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migrating nt4 to 2k3... again

Posted on 2006-03-22
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ok i know this question has been asked a billion times, but i guess im just not hearing what im looking for.  my current domain is nt4, 1 pdc, old old OLD server.  my company got sold and a new company is taking over.  ive bought a spiffy new server with win2k3 to be a new dc.  now heres where my question is kinda different.  i can migrate the old domain to 2k3, or i can start from scratch with a new domain.  my office is at about 70 users, no exchange, kinda basic stuff.  

i wanted to hear pointers for each path.  ive been looking at admt 3.0, anyone have experience with that?  would that allow me to set up a new domain and transfer users from the old domain?  is it reliable?  or is there a better tool?  ive also been reading on the "swing server" method where you set up a 3rd nt4 server, promote it to pdc, upgrade it to 2k3, and then transfer files to the new "real"  dc.

thanks

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Question by:AmresIT
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16261556
I have not heard of any series gotchas on the ADMT method, but I consider this a sloppy way of doing things and should only be used when you're consoldating domains and/or migrating from/to an SBS Server.

I STRONGLY recommend if the existing domain is NOT an SBS domain that you just upgrade the domain with the "Swing Server" method.  Indeed, one way to do this relatively easily and cost effectively is to download VMWare or Virtual PC as a trial, setup the NT4 BDC on that, then promote IT to the PDC role, upgrade the virtual (make a backup of the virtual hard drive first), then you'll have your domain moved over to 2003.  Promote the new server to be the DC, transfer the roles, DEMOTE the Virtual system and you're done.  Don't even need to buy the software (though I DO recommend you buy Virtual PC or VMWare - it's fantastic having the ability to create virtual test environments and/or backup servers)
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by:AmresIT
ID: 16261730
sorry, what i meant to say before was that its looking like i need to create a new domain for the new company and transfer everyone over.  BUT im open to hear advice for the straight migration too, just in case management changes their minds.  I figure i dont have very many users, transfering to a new domain might not be to tough.  

just fyi the new server is win2k3 standard and the old server is nt4 sp6

thanks again
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by:vsg375
ID: 16261866
Hi,

We are doing this this right now... Migrating about 800 users and approximately the same number of groups from 3 different NT4 domains to one single AD infrastructure. Of course, completely different domain names, and completely different infrastructures.

We use ADMT, and it works flawlessly. All you have to do is master it... And when I say that, I mean REALLY master it, otherwise, some very unpleasant surprises might arise.

I strongly suggest you start by migrating some test accounts, and see what happens. This tool is definitely not "click and migrate", but I must admit it's very efficient.

HTH
Cheers
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by:AmresIT
ID: 16312959
okie doke.  so im moving everyone and everything from the old nt4 domain to a brand spakin new domain with a win2k3 dc.  any other advice besides admt?  i just downloaded the newest one (ver 3.0) and im gonna go try to figure it out...
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vsg375 earned 500 total points
ID: 16314296
<quote>any other advice besides admt?<quote>

Yeah, courage and patience ;o)

Nah, seriously :

Before starting the actual migration, you wanna check some things :

- service accounts : dou you have any ? Are they all necessary ?
- groups : that's most of the time the problem. Your users require specific permissions on specific disk spaces, and after a couple of years, you wind up having more groups than users... This migration, and spring ;o) , could be agood time for some cleanup. Migrating used groups is enough complicated, why migrate unused ones ?

After migration, it could also be appropriate to check your password policy, and security on a more general basis.

HTH
GL
Cheers
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Author Comment

by:AmresIT
ID: 16327757
ok well im truckin along.  i found a great webcast on technet about migrating from nt4 to 2003.  i highly recommend it for anyone in trouble.  my migration didnt go as smoothly as the webcast but it went farther after i watched it:)
<a href=http://www.microsoft.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?CMTYSvcSource=MSCOMMedia&Params=%7eCMTYDataSvcParams%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ID%22+Value%3d%221032290767%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ProviderID%22+Value%3d%22A6B43178-497C-4225-BA42-DF595171F04C%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22lang%22+Value%3d%22en%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22cr%22+Value%3d%22US%22%2f%5e%7esParams%5e%7e%2fsParams%5e%7e%2fCMTYDataSvcParams%5e>here</a>

i have successfully set up the new domain controller, installed AD, and i have migrated the user accounts using admt ver 3.0.  now i have questions.  the "migrate computers" tool will only work if im using an account that has admin rights on the computer im migrating.  how do i get an account in domain A (2k3) to have admin rights on all computers in domain B(nt4)?  i have already set up a 2 way trust between the domains just to get admt to start working.  the user manager on nt4 will allow me to add an account from domain A to a LOCAL group in domain b, but not a domain group.  help?

also, we currently have our users linked to login scripts to map particular drives.  in 2k3 is there a better way to do this than to use batch files?

also, does anyone know a good resource for setting up dns?  its "working" as of right now but for some reason i dont think i set it up correctly.  i set up secondary zones so that i could transfer the data from the dns server on domain
B.  that function completed, and i changed the zone to primary/AD-integrated.  my test computers can get online and can see network resources, but i dont see any entries on the new dns server that are present on the original dns server...

last question, regarding dhcp.  we have a standalone dhcp server.  im figuring that all i do is change the static ip of the dns on the dhcp server to point to the new domain controller (dns server) and it will replicate that change to all of the dhcp clients.  correct?

thanks
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Author Comment

by:AmresIT
ID: 16327763
ha sorry about the link, i thought i could shrink it up with html.  i guess not.
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