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Migrating Windows 2000 domain controller to Windows 2003 domain controller

I have 4 Win2k SP4 domain controllers running AD integrated DNS two in one site and two in another site.  We have purchased VMWare ESX and loaded them on a 2 servers.  I would like to build 4 virtual domain controllers in the ESX boxes and bring them online to retire my current Windows 2000 Domain controllers.  

I would like some suggestions on the approach that I am taking:

1. Build Win2k3 VM with DNS, DHCP and WINS services on them.  I have left them built in workgroup status.
2. Connect these Win2k3 boxes to the current production domain with the DNS, DHCP and WINS services turned off.
3. Run netdom to determine my FSMO roles.
4. all FSMO roles except schema master are on the same server.  my oldest dc has the schema master role.
5. both these servers will be retired and replaced.
6. run adprep/domainprep
7. run adprep/forestprep
8. make Win2k3 box DC with WINS, DHCP and AD integrated DNS on the same machine
9. Replicate the domain.
10. leave the domain in windows 2k3 mixed mode (aka Windows 2000 native mode).
11. move FSMO roles to new virtual server
12. demote the old DCs and turn them off.

big question is where are the gotchas?  I know that there are some of them somewhere.  I can't have the network down for more than 8 hrs during the evening.  
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dpregula
Asked:
dpregula
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2 Solutions
 
mikeleebrlaCommented:
this is the most complete list of gotchas ive found when migrating from 2000 to 2003:
http://www.commodore.ca/windows/windows_2003_upgrade.htm
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Netman66Commented:
You should be able to use a tool to create your virtual machine from the production boxes.  Microsoft has tools to do this for Virtual Server - I can't imagine VMWare doesn't.

What this tool does is take a snapshot of your server then load it into a VM session.  You could do this on both servers so that all 4 of your servers are now on two hosts in VMs.  There is no dependance on having the hosts part of the domain - they could remain in workgroup mode - pretty secure solution, actually.

Once they're loaded and running stable in the VM, you can consider upgrading them within the VM session - since the hardware is virtualized you probably won't carry over any nasties.

I'll see if I can find the tool for you so you know what I mean.
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Netman66Commented:
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