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Migrating a Windows 2000 Server AC to a Windows 2003 Server From GroundUp

Posted on 2006-06-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hi Experts...

I have a Windows 2000 Server that is a Primary Domain Controller on my network... This is a Old computer, and it's giving me a lot of problems daily. So, I decided to migrate the AD to a new server, running Windows 2003...

The question is: Which is the best approach to migrate the AC to another server, installed from the ground Up, so that when this job finishes, my network users and computers could log on this new server without problems?

Any documentation will be very appreciated.
Thanks a lot!!!!
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Question by:regisdaniel
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 16865903
First, I assume you mean AD as in Active Directory, not AC as in ....???
Second, there is no such thing as a Primary Domain Controller in an Active Directory.  Everything is a Domain Controller.  There are roles (FSMO roles or now sometimes called Operations Masters) and the Global Catalog.

As for how to do the upgrade, you are essentially upgrading your domain to a 2003 Active Directory.  This is relatively simple to do.  In short, you run ADPREP /DOMAINPREP and ADPREP /FORESTPREP on the 2000 DC, then run DCPROMO on the new 2003 server (if this is a 2003 R2 Server, you'll need one additional ADPREP /DOMAINPREP (I believe) run from the second CD in the R2 kit).  Then with the 2003 server joined to the domain, run DCPROMO on it.  After DCPROMO is run, it will be a domain controller in the domain.  Transfer the operations masters to the new 2003 server and make it a global catalog.  LEAVE BOTH SERVERS RUNNING over night AND CHECK YOUR EVENT LOGS for any potential problems the next day (and before you leave that night).  This will give you time for replication of domain information.  I'd suggest leaving both servers running for a week and keep checking your event logs.  Assuming all is good, TURN OFF THE 2000 SERVER and leave it for a week or two.  IF there are any problems, you can turn it back on and troubleshoot without causing yourself too much trouble.  Once two weeks have gone by and there have been no issues in the event log or network related to the old system, power it back on and let it run over night.  The next day, run DCPROMO and demote it so it is no longer a domain controller.  Then you can remove it from the domain and get rid of it.

Oh, and before beginning any of this, MAKE SYSTEM STATE and SYSTEM WIDE backups of all server and critical systems.  Nothing SHOULD happen, but if something does, you want to be able to recover.

There may be a few other things you need to do depending on how your domain is configured - such as making the 2003 DC a DNS server and migrating DHCP services, if the old 2000 system is running them.

Here are my usually posted links for upgrading:
Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555040

Hotfixes to install before you run adprep /Forestprep on a Windows 2000 domain controller to prepare the Forest and domains for the addition of Windows Server 2003-based domain controllers
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=331161

Commodore.ca | Windows | How To Upgrade Windows 2000 Domain to Windows 2003 Server
Quote from the top of this article: "Several glossy Microsoft presenters have stated that all you need to do to complete a Windows 2003 Domain upgrade is run ADPREP and then upgrade away.  This may work for very small / simple environments but it is definitely not good advice for most companies.  After upgrading five servers in two unrelated domains and installing many fresh copies of 2003 I can say that I personally would not skip a single step in the process I have developed below."
http://www.commodore.ca/windows/windows_2003_upgrade.htm

How can I transfer some or all of the FSMO Roles from one DC to another?
http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm

How To Create or Move a Global Catalog in Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=313994

[If you run Exchange 2000] Windows Server 2003 adprep /forestprep Command Causes Mangled Attributes in Windows 2000 Forests That Contain Exchange 2000 Servers
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=314649

Windows Server 2003 Upgrade Assistance Center
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/upgrading/nt4/upgradeassistance/default.mspx

[If using R2 release of Windows 2003] Extending Your Active Directory Schema for New Features in Windows Server 2003 R2
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5B73CF03-84DD-480F-98F9-526EC09E9BA8&displaylang=en
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by:regisdaniel
ID: 16866039
Ok leew!!!!!

First of all, sorry for the AC (I really want to say AD) and PDC/BDC (the NT4 era was gone a some years ago... ) mistakes ;-)

Thanks a lot for all these advices...
I will follow them to avoid problems!!!
Thanks a lot!!!
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