upgrading to windows 2003

Posted on 2004-04-25
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hi, I am doing some work for a company that wants to upgrade all their servers to the 2003 platform from 2000.

I have no major problems with doing this.. but whilst doing some of my pre flight checks i noticed that one of the DC's (there are two of them) has only 200meg free on the system disk.. Obviously not nearly enough for the upgrade...

My question is this - I intend to install W2k server on another machine and promote this as a DC as well.. then bring down the DC with the low disk space and continue the upgrade on the two good machines...

I wanted to do this rather than demote the 2nd DC and rebuild - during which time i would only have one DC in operation...

Do you think this is the best plan.. or should i go for installing 2003 straight away on the new machine..?

throwing the topic to the floor...
Question by:huziy
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Expert Comment

ID: 10914586
why not get a bigger disk for  the server with low disk space.... use ghost to clone the disk onto the new bigger disk, then boot from the bigger disk... after which you can continue the upgrade process.

you would have minimal down time if any for the dc with the low disk space, and it would be faster than installing a new dc....

what do you think?

Expert Comment

ID: 10914601
some people like fresh installs... i certainly do, but if the old server is good enough for 2k3 server and you have no objection to upgrading over the existing data...
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

JamesDS earned 125 total points
ID: 10915949
Either of your solutions will work fine, however you are right to be concerned about having more than one DC available at any time. I recommend that you build a new machine as a DC and demote the one with low disk space for upgrade or rebuild later.


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Expert Comment

ID: 10915973
Your idea makes sense for redundancy. It alway a good idea to have 2 or more DCs in a domain. I would do the same. ;)

Alternatively, if the server have another adjacent partition on the same physical drive which have free space, you can use PowerQuest ServerMagic 4.0 to re-configure the partitions without reformating the volumes. (backup before doing this operation.)
eg: C: 200 MB free space, D: 3 GB free space.

ServerMagic can re-partition the volumes on-the-fly. Had done it successfully on a Windows 2000 Server.

Author Comment

ID: 10916407
thanks for the tips.. I was thinking about using ghost or server magic... although the company only has a license for Partition magic.. which i believe will not work on server platforms..

I was also a bit concerened about the process going wrong and being left with a dead DC and having to manually strip its remnants out of the AD!

LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 10916603

Removing a dead DC out of AD is not that difficult using NTDSUTIL and ADSIEDIT, but if you use DCPROMO to demote and DNS is operational then you should have no problems.


Expert Comment

ID: 10922343
well, as we all know, there are no guarantees, only likelyhoods..... something theoretically can go wrong if you clone the old disk or if you install a new server.... the likelyhood is that a new install would have less of a chance of something going wrong....

but if you decided to use ghost or servermagic and the process fails, you can just build a new machine.....if something goes wrong with the new machine, you can reinstall or clone the disk with low space..... you're in a good position.

be sure to switch fsmo roles to the server that can be upgraded without problems..... and copy/backup important data, which should be done anyway.

but try the easy way first, if it fails then go another route.... my 1.5 cents :-)


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