Upgrade to Server 2012 Standard (user limit fix) - Not Supported?

There aren’t any huge differences in the operating system when going from Server 2012 R2 Essentials to Server 2012 R2 Standard. The biggest peice is that users need to purchase the correct licencing before making the swap.

Western Digital appears to have created a video to assist users with the transitions from the stock operating system to Server 2012 Standard. ( Upgrade DS6100 to Server 2012 Standard) The upgrade process itself based on the video and mention of the upgrade in the administrator’s/owners manual gives the appearance that such an upgrade is endorsed/supported by WD. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Midway through the process I ran into a problem ( Raid Config Problem) and attempted to contact customer support over the phone. After being elevated up to a second level of support I was told over the phone that because I had made changes to my unit that it was no longer in its original confiuration, I had voided my warranty, and I am on my own until I restore the unit to its original configuration.

I mentioned to the tech that I don’t think I did anything outside the bounds of what I should be doing based on the video (link above) and the following exerpt from the administrator’s manual:

“Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials supports up to 25 users and 50 devices. When your business needs exceed the limit, you can purchase an additional license and upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.”

The response I received was fairly surprising to say the least. I was directed to page 80 GPU/GPL section:

“Modification of or tampering with the Software, including but not limited to any Open Source Software, is solely at your own risk. Western Digital is not responsible for any such modification or tampering. Western Digital will not support any product in which you have or have attempted to modify the Software supplied by Western Digital.”

In my specific case, I knew what the issue was and more specifically, I knew exactly what I needed to resolve the issue (the installation binaries for the Raid Configuration Utility). The tech on the phone said that since I had modified the OS, that I needed to reach out to Microsoft for assistance (which makes no sense since the software in question is Western Digital’s) and refused to provide me with any information on how I might obtain the installation software. Ultimately I resolved the issue on my own by pure happenstance.

I encourage anyone even thinking about buying one of these units for a medium to large business to be very leery and way your options carefully. I’d be happy to provide my case # to anyone at WD who would like to contact me and/or look at the particulars of my problem.

Which WD Sentinel do you have? The process is only supported and applies to the WD Sentinel DS5100 and DS6100 since they have different hardware than the DX and RX series.

The device in question is a DS6100.