Upgrading Windows 2000 DC to Windows 2003 on New Hardware (Also a file and print server)

Posted on 2006-03-31
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I am currently in the process of Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain Controller to Windows Server 2003 on new hardware.  This computer is also a file and print server.  I want to keep the domain controller the same name and I also want to transfer all of the file shares and printers housed on the current server to the new one without having to change any setting on the users' computers.  This is one of 3 domain controllers in this site.  Can someone help with instructions on whether what I want to do is possible.  Thanks.  
Question by:GDB Ian
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Of course it's possible.  But why do you have 3 domain controllers at this site?  That's excessive, unless "this site" is serving 100,000 people.   Frankly, I recommend doing a SYSTEM STATE backup of ALL Domain Controllers before proceeding, then I'd demote the existing DC, properly moving FSMO masters it may hold off it first.  If necessary, move the GC and DNS and DHCP services off it as well and onto another server.  Finally, do a complete DATA backup of the old server.  Then restore that backup to the new server (DATA ONLY - NOT C: and NOT SYSTEM STATE).  Then rename the existing server something else.  Rename the new server to the old server's name and finally do a differential backup on the old server and restore it to the new server - this will be a QUICK backup as MOST of the data has been moved already and will end up having your system moved over with the smallest amount of down time.  If you REALLY want 3 DCs you can then DCPROMO the new system back up to a DC.
    LVL 19

    Assisted Solution

    To add to this, I found a great tool that will back up your print server (drivers, port definitions, printers, ACL, etc...): Print Migrator 3.0

    This is a Microsoft tool that can backup and/or migrate your print server.  

    As for the rest, here is what I do and this is just my $.02
    -First, make your 3rd DC a Global Catalog server (see link below) and a primary DNS server and take it off of your network...just put it on a switch w/ no uplink.  Then, use this machine to seize your FSMO roles (see link below) for the domain...just DO NOT put this DC back in the domain when you are done.  It must be retired for good.  
    -with the new DC acting as your FSMO role holder and serving its own DNS it can be upgraded to Server 2003.  This will upgrade your domain as well and give you a good idea of the issues that may pop up when you do this for real.  
    -Once you have done a dry run, you can get ready to upgrade your domain for real.  
    -Take a good backup of your actual FSMO holder, move DHCP off of it, make sure it is a GC server, and (one the weekend) upgrade it.  
    -Now if this goes well do not upgrade your other 2000 DC.  Turn it off and leave it alone or, at least, take out its drives and mark them as "last 2000 dc"...just in case.  You can now take your 3rd DC and wipe it out.  Load Server 2003 on it and do a DCPromo to join it up.  Make it a GC, DNS, etc.  
    -If you wish to have things really clean you can rebuild your original DC (the one we upgraded) so you have 100% pristine 2003 domain controllers...nothing upgraded.  

    Thats how I did my NT --> 2000 domain migration and it worked like a charm (I changed the instructions to apply to 2000 --> 2003).  

    How to create or move a Global Catalog in Windows 2000

    Using Ntdsutil.exe to transfer or seize FSMO roles to a domain controller

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