Decommissioning A Server...

Posted on 2006-06-19
Last Modified: 2008-11-10
Our organization has many Windows Server 2003 boxes and a few Windows 2000 Server boxes.  Our domain controller is a W2K Server, it also hosts the shared/network drives and acts as the print server.

The box is old an slow I want to move the users home directories which is the "G" drive on the server, the shared printers/queues, and all other necessary services to the new Windows 2003 Standard box

What's the best way to go about doing this while making it as transparent as possible to the user.

My goal is to not have to walk people through remapping to printers, having permissions etc messed up on their files etc.

Also I assume a DC promo is not needed since in a Windows Server 2003 domain mixed mode all servers act as member servers there is no primary or BDC right?
Question by:TheBrothaULuv2H8
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Accepted Solution

Mad_Jasper earned 500 total points
ID: 16934758
I am a big DFS proponent for moving files to new servers while retaining permissions, network drives, etc.

 I would bring up the new box and and join it to the domain. Set up DFS to replicate all files and folders to the new server. DEMOTE the old server, rename it, and change the IP address. Rename the new server and change the IP address to that of the old server. PROMOTE the new server to a DC. Install the printers on new server and the users should be able to access their shared folders and print as they have done before.

DFS replication can occur any time without any knowlege to the user. Once you are satisfied that replication has occured, you should be able to complete this migration in less that two hours.


Expert Comment

ID: 16938175
firstly,  if you want to remove your d.c. from the domain it should not be global catalogue server and niether it should be supporting any single master role.  If that is the case than you can take a back up of your d.c. and than authoritatively restore it on the new m/c

Expert Comment

ID: 16939303
In re-reading your post, I assume that the 2000 is the only DC, the demote/promote thing would be a problem. If you have more than one DC, then it would not be a problem.

You could promote the new server and allow the domain to replicate, transfer FSMO roles and make the server the GC, demote the old server, and change the name of the new DC to that of the old one as well as the IP address.

Link to transfer FSMO roles:;EN-US;324801

Change Windows 2003 DC name:

Expert Comment

ID: 16939309
I am not saying it is the best way, but it I have painlessly performed this task several times where I have not tried nikhil's method.


Author Comment

ID: 17145649
I really like the Mad_Jasper methodology it sounds pretty acurate and I assume I can begin DFS replication immediately so that the files will start transferring to the new server NOW (since the 2K3 server is online already and joined to the domain) once all files have replicated I assume I can follow the rest of your steps.

Now here's my question, you're saying I can migrate the printers etc to the new server and people won't even have to re-add them?  Interesting.  Though I think I'm going to say to hell with all that since when I started working for this organization the shared drive area is a HOT MESS, the printer naming is horrid and it might be a good time to do a major clean up.

I assume my W2K original DC is a global catalog server too right?  But I thought once you introduce W3K servers in the network every server is considered a Domain Controller.  There is no longer a primary and secondary DC am I right?  If this is the case, If I take the old 2K domain controller down people will still log in without incident right?  I also have an Exchange 2003 server (just as an FYI in case that change anything).  So what about the GC, somehow I just wene to Exchange under directory access and see that my NEW SERVER is listed as the GC!  That's good right?  So I don't have to migrate the GC.  It's also listed as the DC which is odd, maybe someone already migrated those roles over before I started?  Perfect.

So it would seem to me that all my old W2K primary DC is doing is file/print.  Maybe before I started someone already did the migration.  I feel like I'm just babbling now.  

The real question:
How can I determine if the FSMO roles have been transferred to the new server?  Exchange already shows it as a DC and the GC under directory access.  But I want to confirm the FSMO roles first.

Any insight?

This is a ways out so I won't accept an answer until after AUGUST sometime, but it looks like MAD_JASPER is right on the money thus far.

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