Upgrading from a NT 4.0 Domain to W2K3 AD

Posted on 2005-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-18

Current scenario : Single NT 4.0 Domain.  NT 4.0 PDC running SP6a which also has Exchange Server 5.5 SP4 installed.  4 Member servers running W2K (hosting applications) - one of them running DHCP.

I want to know the preferred upgrade path to a W2K3 AD domain. Exchange 5.5 will also be upgraded to 2003. (I would prefer to have it on a different server !)

Thanking you in advance.
Question by:saliyam
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Expert Comment

ID: 13638097
Lots to consider here, and perhaps you need to review this article...

Migrating Windows NT Server 4.0 Domains to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory

LVL 57

Accepted Solution

Mike Kline earned 2000 total points
ID: 13638130

First of all nice work on putting Exchange on a different server

Check out this blog

Exchange Server 2003 and Domain Controllers - A Summary

You have two choices

1.   A clean and pristine migration  --- In that scenario  you would create the 2003 domain and then migrate your users and mailboxes to the domain.   You would do that using a Active directory migration tool or third party tools such as NetIQ or Quest.

2.  The second way is an upgrade in place,  that means you upgrade your DC from NT to 2003 and then you can go from there.  That is easier but if you want to start clean the first method is better.  It depends on you.

Some things to know

1.  Plan and have make sure to have a test lab too... even if you run a machine with virtual PC or VMWare you want to be familiar with the new products

2.  Read up on DNS... this is the foundation for AD.   In NT it wasn't that important.

Take a look at some of these links

Upgrading Windows NT/2000 to Windows 2003 (Part 1)

Upgrading and Migrating to Windows Server 2003

Upgrading from Windows NT Server 4.0


LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 13645939
A couple of small points from having done this recenty (NT4 to SBS2003) --

Migrating external contacts and distribution lists is a manual process.  I had good luck scripting this with the dsadd command in Windows 2003.

Migrating NTFS permissions is also a manual process.  I didn't have much to worry about, so I just did it by hand.

Also - with SBS2003, you must *migrate* as opposed to *upgrading.*  Upgrading will certainly preserve the NTFS permissions.  But the external contacts and distribution lists will still be manual, I bet.

Author Comment

ID: 13648291
Thanks to all who participated for your valuable input.

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