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Upgrading Servers from NT4 to Win 2K; Is this strategy sound?

Posted on 2004-04-08
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We have a single domain of approx 50 users, nothing fancy...just your basic Exchange/Web/AV services provided.  I was thinking about taking a BDC off the Domain (no impact) and doing a clean install of 2000 server, and then rejoining it to the domain as a BDC.  Next I wanted to transfer all services (Exchange, DNS, WINS, AV) from the PDC (NT4) to the BDC (2000) and eventually promote BDC to primary.  At that point I would remove the old PDC and load 2000, then rejoin it.  The part that bothers me the most is... what impact will Active Directory have on existing clients/accounts/resources and what am I overlooking (unforseen obstacles) here?  Thanks,  

Mike
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Question by:mjpete
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Expert Comment

by:tonkajeep34
ID: 10787071
Hey Mike,

If i understand your question right... 2000 won't work as a BDC in an NT4 domain. Most of the upgrade paths i've seen and used have been the following:

Backup PDC
upgrade PDC to win2k, it'll add AD and everything for you.
upgrade the rest of the domain. (i'd use the clean install if possible then add them to the AD)

For exchange 5.5 to work with the AD you'll probably want to look into the ADC but everything else works about the same.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10789038
mjpete,

To follow your action plan a little more closely try the following. This is Microsofts recommended approach as well. You can add a 2000 DC to a NT4 PDC but you can do the following.

1/. Format and reinstall your BDC. Set it back up as a BDC on your domain. This way you have a clean loaded BDC. All the settings will transfer from the PDC (still leaving it as a fresh BDC with all the user account info.

2/. Promote that BDC to a PDC.

3/. Upgrade the newly promoted PDC to a Windows 2000 DC server.

4/. The old PDC will then remain as a BDC on your Windows 2000 network until you upgrade it. And will continue to be the Exchange 5.5 server.

5/. You can then setup Exchange 2000 on your 2000 box. :)
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10789042
"You can add a 2000 DC to a NT4 PDC but you can do the following."

Meant "can't"
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Author Comment

by:mjpete
ID: 10791349
Thanks, both diggisaur, and Tonka...In a way you both have similar ideas.  I think lean towards diggisaur's process in applying the upgrade initially.  Ultimately I need both servers to be 2000, if I followed diggisaur's  upgrade plan, will Exch 5.5 still work when I upgrade the server to Win 2000?  We don't have licenses for Exch 2000 yet and need to stay with 5.5 for the time being.  So bottom line Q is...If I have a NT4 server running Exch 5.5, and I upgrade server OS to Windows 2000 will Exch 5.5 still be happy?  Thanks in advance
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Accepted Solution

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Gareth Gudger earned 1000 total points
ID: 10791496
You need to install the Active Directory connector to make that work...

This documents explains its purpose in a mixed Exchange 5.5 - 2000 environment.
http://www.winntmag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=8275
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