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Is it easier to redeign my entire NT network?

Posted on 2004-09-16
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I recently started a new job and the office has been using one 350MHZ server using NT4 just to store files and manage virus protection. Most are individual files for about 14 users and the set up uses the  server just to back up the files easily (Veritas) Only Accounting has shared files. We now have satellite offices and mobile users that use our e-mail. Currently that's through a host.

The question is I want to add a 2003 server with Exchange but I can't with the NT box as the primary domain controller. With so few services on the NT box is it worth the work to upgrade it or would it be the easier option to back up the files and do a fresh install on 2000? I'm offering 500 points for this one.
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Question by:nfaber
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by:Justin Durrant
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Hi nfaber,


start from scratch

JJ
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by:scottman29
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Starting from Scratch may be your best choice, unless there are a lot of accounts on your NT4 domain.  You can have w2003 installed an configured in about the same time you could upgrade.  I would disconnect your NT4 server from the network before putting the 2003 server on (just unplug the cable) you don't want any conflicts when you put the 2003 machine on.

HTH,
Scott
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by:scottman29
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BTW, you'd need to make the 2003 server an AD server.  You may consider when you are done installing and restoring data, that you convert the old machine into a 2003 server, and join it to the domain to act as a backup domain controller for redundancy.

HTH,
Scott
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by:Yan_west
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Start everything from the start... with a environment so small, it will be minimal work to start everything over again. And you'll be sure to configure everything yourself.. No settings will be remaining from the old network. If something goes wrong, you will be sure that it'S not some previous forgotten settings that is causing it... If you entire network consist of XP and 2000 workstations, you will also be able to put your network in 2000 Native mode, and be able to remove the WINS server. No need for wins server on network with 2000/XP. You only need DNS.
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oBdA earned 500 total points
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With 14 machines, I'd go for the "from scratch" approach as well.
But install WINS on your new machine after all, you'll need it for Exchange:
Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=837391
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by:Yan_west
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Darn, that's stupid, if your network is all 2000, XP, dns should be enought.. there's only microsoft that likes to keep their old crap running..
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by:crissand
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If you have enough memory you can upgrade to w2k or w2k3, the administration in active directory is more easy than nt4 domain. Verify first if the server is in HCL, otherwise it may fail working after upgrading. If you have to add a w2k server in the domain, there are 2 posibilities:

1.Upgrade the nt server to w2k as domain controller and then add the new w2k3 server to the domain. Promote it as domain controller and transfer fsmo roles to it, because I'm sure it will be stronger than your actual server.

2.Export the users from the actual server and then put it offline. Install the new w2k3 server, promote it to dc and import users from the export you've done. The old nt server cannot be added to the domain because it's pdc, but you can reinstall nt and use it as member server.
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by:scottman29
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ODBA, I had no idea about WINS and exchange... makes sense though that everytime I shut my WINS server, my network goes batty...

Yours,
Scott
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by:oBdA
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In NT4, that's the expected behaviour anyway. No WINS, no (reliable) NT network.
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by:nfaber
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I think I'm going to start from scratch. I'm a little worried about putting 2K3 on a 350 MHz machine so maybe I'll use 2K for the PDC and 2K3 for the mail server.
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by:Yan_west
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Yeah, I wouldnt put 2k3 on there btw.. their recommended speed is 533 MHZ. for it.. They say it will run on a 133, but I wouldnt do that.. They also recommend having
at least 256mb of ram.. Personnaly, I never put under 1 gig for a server :)
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by:Yan_west
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Why not get a new server btw? If budget is your concern, you can get a Dell poweredge SC for about 1000$ fully equipped.. I'm not telling you it'S the best thing, but it will be at least better then what you have.. At that price, with no screen, you can even have disk mirroring.. (raid 1)
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