NT 40 and 2003 on same network

Posted on 2004-11-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
  I have a NT 40 PDC and I am adding a new Win2003 server.  I would like to make the 2003 the PDC but I do not want to get rid of the NT 40 server.  The two servers need to comunicate with each other.

Question by:gstanciel
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Hi gstanciel,

    if  you add a 2003 server domain controller to a nt network it will upgrade the network to a 2003 domain. Is this really what you want to do?
    You can run a 2003 standalone server on an NT network i think and it wont be able to be a domain controller if you want to keep the network NT.
    YOu really need to read some books/articles about migration if you want a 2003 active directory domain such as

    Migrating Windows NT to Windows Server 2003 using the Active Directory Migration Tool

    Adding new 2003 DC to NT 4 Domain

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment


    i forgot to mention, nt servers and 2003 domain servers can happily coexist if the domain is running in mixed mode. this would make the 2003 server a PDC emulator and i think the nt server a BDC
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    I agree with browolf - READ some documentation before you continue further.  That aside, the following are my posts from a question recently asked regarding DCs and NT4 and 2003.  (the original question can be found here: )

    Mixed Mode is a COMPATIBILITY Mode for Active Directory.  If you are running in Mixed mode, you can have existing NT4 BDCs, but you ARE running Active Directory.  You MUST use AD Users and Computers, you have the ability to use Group Policies, Domain Based DFSs, and ALMOST all the other features of Active Directory.  You can CHOOSE not to, but you ARE running Active Directory.  And once you have the PDC running 2000 in Active Directory (Mixed Mode or Native Mode) you CANNOT add other NT4 BDCs.

    A windows NT domain (Where the PDC is running on an NT4 box) can have Windows 2000 and 2003 MEMBER SERVERS.  NONE of the 200x systems can be domain controllers AND be a member of the same domain

    A domain where the NT4 PDC has been upgraded to 2000 becomes an Active Directory domain in Mixed Mode.   In mixed mode, remaining NT4 BDCs can perform authentication, but can NEVER become PDCs.  In addition you can NO LONGER ADD NT4 BDCs to the network (or so I've experienced - the MS link below seems to suggest in mixed mode it's possible, but I've never heard of anyone being able to)..

    A domain where the NT4 PDC has been upgraded to 2000 AND you have switched to Native Mode will not communicate with NT4 PDCs for user authentication/directory purposes (I'm not sure if they'll be able to communicate AT ALL with the rest of the domain).  You may STILL have NT4 servers as long as they are not DCs as well as NT4 clients.

    For Mixed Mode and Native Mode info, have a look at:

    See also:
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    These are some pretty long answers to a simple questions!

    He asked about adding a (one) 2003 server as PDC and retaining his (one) NT 4.0 server.
    The answer is simply yes ... that is a good way to begin migration to Active Directory (2000/2003).

    The only caviat is it will be necessary to remain in Mixed mode. Native mode requires that all servers have been upgraded to 2000 or better.

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