Windows Server Upgrade stops abruptly no error messages

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Hi,  I am a newbie to VMware.  However, I am a very experienced computer professional.  I have a VMware Virtual Machine Windows 2008 R2 that I am trying to do an in place upgrade to Windows 2012.  I want to go to Windows server 2016 eventually.  I run the setup program.  I click the install button.  The procedure tells me “setup is coping temporary files” .  I see “setup is starting” and then the process stops abruptly and returns to the first screen with the install button.  This windows server is a member of an active directory.    I created a plain Windows 2008 R2 server in the same VMWare environment and was able to upgrade that server with no problems.  I could really use some assistance with this problem.  Any thoughts?

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