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Delete NT box and replace with 2003 box

Posted on 2004-08-20
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My situation seems to be very simple compared to the other topics discussed here, but I would appreciate some clarity and reassurance. We currently have an NT4 single domain with one PDC, no BDC's. There are 30 users on the network, all on one floor in one building. all running 98 or XP-pro. The only jobs for the NT PDC box is network logon/authentication, print server, license server for AutoCAD, support directories for ACAD, and a couple of applications such as print/plot job accounting and employee time sheet database. File serving, DNS, email and firewall/internet access is being handled by a couple of Linux servers with Samba. The NT box is 9 yrs+/- old, Pentium Pro 200Mhz, 256 MB RAM.
 
We've already purchased a new box with 2003 Server loaded, Pentium 4, 1Gb RAM.

The goal: completely remove the NT box from the network, add the 2003 box to the network and have it become the PDC, and take over all of the work of the old NT box.

The Question/s: What's the best way to do this? Most of what I've read talk about upgrading the NT box with 2003, if hardware is OK, then promoting BDC's to PDC's then de-moting etc.. It seems like overkill for my network.

My  guess: Isolate 2003 server from network, manually add all users to 2003, set up print server, install print drivers, install ACAD license server, print accounting, employee time sheet. Copy ACAD support directories to Linux server.
AFTER HOURS - shut down entire network, all boxes. Boot 2003 server and attach to LAN and make DC. Boot Linux boxes and have them join 2003 domain. Copy ACAD directories to 2003 box. Start each 98/XP workstation and reconfigure them to join 2003 domain.

Any comments/suggestions appreciated - I have to do this in a couple of days!

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Question by:Teplcon
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SamuraiCrow earned 750 total points
ID: 11856444
One good place to start would be this MS site if you haven't already seen it:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/upgrading/nt4/tooldocs/default.mspx

Pay special attention to the AD Migration tool as this can save you some tedium in relation to (shudder) migrating user accounts.

Hope this helps,
Crow
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 750 total points
ID: 11856453
The upgrade method is the best way to do it.
The way that you have outlined will involve a visit to all machines to drop them from the old domain and put them in to the new domain. This will cause issues with profiles and the like. However if you want to do it the manual way and want to put the hours in making the changes then it is a method that will work.

You are also going to take DNS off the SAMBA machines and hand it over to the new machine. Windows 2003 AD requires DNS and likes to be in control of it. Similarly I would also give the Windows 2003 DHCP.

Simon.
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