Domain Consolidation

I inherited a win2k network with four domains.  This is a mess.  I have four domains.  I only have around 100 users and would like to consolidate the network into one domain with appropriate OU's instead.  I have a parent domain A.  A child of A named B.  Two children of B named C and D.  I have a DC in each of C and D with users, files, permisions and such.  I want to consolidate all this to one domain named A.  Do you guys know of some literature on this subject?  There are no DC's in any other domains (A and/or B).  Why this was set up this way, I don't know.  What I do know is that this mess needs to be cleaned up by me.  We have a lot of critical data and permisions to go with.  Is there a painless way to keep the permissions and user rights to go with the data if moved to another domain?  I guess I have too many questions in regard to this.  If there were some sort of literature on this exact topic, would you guys enlighten me?

Thanks,
Cheese
cheesebugahAsked:
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WeHeCommented:
a domain without a dc is not possible.
are all of them in the same AD and use the same namespace? domain a.b.c.d?
"a"  domain must have a dc to hold the forest fsmo roles
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
You are so correct. Yes, the namespace is d.b.a.com and/or c.b.a.com.  I would like a.com only.  
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WeHeCommented:
i am afraid, you have to migrate them from d.b.a.com and c.b.a.com into a.com with Active Directory Migration Tool.
but you say, there are no DC's for a.com, so you cant migrate to this domain.
and to build a new domain and migrate then, you have to use different domain names.
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valiconCommented:
Hey cheesebugah,

You will need to use the Windows 2000 Active Directory Migration Tool, just as WeHe suggests.  Here is a link to it:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/downloads/w2kadmt.mspx

and here is some docs to go with the task (for Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 AD Domains):

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/deployguide/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/deployguide/en-us/DSSBH_RERA_OVERVIEW.asp

The above URL wraps so be sure to enter it into the browser as one line.  Hope this helps :)
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
valicon,

Some good stuff there, thanks.

WeHe,

Couldn't I create or migrate a DC into the root domain (a.com), and migrate to there from the others?



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WeHeCommented:
i am very confused, as no domain can run without a DC, but you have two of them.
but you can't migrate a DC into a domain, when there is no other DC.
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the confusion.  I have a DC in the d.b.a.com domain.  I also have a DC in the c.b.a.com domain.  I also have a 2 DC's in the b.a.com domain, but no DC in the a.com domain.  So, I only have one domain, the root domain, without a DC.  Believe me, it is working, or I would not be here to discuss this with you.  

So, back to my last question.  Do I have to demote a DC to migrate it, or will the AD migration tool allow me to migrate a DC from one domain to another?  Would it be easier to create a new DC in the root domain and migrate the rest?    
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WeHeCommented:
AD Migration Tool will not migrate any DC.
you have to create a DC into root domain.
you have to migrate all users and computers to the root domain.
demote all dc's in your sub domains (remeber to choose "Last DC in a domain" at the last DC).
then you can join the demoted DC'S into root domain and dcpromo them again.
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
How is this going to affect the users logon?  Users now log on to the d.b.a.com domain.  Are their computers joined to the root domain with the migration tool?  Does the existing active directory structure get completely restructured to reflect the migration?  I have so many concerns that I'm afraid I'm going to have to bump up the points on this one, if you're willing to keep answering my questions.  I do greatly appreciate the help though.  I'll buy you a beer also.

Thanks,
Cheese
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WeHeCommented:
you should read documentation for ADMT.
download it and read the docs :) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=788975b1-5849-4707-9817-8c9773c25c6c&DisplayLang=en
additionaly read this: http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/planning/activedirectory/admt.asp
it's for 2000, but it applies to 2003 too.
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
WeHe,

I figured out why there is no DC in the root domain.  Our root domain is hosted offsite by a company called ultra dns.  So, there actually is a DC in the root domain, just not here on site.  This is corporate policy, so I don't think I'm going to be able to consolidate down to the root level.  With the information you've so kindly provided, consolidating down to the second level should be fairly easy.  I shouldn't have said that, but too late.

Thanks,
Cheese
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WeHeCommented:
I am really happy that there is a Root DC.
It saves my world.
Then use ADMT to migrate your domains to your subdomain.
if you can, play with ADMT in a Testenviroment.
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WeHeCommented:
I have seen the closing mail too late.
i am confused about how you gave the points.
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cheesebugahAuthor Commented:
WeHe,

That's twice I've confused you in one question.  I'm so talented.  Anyhow, thanks for the advice and I think I've left the confusion out this time.

Cheese
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WeHeCommented:
no problem and thank you for the correction.
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