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Raising the Domain Functional Level to 2003 Native with an active BDC

Posted on 2005-03-09
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
We have upgraded to Windows 2003 AD from NT 4.0 and still have an old BDC that used to be a PDC prior to the upgrade.  I want to use the BDC as a member server but need to make sure that it doesn't receive any directory updates.  I realize that I can demote it using a tool called UPromote, but don't want to go that route.
I can get to the dialog box where I can change the functional level and can see the warning after I click "Raise". The question is: is it safe to simply raise the Domain Functional Level to 2003 Native, or are there any additional steps involved?
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Question by:NickBurnsNYC
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Dave_Dietz earned 1000 total points
ID: 13502373
It would not be prudent to raise the functional level with an NT 4.0 BDC still in the domain.

The server could run into issues since it would still think it was a BDC but it would be unable to communicate with a DC.  Since it would still think it was a DC it would likely not receive any updates made to Active Directory and this could lead to authentication and authorization issues for people trying to access resources on the server.

I would *strongly* recommend demoting the server, or better yet, if you need an NT 4.0 member server to reinstall NT on the machine and make it a member server properly.

Dave Dietz
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by:NickBurnsNYC
ID: 13511185
So it looks like I will only have an issue with that BDC, and the Active Directory should function normally otherwise. Would it even be possible to raise the domain functional level, or will I get an error message when I attempt to do so?
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by:Dave_Dietz
ID: 13513765
I believe you will be able to raise the level after receiving a warning - you may have to shut down or disconnect the BDC from the network first though, haven't tried it.

This is how Oraphan DBCs happen.

Dave Dietz
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Author Comment

by:NickBurnsNYC
ID: 13521315
Thanks, Dave.

It's not exactly the answer I wanted to get, I was hoping that there is another way around this problem.  And as I saw in your previous post, I am not going to give you a bad grade just because I didn't like the answer.
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LVL 34

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by:Dave_Dietz
ID: 13522782
Wish I had a better answer for you, but I don't.  :-(

And I don't normally throw a fit over a grade, but when an answer is in Microsoft's documentation or in the knowledge base and *I* get dinged for it it does ruffle the old feathers a little bit....  ;-)

Dave Dietz
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