Upgrading PDC Windows Nt4 server to Windows 2k

Posted on 2004-10-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I work for a company that in my responsiblity is to upgrade cusotmers PDC NT4 systems to Windows 2k server.  All processes are defined and working except having to rejoin all clients back to domain.  This adds much time to the process and I have been investigating ways to migrate domian including users and computers and avoid the extra work of rejoining all the clients.  I have looked in to many tools such as Alieta Domain migrationj wizard and Quest, also ADMT.  

I need to know of a process and/or tool to use that will make these upgrades easy.  As I am about the most technical in the group and understand the use of a temporary BDC and such methods but having a process that will be acceptable to the company as a whole is wanted.

We currently stage a separate set of drives that we take on site and place in the server.  Built with 2k, the same name and domain.  Many of the domain migration tools encompass moving to another domain.  I need to upgrade the existing PDC keeping domain the same.


Question by:Nerdcella
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 12259856
Can't you just upgrade your NT 4.0 PDC to Windows 2000 as the first DC in the 2000 domain?


Expert Comment

ID: 12259908
Yes just upgrade the OS then you can run the AD upgrade.  You will want the AD to remain in mixed-mode until all NT DCs are upgraded, at that point you can switch to native mode.  Until you switch to native mode you will be using the NT BDCs to help with authentication and some AD settings will not be available.

Expert Comment

ID: 12265602
Upgrading is the most easiest way you can do. Upgrade the PDC or BDC and then you'll have all the users in the new Win2k domain controller. After that you can install any other Domain controller (dcpromo.exe, after win2k installation) and just leave it to sync with the old one.

Author Comment

ID: 12280720
Upgrading the OS on the existing server would be great.  But these are customer sites that have to use their equipment as long as possible.  The proproetary software takes long enough so there is a new set of Win2k drives staged here to make the process easier.

Is there any easier way to remove-add clients back to domain or not have to do this at all in this situation.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 12286472
So you are saying that you have new hardware for a 2k server? If so:

Is there a temporary computer you can use to install NT 4.0 on and upgrade that to 2000?  You could set it as the PDC, then make it the first DC in the 2000 domain.  Then, add your new 2k server to the existing 2000 domain, run DCPromo and make it a DC.  Also transfer all the FSMO roles to it.  Then remove your temporary 2000 server.  

That way, you won't have to remove-add clients back to the domain.  The domain info would more or less remain the same, except it would be 2000 AD instead of NT 4.0.

Author Comment

ID: 12289646
Thanks robrandon,

Does that mean I do not have to make use of ADMT to sync the accounts and sid info to the new AD domian?  Or during the process, once I add the new 2k dc I should select sycronize entire domain on the NT4 User manager?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 12290314
I believe it will sync on its own, but I don't know for sure that you won't need ADMT.  I've never used it and I upgrade our domain in the fashion I explained above.  

It's not really a new domain.  You would be taking the existing one and upgrading it.  By using the temporary server, it enables you to maintain your existing w2k setup that you have set aside.


Author Comment

ID: 12290868
So, last comment..

Robrandon, you are saying that I can take an NT4 machine on site and make it a BDC which will sync up all accounts and domain info.  Actually upgrade the BDC to 2000 server with the 2k server disk.  Get the new target server online and DCpromo it to a DC then remove the BDC??

Is there a way to avoid the 2k upgrade on the temporary server,.. say running the BDC as a 2k server?  Just wanting this process to be cut back a little for time purposes.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

robrandon earned 400 total points
ID: 12291354
You are close.  You would initially make the NT4 machine a BDC and then upgrade it to the PDC for the NT4 domain.  Then upgrade that new temporary NT4 PDC to the first Win2K domain controller.  After you have AD running, then bring your other 2k server online.  Tranfer the FSMO roles to the permanent 2k server from the temp server.  Remove the temp server.  FYI, you should run DNS on the temporary server or you will have problems with the AD upgrade.  You will likewise need DNS on your new permanent 2k DC.

If you can upgrade one of your other servers to 2000, then you would not need the temporary server, you could just use that one and leave it as a DC after the upgrade.  If you only have one computer to use as a 2k server, then I think you have to go with this longer route.


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