I am currently running a Windows Active Directory in 2000 Mixed Mode.  I have 4 Windows 2000 Servers and 5 Windows 2003 Servers.  One of the 2003 Servers is running Exchange 2003 (Ent.).Both of my DC's are Windows 2000 machines.  These two servers are getting rather "tired", and I'd like to move the DC roles to newer machines, either onto existing 2003 server hardware, or purchase two small Dell PowerEdge 850 servers and make them the DCs (and nothing else).  Any problems switching from 2000 mixed to 2003 native?  Any tips or advice on the proper steps to take?  Thanks.
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Upgrade Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 Domain

Do not heed any advice that says – just pop the disk in and let’s go. That might
have worked for the person posting it, but they might not be using the same
applications/hardware etc as you.

1.      Set internal DNS servers to "scavenge" every 7 days, do this as far
before the upgrade as possible: 61+ days preferred but not required.
2.      Upgrade ALL servers to Service Pack 4
3.      Ensure your server platforms will support windows 2003  
See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/catalog/server/
4.      Check with your hardware vendor for W2003 issues
Possibly require updated BIOS
RAID cards are a real issue under W2003 so make sure
yours will work,  My experience has been that the problems
lie with new cards.  I have not had any problems with cards
that were greater than 2 years old
5.      Verify all your applications are supposed to function under W2003
by contacting your vendors.
6.      If you have MS Exchange 2000 or older STOP NOW
you must read http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=325379
7.      Run CD \i386\winnt32.exe /checkupgradeonly
8.      note that only "local" (LPR) and "Standard TCP/IP" printer ports
work under 2003
9.      Ensure that the first server you upgrade has the PDC Emulator and Domain Naming
 Master & RID Master FSMO's, if these roles are on different computers, upgrade them
in the following order PDC, then DNM, then RID
10.      Note that IIS Lockdown and/or FrontPage Server Extensions DO NOT
need to be removed before the upgrade, IIS6 inherits the restrictions
you set in IIS Lockdown and then removes the IIS lockdown tool
(it is 'built in' now)
11.      If you do not already have it, install the W2000 Recovery Console
(x:\i386\winnt32 /cmdcons)
12.      Disable Link Tracking Server Service
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=312403 for details  
13.      Remove W2000 Admin Tools, W2000 ResKit (not required but a very
good idea), and WinZip < version 8.1 if you have it installed.
14.      STOP and DISABLE the FAX Service  
15.      Update / create Repair Disks using NTBackup
16.      Backup the SYSTEM STATE preferably using NTBACKUP
17.      Backup your SQL or other databases
18.      If your are upgrading a print server, backup your printers using
19.      Reboot and do a common sense check:  
Resolve any service errors  
Check for major event viewer errors relating to key AD components
like FRS and DNS.  
Verify their is a pile of hard drive space  (like 1GB+)      
20.      From the W2003 CD run ADPREP /forestprep - only required once
You should complete the W2003 upgrade within the week of
running ADPREP tools.
21.      From the W2003 CD run ADPREP /domainprep - only required once
22.      Force replication to all DC's via AD Sites and Services
wait a MINIMUM of 20 minutes before starting the Windows 2003
23.      Disable all anti-virus and non-windows applications / services
(i.e. event log trackers, 3rd party FTP servers...)
SQL2000 services do NOT need to be shut down
24.      Insert the W2003 CD, let it auto play, and select INSTALL then Upgrade
complete the upgrade process which will take about an hour for
most machines, don't get too concerned about the COMPLETE
TIME meter during this install, my experience on a variety of
machines is that it is off about 25% and the status bar regularly
appears 'stuck'; just keep waiting
25.      After the upgrade is complete, check event viewer for key errors – ignore
Event ID 1931    
26.      Check DNS and AD replication  
i.e. add a new user on one server and see if it shows up on the
other DC's  
27.      Install W2003 admin tools from x:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\ADMINPACK.MSI
Note that the incredibly useful tool NETDIAG is now integrated into
28.      If you had a copy of the W2000 I386 directory on the server delete it and
copy new I386 files
29.      Install the Support Tools from the \TOOLS\SUPPORT TOOLS folder on
the CD
30.      delete any $xxxx$ folders from x:\WINNT\ which contained W2000 service
pack / hot fix uninstall info (i.e. all of them)  
31.      Install the new W2003 Recovery Console (x:\i386\winnt32 /cmdcons)
32.      Install ALL patches from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com 
SYSTEM CACHE.  fter one of the upgrade I did, the machine was very
slow.  as soon I changed performance settings to SYSTEM CACHE,
speed improved dramatically
34.      In the same place in SYSTEM PROPERTIES, set the VIRTUAL MEMORY
(read Swap File) to be MANAGED BY WINDOWS, don't forget to click SET after
 making each change to each drive. You may want to go back
and check your settings were applied as you expected after the reboot
It is a good idea to put your Swap File on a different drive than the Operating System is on
35.      Backup at least the System State of the server preferably using
NTBACKUP do NOT overwrite pre-upgrade backup as you just might
need it in the future. Note that W2003 Backup does not read W2000
NTBackup files but if you need to restore back to W2000 you will be happy
you still have a W2000 System State to use
36.      Re-enable Antivirus and another of 3rd party services disabled before the
37.      Install WinZip 8.1 or newer (if desired)
38.      Download (now for free!) and install the W2003 Resource Kit from
39.      Download and install GPMC (Group Policy Management Console) from
40.      Perform your usual system maintenance routine
Delete temp files, old profiles...
Chkdsk, defrag...
41.      Repeat the relevant steps for all DC's
42.      Delete Link Tracking Server Service objects as per the end of
may be useful as well  
43.      Wait 24 hours then perform an Offline Defragmentation of the Active
Directory Database as per
45.      After all DC's are upgraded, increase "Functional Mode" via AD Domains
& Trusts this is like W2K Native Mode

Reference http://www.commodore.ca/windows/windows_2003_upgrade.htm

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tenoverAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  What about if I just decide to buy new hardware and bring them on as 2003 DCs?  
Hi tenover,

there is no issues with buying new servers and booting them in a additional DC's thats actually the path i would be taking, bring them in, allow replication, move roles, take over DHCP DNS roles etc wtc, start slowly demoting the other DC's and rebuilding as servers.....

Native mode will make life heaps better for you, security and functionality will be heaps better, remeber though that it will boot off windows 9x clients and NT clients...... has to be a 2000 and above network

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tenoverAuthor Commented:
No 98 or NT clients whatsoever...Thanks!
no problems then   jsut enhanced AD
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Jay Jay is correct - and an additional DC is the usuall upgrade route, just remeber if you have Exchange 2000 upgrade that first :)
The 45 steps (44 actually, no WinZip here ;-)) mentioned above are the exact reason I've never even TRIED upgrading from Windows 2000 to 2003, at least not on a production server.

Make working backups, upgrade the Windows 2000 AD to the 2003 schema, and add the Windows 2003 DC's. There's enough documents on that.

Changing from mixed mode to native mode is a breeze. Smile when you click that button, and go home early.
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