Upgrading a Microsoft CRM 4.0 32 bit server environment to CRM 2011

I had recently been asked by one of our CRM customers in the food ingredients manufacturer and distribution business how to upgrade their On-premise Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to CRM 2011.  In particular – their MS CRM 4.0 Server is running in a 32 bit Windows Server environment – which is not supported by MS CRM 2011 – it has to be 64 bit.

So what is the best practice?  Here is my recommended approach:

  • Setup a NEW Windows Server 2008 R2/SQL Server 2008 R2 64 bit environment within the same Active Directory (AD) Domain that will support both the MS CRM 4.0 and 2011 Server
    Important: Create a new AD Organization Unit (OU) for use with this new CRM environment.  This will help keep the current MS CRM 4.0 production intact



  • Redeploy the current production MS CRM 4.0 Server to this new MS CRM 4.0 environment (64 bit).  Reference the How to move the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 deployment KB for details:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952934  
    Note: follow the KB section “Redeploy the Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment that includes the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server within the same domain or to another domain.”



  • After the above successful Redeployment step, which brought over a copy of the current MS CRM 4.0 production data in to the new target environment, we are ready to perform an upgrade to CRM 2011 in this new 64 bit environment.   Reference CRM 2011 Implementation Guide for upgrade process details: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3621



There are a lot of detail instructions in each of the steps above, I’d highly recommend testing the process until you are comfortable with it.  The good thing about this approach is that the current Microsoft CRM 4.0 production environment stays intact until you are comfortable with this upgrade process.


Update:  Here is a link to a better approach – no need to setup and redeploy to a MS CRM 4.0.


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Frank Lee, Microsoft CRM MVP since 2006

About Frank Lee

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM/xRM consultant in San Francisco, USA.  Awarded the Microsoft MVP (Dynamics 365/CRM) 12 consecutive years from 2006 to 2018. Actively involved with Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations since Microsoft CRM v1.0 beta (2002). Super passionate about everything CRM, especially in the areas of Cloud Computing, A.I., Digital Transformation and Automation.
This entry was posted in Best Practice, CRM 2011, CRM On Premise, Deployment Manager, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, MS CRM, MS CRM 4.0, ms crm 5.0, Upgrade and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Upgrading a Microsoft CRM 4.0 32 bit server environment to CRM 2011

  1. Hello:
    I am correct when reading this that you can bring up the new CRM 4.0 64 bit server in the SAME AD Domain as the production CRM 4.0 32 bit version is running as log as you use a different OU for the 64 bit version?


  2. Thank you. I will test this out in a dev enviroment first


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