Posted on 2006-04-13
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
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.
Question by:tenover
    LVL 57

    Accepted Solution

    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  
    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
    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 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  
    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;en-us;312403;en-us;315229
    may be useful as well  
    43.      Wait 24 hours then perform an Offline Defragmentation of the Active
    Directory Database as per;EN-US;232122
    45.      After all DC's are upgraded, increase "Functional Mode" via AD Domains
    & Trusts this is like W2K Native Mode


    Author Comment

    Thanks.  What about if I just decide to buy new hardware and bring them on as 2003 DCs?  
    LVL 48

    Assisted Solution

    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


    Author Comment

    No 98 or NT clients whatsoever...Thanks!
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    no problems then   jsut enhanced AD
    LVL 57

    Expert Comment

    by:Pete Long
    Jay Jay is correct - and an additional DC is the usuall upgrade route, just remeber if you have Exchange 2000 upgrade that first :)
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    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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