This blog post is originally written by Smitha Honnayakanaha from Windows Engineering Team

Customers who purchase the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 2008 R2 SP1, 2012 and 2012 R2 operating systems have the right to downgrade their operating system and run an older version of Microsoft Windows Server. If you select this option, you will receive a set of OEM DVDs that will enable you to install and run prior versions of your primary operating system on this server.

Server 2012 R2 factory-installed Standard and Datacenter operating systems (OS) also contain .iso files of eligible downgrade versions. The downgrade ISO images are copied into the Microsoft OS factory installed servers at “c:/Dell_Oem/Downgrade_ISO” folder and provides a tool which will help customers to decide on whether to keep those ISO images or delete it. This is supported with Standard and Datacenter editions of WS2012R2 only. The .iso file is not included with Windows Server 2016 as part of factory install. However, the downgrade image is included in media for customer to purchase.

For more information regarding downgrade rights and Dell iso image downgrade, refer link below:

WS2016 Downgrade Media Offering:

WS2016 Downgrade Offering from DELL

Operating System

Windows Server 2016, DataCTR Ed, Factory Install

Windows Server 2016, Standard Ed, Factory Install

Windows Server 2016, Essentials Ed, Factory Install

Media Options for downgrade

Windows Server 2012R2, Datacenter Edition

Windows Server 2012R2, Standard Edition




Downgrade Media not available




Windows Server 2012R2, Standard Edition

Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2012, Datacenter Edition


Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition


  WS2016 vs WS2012 R2 Factory Install options: