Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019 #windows2019 #ws2019

If you want to upgrade your domain controller and make this ready for server 2019. In this case I have only one Domain controller running server 2016.

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019


When you do a Upgrade of your current Domain Controller you may get this message during the Setup of Windows server 2019

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

Go to the Source files of Windows server 2019 and look for ADPrep

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

In the command line  adprep.exe /forestprep /forest <domainname>

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

If you press any other key than the C it will quit the upgrade.

Press C


Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

You can see a upgrade from schema 87 to 88

next step is a domain prep

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

ADPrep /domainprep /domain <domainname>


No reboot is needed, go back to the Setup press refresh and the setup will continue.

Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019

Depending on the Computer Speed you will see this


If the installation fails keep an eye on the error code. In this case I had a simulation of this and I skipped some updates.

Checked the code and see the solution.




An error that begins with 0xC1900101 is usually a driver error. If you see any of these error codes, try the following steps first to fix the problem. If these steps don’t work, see Resolve Windows 10 upgrade errors for more detailed technical info.

  • 0xC1900101 – 0x20004
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x2000c
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x20017
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x30018
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x3000D
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x4000D
  • 0xC1900101 – 0x40017
  1. Make sure that your device has enough space. Your device requires at least 16 GB of free space to upgrade a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS. For more info, see Free up drive space in Windows 10.
  2. Run Windows Update a few times. Download and install any available updates in Windows Update, including software updates, hardware updates, and some third-party drivers. Use the troubleshooter for Windows 10 to fix Windows Update errors.
  3. Check third-party drivers and download any updates. You can find third-party drivers and installation instructions for any hardware you’ve added to your device on the manufacturer’s website.
  4. Unplug extra hardware. Remove all external storage devices and drives, docks, and other hardware you might have plugged into your device that isn’t needed for basic functionality.
  5. Check Device Manager for errors. Select the Start  button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type device manager. Choose Device Manager from the results. In the window that pops up, look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark beside it (you may have to select each category to switch to the list of devices). Press and hold (or right-click) the device name and select either Update Driver Software or Uninstall to correct the errors.
  6. Remove third-party security software. Make sure you know how to reinstall your programs and that any necessary product keys are on hand. Windows Defender will help protect your device in the meantime.
  7. Repair hard-drive errors. Select the Start  button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type command prompt. Choose Command Prompt from the list of results. In the window that pops up, type chkdsk/f C: and press the Enter key. Repairs automatically start on your hard drive, and you’ll be asked to restart your device.


I did do Option 2 and see the updates and installed it and retried the upgrade again and it worked without any issue.



After the update I did a restart for finishing the updates and another restart to make sure everything was fine then I restarted the upgrade successfully,


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Robert Smit is Senior Technical Evangelist and is a current Microsoft MVP in Clustering as of 2009. Robert has over 20 years experience in IT with experience in the educational, health-care and finance industries. Robert’s past IT experience in the trenches of IT gives him the knowledge and insight that allows him to communicate effectively with IT professionals who are trying to address real concerns around business continuity, disaster recovery and regulatory compliance issues. Robert holds the following certifications: MCT - Microsoft Certified Trainer, MCTS - Windows Server Virtualization, MCSE, MCSA and MCPS. He is an active participant in the Microsoft newsgroup community and is currently focused on Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, SQL Server, Azure and all things related to Cloud Computing and Infrastructure Optimalization. Follow Robert on Twitter @ClusterMVP Or follow his blog https://robertsmit.wordpress.com Linkedin Profile Http://nl.linkedin.com/in/robertsmit Robert is also capable of transferring his knowledge to others which is a rare feature in the field of IT. He makes a point of not only solving issues but also of giving on the job training of his colleagues. A customer says " Robert has been a big influence on our technical staff and I have to come to know him as a brilliant specialist concerning Microsoft Products. He was Capable with his in-depth knowledge of Microsoft products to troubleshoot problems and develop our infrastructure to a higher level. I would certainly hire him again in the future. " Details of the Recommendation: "I have been coordinating with Robert implementing a very complex system. Although he was primarily a Microsoft infrastructure specialist; he was able to understand and debug .Net based complext Windows applications and websites. His input to improve performance of applications proved very helpful for the success of our project

11 thoughts on “Upgrading Windows server 2016 Domain controller to Windows Server 2019 #windows2019 #ws2019”

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I’m working in a Hyper-V lab running on a W10 Pro computer. Just learning and trying new things. When I try to execute the cmd for adprep, I receive an “Access is denied” error. I’m signed in as the administrator on the DC. Not sure what is happening.

  2. I followed this post and it didn’t work, then I checked the DFL, it was 2003 so I Raised it to 2012 r2, and the problem was solved. Thanks!

  3. Hello, when I follow these steps I am getting access denied when I run \support\adprep>adprep.exe /forestprep / forest. However I keep getting access denied. I’ve gone through all the permissions and confirmed everything but still getting the error.

  4. Hello
    I ran into this problem while upgrading my 2016 servers. I opened the command prompt and ran the \support\adprep>adprep.exe /forestprep /forest but I get access is denied on both machines. I am the admin of the domain and both servers. Not sure why I’m getting this but can’t upgrade until I solve it. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

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