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Upgrade domain from NT to WIndows 2003

Posted on 2006-06-29
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I have to find the "easiest" way to upgrade an NT 4.0 sp4 domain to Windows 2003 SBS (with Exchange). The NT server is still operational. Can I install the 2003 server in the NT domain as a member server, copy the files over to the 2003 server, and then migrate the user/computer accounts and security settings into an active directory structure?
Thank you for any help I can get.
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Question by:effincomputers
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by:itcoza
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Nope...  Server 2003 cannot be subordinate to Nt4... We would have to look at a process where you first upgrade the NT4 to 2003... then you have Active Directory.  Then you can follow the instructions on how to install a SBS 2003 into an existing domain so that you can transfer the accounts ... and then decommission the old box.
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by:itcoza
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by:itcoza
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Do you need more information?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Easiest way is to use the Active Directory Migration Tool - ADMT - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6F86937B-533A-466D-A8E8-AFF85AD3D212&displaylang=en

For the record, a 2003 system can be a member server in an NT4 domain just fine.  BUT, an SBS 2003 system cannot.
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by:effincomputers
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Thank you, everybody.
Hi leew, I was thinking about using the ADMT tool. Would I have to create a new domain, and then migrate everything over with that tool? The reason why I ask is that I don't want to have to configure all client computers to log into the new domain, because I don't want to have to recreate each user's  working environment. Thanks.
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by:itcoza
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The other way would be to Setup your SBS and have it running smoothly and then do the files and settings transfer thing described in your Question => 21904261.  :)
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by:itcoza
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ADMT will not work as you can not create a trust with the SBS server.
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by:itcoza
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See... Now you do have a solution that will work.

By the way, the addcomputer wizard will also retain your desktop settings for you... if I am not mistaken...
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by:itcoza
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Still the best way would be to upgrade the NT4 box to 2003.... and then to add the 2003 SBS to the (nt4)2003 domain...
No computer changes... users log on as normal...  http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=884453

The shortest path...
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by:itcoza
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You do know that both your questions are actually SBS questions and would have been better answered there....
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Itcoza - explain something please - if ADMT requires a trust to migrate between domains, explain this (last sentence):
"After the migration is complete, users are prompted to create a new password the first time they log on. If you want to migrate user passwords without requiring users to recreate new passwords, follow the instructions in article 326480 “How to Use Active Directory Migration Tool Version 2 to Migrate from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003” in the Knowledge Base at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=20167). In the article, disregard any references to establishing a trust relationship because this is not used for migrating to Windows SBS."

The above is from page 28 of:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/d/c/6dccf9b4-d915-4c95-b5af-100b89e02add/SBS_MigratingSBS2k.doc
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by:itcoza
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Well then... it is a good thing this is the Internet, else I would have a very red face right now from that slap in it.

I bow to your superior knowledge... and say thank you... I have learned something today.   :{
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by:Lee W, MVP
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To put another way - SBS cannot have trusts to or from.  So if that's the case, how is that Microsoft Explicitly lists SBS 2K3 as a compatible product?
"Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 for Itanium-based Systems; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for 64-Bit Itanium-Based Systems; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition; Windows Small Business Server 2003"

Excerpt from System Requirements section:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6F86937B-533A-466D-A8E8-AFF85AD3D212&displaylang=en
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by:itcoza
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Sorry... EffinComputers  - ADMT would be the best way to go then.   Nice work Leew  -  I will use this one in my work in the future... I did not know that they had upgraded the tool to not require trust relationships to have the tool work.  But then the last time I used it was a very long time ago...
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by:effincomputers
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Thanks itcoza. Are you suggesting to upgrade the NT to 2003, and then install the new server with 2003? Then "promote" the newer 2003 server to handle all active directory responsibilities?
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by:itcoza
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Hay... I said sorry... ;(
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Sorry if you want to take it as a "slap in the face" - you said you couldn't do it.  All indications are that you can.  I can understand why you would say that - I have seen several things stating a trust is required, but I don't see how it's necessary if SBS can otherwise use the tool.
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by:itcoza
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I don't know if Leew will approve as he has more points than me, but yes.
I will type you a list of steps if you like.
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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What does points have to do with this?

You can do as itcoza suggests and upgrade the NT4 domain to 2003 - but this is potentially complicated and expensive.  You need a license for a 2003 server.  If your NT server is old you probably wouldn't want to upgrade that.  You should always take precautions and have another BDC (so that would mean an additional system or virtual system).  that solution, again, is feasible - but costly.
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by:itcoza
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Leew,  I used ADMT a long time ago and then it did require trusts between the two domains... maybe MS has changed it since then to work around the problem of trusts in the case of SBS.  And by the way... I have a thick hide... slaps don't faze me.  I can only learn... and that is what this is all about.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Whatever method you choose you really should run some tests first on a test network of old machines.  If you must, spend $500 on 5 500 MHz or so systems on ebay, like Dell GX110s with 10 GB hard drives and 256 MB of RAM - make a test network out of these.
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by:itcoza
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LOL  I am having fun here.  Effin,  If ADMT will work, and Leew would know better than me,  then it would be the better way to go as you need to do nothing much to your Nt4 baby.  The other way has risks, but also great rewards. You get to keep everything basically the same... except you will be totally 2003... SBS  

At the end of the day you need to way up the risks to the business in the process you go for.
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by:itcoza
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I agree totally with Leew... and by the way.. I feel just like Leew does about getting points once a question has been answered.  You better give them to someone... elso there are slaps for you, Effin.   Or would it be Effin Slaps for your?  
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by:itcoza
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This was the best question for the day.... I liked this... even have something that I need to go and test now.
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by:itcoza
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I have tested it in Virtual environment and Yes... the new ADMT works just fine... It's even on the CD - and I didn't even know it.

Have a look here for more instructions on how to use the ADMT: http://sbsbook.packtpub.com/chapter3.htm

ADMT should be your best bet.  Thanx Leew.
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by:itcoza
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Also see your Server 2003 question... The ADMT stuff is there... and this will be your best bet.

Regards
M
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by:effincomputers
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Thanks itcoza and Leew.
When you ran the test in the virtual lab, itcoza, did the ADMT tool work in the scenario I described without a trust?

Thanks
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by:itcoza
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Nope... All it needed was an account on the NT4 domain with the right level of access.  

Regards,
M
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