they are added? Thanks!

  14. Chris says:

    I'm upgrading my lab from 2012 SP1 > 2012 SP2 > 2012 R2 SP1. I successfully upgraded 2012 SP1 > 2012 SP2, but when I attempt to unlock the R2 features with SC2012_R2_SP1_Configmgr.exe, I get:

    To run this software, the computer must run System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with Service Pack 2. I've confirmed that I'm running 2012 SP2. Anyone have any suggestions?

  15. Matt P says:

    Whoops…my question was intended fpr Mike Griswold. Put Nick by mistake….thanks!

  16. Chad S says:

    @Terry – have you tried to run a Command Prompt as an Administrator and execute splash.hta? This is what worked for me.

  17. Matt P – If you are starting from scratch I would recommend installing SP2 CAS, upgrade to R2 SP1, then install your SP2 primary sites. When the primary join the CAS I believe they will become R2 SP1 sites since the R2 bit is flipped for the hierarchy
    in the DB that will replicate down to them.

  18. Chris – I don’t have any easy suggestions. If you are still stuck I would suggest opening a support case with Microsoft.

  19. Matt P says:

    Mike – THANK YOU!!!!

  20. Kevin M says:

    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I'm currently sitting at 2012 SP1, and I don't have any of the CU's installed. Do I have to install all five CU's before I attempt SP2? I am not running R2.

  21. No CU level is required.

  22. Sean says:

    Hi, like another user above. When I try to upgrade from 2012 SP1 to 2012 R2 is tells me I must have local admin permissions to install this software. My account should have sufficient admin privilege. I have also ran a cmd as admin and tried the splash.hta
    and received the same error. Does anyone have any ideas?

  23. Sean says:

    To follow up on the above, if I run the splash.hta for 2012 SP2 it will let me continue, I only get the admin error when running splash.hta for R2.

  24. Matt says:

    This is confusing…. The table tells us that 2012 R2 –> 2012 SP2, shouldn't this be 2012 R2 SP2…

  25. Sean – I would have to dig in and look at logs to better understand what is going on, which is not easily done via blog comments. If you are still stuck it would probably be best to post in the TechNet forums or open a support case with Microsoft for assistance.

    Matt – There is no such thing as 2012 R2 SP2 at this time. What I was trying to make clear in the table is that if you apply SP2 to a 2012 R2 site the end result will be a 2012 R2 SP1 installation.

  26. Issues with 2012 R2 SP1 says:

    Hi All,
    Since putting this update on, System Centre appears to have the following issues:
    OS Deployment not working, boots using PXE. About to start process but then machine reboots.
    Once tried to run the PXE boot and it has rebooted it, the computer no longer finds advertisements.

    Adding device to collection stopped working and doesn't update collection

    Installing the client to machines stopped working or stalls.

    Why did i install SP1? Simple…testing windows 10 deployment.
    Microsoft has yet again released an update and broken a perfectly good product.

  27. Hello "Issues with 2012 R2 SP1". I’m sorry to hear that things have not gone well for you. I have had several customers upgrade, and heard of many more, and none have had the symptoms you describe. I suggest opening a sup[port case and we can help you
    get things straightened out.

  28. Matt says:

    Hello Mike – I'm currently trying to upgrade our SCCM 2012 RTM site to R2. I've attempted to use SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP.exe as instructed by Jason Sandys when upgrading from SCCM 2012 (no service packs) although I'm told "the upgrade path is not supported"
    when the prereq checker runs. I "believe" that I need to upgrade to SP1 first however I'm unable to find a copy… call to Microsoft? Cheers buddy.

  29. Emanuel says:

    Matt- Did you find a resolution to the SCCM 2012 RTM to R2 upgrade? I am having the same issue trying to get to 2012 SP2. Thanks.

  30. sathish venkatesh says:

    Hi Mike,

    I do have SCCM 2012 SP2 after updgration from SCCM 2012 SP1 Installed on server. I would like upgrade to SCCM 2012 R2 (available higher version), Kindly let me know the link and steps for the same.

    1. For clarity, 2012 R@ isn’t a “higher” version per se. It is a different version with more functionality for those who purchased software assurance. It should be available to you for download from your SA site if you purchased it.

  31. Tom says:


    I have just installed Config Manager 2012 SP2 and ran the upgrade to upgrade to 2012 R2 SP1. How do I tell if I have R2 SP1 or SP2, since they both have the same build number? It says it was successful but nothing seems to have changed and it was very quick


    1. I don’t have an R2 site to confirm any more. I thought there was something in HKLM\software\Microsoft\sms\setup that told you. In any case, looking for the features only available in R2 is a good option.

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