NT4 to 2003 Migration

Posted on 2004-11-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-19

I've been working on migrating a customer from an NT4 domain to a 2003 AD.  My primary plan was to follow the general consensus on this site. I created an NT4 DC, promoted it to PDC, upgraded it to 2003, and created the AD.  At that point, I loaded a new Dell with 2003, installed AD and sync'd it to the upgraded box.  After doing the transfer to the new box, I'm in possession of a three headed monster.  It seems that the FMSO shift didn't happen clean, and the Global Catalog didn't shift.  The Administrator account on the "new" box is unable to make changes to the system (licensing, AD, Event Viewer, etc) and my backdoor admin account can.  

Any thoughts as to what might have happened?  Is it possible the domain has a problem?  Should I just migrate the domain using ADMT instead?  

My secondary concern relates to the XP systems in the field.  I do not want to have to visit each system, and my assumption is that I may have to if I do a change from COMPANY domain to COMPANY.LOCAL AD.  

Question by:tbeckerl4One
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution


    I went through this almost a year ago and found that the easiest way to procced was to install NT4 on the NEW server.

    THis method has to be preformed durring off hours...

    Start by installing NT4 with sp6a on your new Dell server and promote it to your PDC.  Then shut down your PDC so that all of your BDC have a current copy of all domain settings.  At this point take a BDC off the network for safe keeping.  Now you have a current snap shot of your domain information in a offline NT4 BDC.   If something happens durring the upgrade you can take the new server offline, plug in the offline BDC, promote it to PDC and your back in business.

    At this point you need to UPGRADE the Dell to 2003.  Since the server is the PDC and has a copy of the sam db so all your users are already there and AD will be set up for you automaticly.  I went this route and found it fairly painless.

    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    here's what I would do:

    your original domain should still be ok, so I would start again like this -

    - install a new NT4 BDC (on your new server)
    - force synchronization from the PDC, or else just wait till it's synchd
    - take it off the network, and promote it to a PDC (leaving the real PDC of you domain active and working)
    - upgrade it to 2003, creating a new domain in a new forest
    - shutdown all NT4 DCs, and bring the new 2003 DC back onto the network

    If you want to load another new server with 2003, and make it an additional DC, that's fine, but it shouldn't be necessary - you already have a 2003 DC with all the FSMO roles

    XP Clients
    - Assign all clients the correct DNS server (the one hosting the zone for AD)
    - Remove any references to the old DCs from the WINS databases if you're using WINS
    - Reboot the client and try to login to the 'new' upgraded domain

    The clients should be OK since the NetBIOS name of the domain will be the same. Only the DNS name of the domain is new. The XP clients can still refer to the 2003 domain using the NetBIOS name.

    I would do a test client in the 'offline' network environment before tackling the real thing. The nice thing is that your 'original' domain is completely unaffected while you do your testing and you're ready to make the switch.
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    seems like there was some suggestions given, but the asker never bothered to respond. He probably followed our advice too...
    I would recommend a forced accept, point split evenly
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I concur

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