[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 181
  • Last Modified:

Old domain still present...

First of all, excuse my ignorance... I'm new to IT and have been thrown into a lot of unfamiliar ground.

Background:  when I started, the company had an old MS NT 4.0 (SBS) server running as a file and print server.  I purchased a new server, running MS SBS 2003.  I set up the new server with a new domain, users, computers, etc.  However, now that I've switched everything over to the new server, I don't know how to point everyone to the new domain... and the old domain is still present.  To add to the hassle, I can't seem to get DNS up and running, so I'm having to point everybody to the new server with IP addresses.  AND, since the old domain is still present, I'm running into a problem administrating users because it's still looking for them in the old domain.  I know, it's a mess....  and I'm sure there's more than one problem... if you could at least get me pointed in the right direction, that'd be great.
1 Solution
Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
This is a pretty big question.  Where to start?

Well, the first thing you need to do is fix your name resolution problems.  Here's what I would try to set up:

NT4.0 uses WINS as its primary method of name resolution.  So, go install WINS on your new SBS server and then set up WINS replication between the two.  You can then point all of your clients to the new server as their primary WINS server.  For more info on WINS, go to:


Get DNS set up for the new domain.  Install DNS on the SBS 2K3 server and then install the DNS server service on the NT4.0 SBS box.  On the NT4.0 box, set up a secondary zone and pull the DNS zone info from the SBS 2K3 server.  For more info on DNS, go to:


If you plan on having both domains around (if, for example, you need to have shared folders on the old server for now), then set up trusts so that you can access resources in either domain (you still have to set up permissions).  For more information on Active Directory and external trusts, go to:

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/41345a28-cab6-481e-98e2-84a5ff0392781033.mspx  (this is an upgrading from NT link)

If you're using Exchange on the old server, you'll have to do a migration, and that can be really complicated.

Check out this link for more info on upgrading/migrating SBS:


In short, you're asking a really complicated question.  It might be worth your while to hire an independent consultant to come in and help.\


issues here:

1) you have two domains setup that are completely separate, it is not just a simple matter of pointing to a new server, you have to rejoin your clients in.

2) your old SBS server is now redundant, only one SBS server per Domain, there is no workarounds for that

3) your DNS wont be working as yet, have you installed it and can you resolve the SBS2K3 from itself? if so, then thats al your going to be able to do until you start joining clients back into the domain
I did a migration of this over the past weekend actually, NT4.0 to Win2k3 SBS Server ...

I'd just like to remind you that trusts cannot be established on a SBS Server because it is a SBS Server. I wish you luck.
Having a trust around during the migration can ease a lot of headaches after moving the workstations to the new domain, as the profiles can be copied, if the workstations do not know what the other profile belonged it, it will say Unknown in the User Profiles & cannot be copied.

DNS : once completely completed the full setup of SBS & made it a DC, it should've installed&configured your DNS server for you.

My suggestion would be to consider paying the price of a full 2003 server which trusts etc can be maintained during the migration, making user headaches go away after the new domain arrives on their desktop.

Concerto's Cloud Advisory Services

Want to avoid the missteps to gaining all the benefits of the cloud? Learn more about the different assessment options from our Cloud Advisory team.

GSSL_ITAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions guys...

One thing I failed to mention was that the old server is no longer present... it had to be returned as a part of a 5-yr equipment lease.  SO, I've still got clients on the old domain, even though the old server is no longer involved.  During the Win2k3 SBS setup, I created a new domain, and Active Directory users and computers are ready to go, but no one is able to join the party.

I guess it comes down to this:  how can I switch my users over to the new domain and/or remove the old domain?
Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
Oh.... okay.  Actually, I think your situation is much simpler.

All you need to do is join your computers to the new domain.  That's pretty much it.  If you want to, you can join them to a workgroup first, but that's really not nedcessary.

To do this:

Click on Start, right-click on My Computer and go to Properties.  On the Computer Name tab, there's a button that says "Change..." so click on that.  In the window that comes up, look for "Member of" and you can select either a domain or a workgroup.  Put in the new domain name and it will prompt you for credentials for the new domain, so put in your domain administrator account and its password.  Click OK a couple of times when it tells you to, and then reboot.

That's pretty much it.  Do this on all PCs.

Post back with results, please.

GSSL_ITAuthor Commented:
well, i've tried this, but I get the response: "A domain controller for the domain GSSLINC could not be contacted..."

it's like the new domain isn't "visible" on the network...
Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
Make sure that your PCs point to the new server as their DNS server.

GSSL_ITAuthor Commented:
That did it... all the clients were still pointing to the old DNS server assigned by the ISP.  Once I switched everyone over to the SBS DNS, I was able to join them into the domain with no problems.  Thanks for all the help!!!

Featured Post

Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now