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Migrate a domain from NT to 2000 Active Directory

Posted on 2003-03-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
We currently have a Windows NT 4.0 (SP6) PDC, and a Windows 2000 Server (SP3) as a member of the domain. The WIN2K server is a file server for the domain. I want to end up with the same domain (domain name, accounts, etc.) under Active Directory on the WIN2K box and decommission the NT box.

I've looked at the Active Directory Migration Tool, but it needs to have a new domain to migrate the old domain to. I've looked at the Active Directory Wizard, but it only allows me to setup a new domain or join an existing WIN2K domain.

I assume that I need to do something like the following:

1. Use the Active Directory Wizard to setup a new domain.
2. Use the Active Directory Migration Tool to migrate the settings from the old domain to the new domain.
3. Turn off the old PDC.
4. Rename the new domain to the same name as the old domain.

Questions:

1. Is this the correct procedure, or is there a better way?
2. Is there a document somewhere that spells this out in enough detail that it won't likely get screwed up?
3. Will this (or a better procedure) preserve the shares (and mapped connections to them)?
4. Any (other) issues to watch out for?

Thanks in advance.

--Steve Klein
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Question by:sklein
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:pcbrat
ID: 8206614
I have posted a link that yo might want to read beofre yo go ahead. There are many ways to go to AD it juts depends on what you want to do and what you are comfortabel with.


http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q298107&sd=tech

This is a white paper on upgrading. If you still have questions keep posting and we will keep in touch.

Dawne :)
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8206615
The best way to go about this is to build an NT 4 BDC, wait for it to synchronise with the PDC, then take the PDC offline.  Then run an upgrade on the old PDC to Win2k Server and bring it back online running in mixed mode. Once the server is up you can run and has time to synchronise you can run dcpromo on the Win2k Member server and then take the BDC out.
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8206617
:)
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Expert Comment

by:cmrayer
ID: 8206909
I agree with MSGeek, AFAIK this is the only way to keep the same domain name.
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Author Comment

by:sklein
ID: 8207112
MSGeek -- are you suggesting that I build a BDC as a potential fallback? It looks like it should be possible to just upgrade the PDC to WIN2K Server, then promote the member server, then take what was the NT PDC offline.

Of course, then there would be no fallback, but I'm probably willing to risk that.

Overall though, I'd rather not touch the NT PDC. Since an upgrade from NT to WIN2K is more effort than the procedure I outlined originally, what exactly won't work with what I was considering?
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Accepted Solution

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MSGeek earned 1000 total points
ID: 8207748
> " It looks like it should be possible to just upgrade the PDC to WIN2K Server, then promote the member server, then take what was the NT PDC offline."

While you may do this it is not recommend, you have no way to fall back if there is some sort of failure.  

> "Of course, then there would be no fallback, but I'm probably willing to risk that."

Been there and done that, NO you do not want to risk this, follow the recommended best pratices procedure.

> "Overall though, I'd rather not touch the NT PDC. Since an upgrade from NT to WIN2K is more effort than the procedure I outlined originally, what exactly won't work with what I was considering?"

Keeping the same domain name.  

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_20329908.html?query=nt+4+upgrade&searchType=topic
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_20155901.html?query=nt+4+upgrade&searchType=topic
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Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 8208806
I agree with MSGeek here--we've just done exactly this (upgraded from an NT4 domain to Win2K), and his method is exactly what we used; we had a spare server which we installed NT 4 on as a BDC (which turned out to be the hardest part of the whole process, in fact!), then we promoted that machine to PDC before upgrading to Windows 2000 Server. The whole process worked flawlessly, and nobody on the network noticed the slightest difference after the upgrade--which I think is the crucial issue here; if you have any reasonable number of users then it's worth a little extra server-side effort to make sure you don't have to get everyone to change their logons or similar.
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Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 8208810
Oh, one other thing: when using Active Directory you must make sure that all the workstations are using one of your AD domain controllers as their DNS source, because otherwise the whole thing won't work. If you setup your workstations using DHCP this is a pretty easy thing to do.
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Author Comment

by:sklein
ID: 8211452
MSGeek -- looks like I need to go with your recommended procedure. Thanks.

--Steve Klein
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Expert Comment

by:MSGeek
ID: 8211565
Steve.. Thanks.  FYI, you don't need (have) to go with the recommended procedure, but as pjknibbs stated "it's worth a little extra server-side effort."  Good luck with your migration.  MSGeek.
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