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Review plan to Replace NT 4 PDC/Exchange 5.5 Server with new box -Windows 2k DC/exchange 2k

Posted on 2004-09-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I currently have single domain, 5 servers- an NT4 server as PDC, running exchange 5.5, and two NT BDCs.
I want to upgrade my network with a new machine running Server 2000, and Exchange 2000.  ( I am licensed to use Win 2003/Exchange 2003 but I dont' think I can make that leap all at once, correct me if I'm wrong )

None of the ancient NT servers can be upgraded to Server 2000 because of unsupported hardware (RAID controllers & FDDI NICs)

Based on the very valuable advice on this site, I've decided to follow this plan and would like some feedback:

1.Synchronize BDCs with original PDC.

2.Install NT 4 on NEW server and make it a BDC.

3. Promote new server to an NT PDC, which will demote original PDC to an BDC, keeping it on network, with Exchange 5.5 still in place

4. Synchronize all BDCs again

5. Upgrade NEW server to 2000, with AD, and DNS (we are not using DHCP) & make it the DC.

6.  Install Exchange 2000 on new server, now running 2000 and AD.

7. Use move mailbox functionality to move Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000.
8. Remove Exchange 5.5


Other info:
about 75 users, with XP Pro, 2k Pro, and a few NT workstations.
All users have at least outlook 2000, and use .pst files for historical email.
using IMC to connect to another 2000 server acting as gateway to outside
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Question by:Shelby1127
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by:snowsurfer
ID: 12118142
You can go to 2003 using the exact same procedures, I have done it many times.  Your plan is solid, I do these type of migrations as my job.  You are going to need WINS on the new server for your NT machines once the NT servers are gone.  Your going to need to make sure that your NT 4 machine with Exchange and your new server are also both looking at the same WINS server or Exchnage will fail to install properly.  You have to install Exchnage into the same org and exchnage 5.5 uses wins to comuunicate.  If you get stuck post, I can help.  I do these all the time
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by:Shelby1127
ID: 12134928
Well, steps 1-4 were easily completed, am letting system percolate for the day before beginning upgrde of PDC to 2000 this evening.  

My concern now is DNS. we don't currently have a DNS server.  We have MS Proxy 2.0 running on a dual homed 2000 server to provide internet connectivity.  I'm a little concerned about this.

With regard to the Exchange upgrade, I've read on Microsoft site that I cannot install Exchange 2000 on DC running in mixed mode environment.  True?  

thanks so much for your help.
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by:snowsurfer
ID: 12136573
When you install Windows 2000 or 2003 on the NT server it will prompt you to install DNS, once this is all done and rebooted you are going to want to go ahead and get your production server built.  You do not want to keep the server you upgraded in production if you dont have to.  You want to build it from scracth.  Once that is built and you get windows 2000 on it and run dcpromo you will install dns on it as well.  After all that is up an running you are going to go into dns and set up forwarders, these forwarders will point to your external DNS resolution, either your ISP or your proxy or whatever.  Your internal clients will point to your DC for DNS ONLY.  

You can install Exchange 2000 into a mixed mode domain
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by:Shelby1127
ID: 12137475
Unfortunately, I AM working with the production server - it is currently operating as the NT PDC.  This is the one I plan to upgrade.  I don't have another to work with.  The curse of IT in non profits...

So when I go through the upgrade process, and setup the forwarders (to the Proxy server's internal IP i guess).  Will I have to go to each client individually to change the DNS?  

thanks !!

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by:snowsurfer
ID: 12137885
If you can take a desktop and build it as a BDC, then promote it to the PDC and upgrade that, then you can take down the NT machine and rebuild it from scratch.

Yes you will have to chnage the PC's one by one.  You may want to look into using DHCP
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by:Shelby1127
ID: 12138242
!Ouch.... it's going to be a long night if I have to change each PC.  (about 80 !)

since clients are configured to use WINS, and the former PDC,now a BDC, is the WINS server, that won't work for name resolution?
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by:Shelby1127
ID: 12138346
Ok, I've decided to take your advice and do following:

1. introduce a temporary NT Server on a workstation.

2.  Promote to PDC.

3.  Upgrade to Windows 2000 DC.

4.  Introduce brand new 2k server install

5.  and then I use dcpromo to promote new server to DC and that demotes the workstation DC?

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by:snowsurfer
ID: 12138367
I am afraid it wont because Active Directory needs DNS and as your clients move forward to Windows 2000 and XP WINS is used less and less.  You should move your clients to DHCP since you have to touch them anyway, its easy to set up and would be faster to change the clients.  PLus in the future any other chnages you make will be easy
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by:Shelby1127
ID: 12138415
one more DNS question:

our clients do not use DNS to resolve outside addresses (goes through proxy) so will I still need to change DNS entries on each client....
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snowsurfer earned 250 total points
ID: 12138517
Yes, you want your clients to point to the DC as well as the server will point to itself.  In DNS config that will point to external DNS
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