Re-install Domain from Scratch

Posted on 2006-04-12
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have inherited a domain that is a Windows2003 domain.  It war originally a Nt4 domain, then upgrreaded to 2000 domain, and finally upgraded to 2003 domain.  It has several gremlins in the domain (like some group policies that won't apply, some DNS issues, etc).  I have been working with it for most of a year and have gotten it to a state were it is reasonably stable.  However, some issues just won't go away.  Therefore, I am toying with the idea of simply starting the whole domain over from scratch.  I have several items that I wanted input on before finalizing my plans.

1. Child domain.  This domain has a child domain that I can see no advantage to having in existence.  This is a very small organization and only a single campus is in its own child domain.  In addition, they only have a single server, so there is no backup for that domain if it goes down.   I am thinking heavily about getting rid of the child domain and just bringing them into the main domain.  So my question is what are the valid reasons for a child domain that I might be mssing (just be general in answer)?

2. Migrating users.  I could use the active directory migration tool to copy the users to the new domain, but I am a little hesitant to do this.  The whole reason that I am wanting to do this is to get rid of gremlins from active directory.  If I use this tool, I might copy the same structure problems from the original to the new domain.  Therefore, I am planning on using scripts to manually add users to the new domain.  This will have the disadvantage of resetting all thier passwords, but should guaruntee no hold over problems.  Any comments?

3. Local workstations.  I do realize that this will mean that I have to go to every single workstation and join it to the new domain.  In addition, each local station will see the users (as the login) and they will loose things like backgrounds etc.  Any comments?

4. The main reason for posting this question.  Exchange server.  I have done the procedures described above to other domains before.  What is new for me in this domain is that we are running an Exchange 2003 server.  Our users connect to it via OWA only.  What is the best method of moving these mailboxes to the new domain and still having everything work correctly (meaning they still see their old mailboxes, address books, etc).

I will not actually do this procedure for at leats two months, right now I am only in the planning stages.
Question by:rchein
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    1. Child domains are usefull if you have different administrators for different sites.  This keeps the Jr. Admins from messing around with the parent domains and gives them full controll over their site.  I have never seen a situation where it's been a good idea to have a child domain.  My network has 5 of em and it's nothing but headaches for me.  I am in the process of merging them all into the parent.

    2. ADMT shouldn't bring any issues over to your new domain.  It essentially just reads the current info for users and creates the same user in the new domain.  Also nice to make sure they end up in the same security groups they were in (if you keep the group structure)

    3. If you use ADMT to migrate the computers you will not have to touch them physically and the users will not get a new profile, so no lost wallpaper, settings, etc...

    4. Look at:
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    What about if I name the new domain diffently (company changed name this year)?
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Nevermind about last question.

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