Windows 2000 domain upgrade to 2003 R2 with all new hardware.

A company I support are about to go ahead with a new computer system upgrade.
They will be moving from Windows 2000 up to Windows 2003 R2, and we have been asked to handle the migration/upgrade.
To give you a brief overview, currently there are 2 sister companies who share resources. 1 of the companies is also split over 2 sites.
Main Site : Company A + Company B
Additional Sites: Company B
Future Sites: Possibilty of Company B expanding further
Company A:  Exchange
Company B: Exchange (both sites), SQL (shared with company A), Intranet (shared with company A),
Both companies have users that have specific roles in each of the companies.
The Forest is split into 2 root level domains one for each company, Company B are looking to upgrade/migrate to Windows 2003 R2.
What we need to do is get some hints and pointers on handling this. We have read a lot of the following document regarding migrating 2000 -> 2003 however it has some quite worrying little points that it raises, for instance:
It mentions that you shouldn't use OEM versions of Windows 2003 to do the upgrade, but as they are all being supplied with the new kit all the versions will be OEM.
There are a lot of other points that need looked at and look applicable to us. There are only about 130 users in total between the 2 companies so we were wondering if it's not just better to rebuild the Forest with the new kit and re-create the AD? The main problem we see with this is that Company A would somehow need to be migrated on to the new forest and we are not sure if this is possible?
Alternativly would we be better to create a new root level domain and build the new servers up in that, then move everything from the old domain over before decomissioning it?
We need to look to do this with as little chance of failure and switch over as fast as possible as the company works 7 days a week.

The company that are staying on 2000 we are trying to get to upgrade to 2003 for ease of exchange upgrade... lets hope they go for it.
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SMFXConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You don't want to use OEM editions because you cannot use a retail copy of Win2k to upgrade from.  For instance, to upgrade your domain to 2003 and keep the same domain, you will either have to:
  1.  upgrade an existing Win2k machine to Win2k3 (which the hardware may not support and would require another license as the OEM is tied to the new hardware)
  2.  install Win2k on the new machine (for which you are not going to have an OEM copy of so you will probably have to use a retail copy and I'm not sure if your OEM key will work on it), make the new machine a DC, and upgrade it to Win2k3 (but this wouldn't work because your Win2k3 is an OEM license and your Win2k wasn't)  [by the way, this is often the preferred method of upgrade]
  3.  I'm told you join a Win2k3 server to a Win2k domain and dcpromo it to upgrade the domain, but I've never really be comfortable with it.  If the dcpromo crokes in the middle of it, you're going to have an AD structure without a DC that understands.  I'm just not really comfortable with doing to steps at once on something this big.

The other option, is if the old servers were bought under an Open, Select, or Enterprise Agreement license, the license could be migrated to the new hardware and you would only have to purchase an Upgrade edition of Win2k3 rather than OEM.

Finally, it is possible to migrate users between domains as long as a trust exists between them.  KB328871 describes how to move accounts with Exchange mailboxes:
For those without Exchange mailboxes, you can just use the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) from Microsoft to do it:
This will copy pretty much everything except password and SID history.

All of the users from Company A could be placed in an OU of Company B.  However, there is a political or perception tool to be considered as well as it could be bad if Company B were considered the "child" of Company A and the CEO of Company A is logging in to a domain named Company B.  Purely superficial, but something to consider.

aluciasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am doing the same thing right now. I am replacing a w2k server DC with a new w2k3 r2 server dc, the removing the w2k DC server. I have followed all teh suggested Microsoft steps and am having a punch of problems.

I am not sure if you are doing a upgrade to your existing PC of adding a new one on to the domain. but here are a few things I have ran across and the fix for the issues.

1)First you need to run ADPREP on the w2k server. If you are using R2, you will need to run this form the second install disk, under compnet\r2\adprep\adprep
   make sure you do both forestoprep, adn domain prep. If you do not use the adprep from the second disk you will run into issue.
2) second add the ne3w machine to the domain frist, before you do DCpromo. For might run into a permission issue on the promotion. To fix this, go to active directory user and computers, find the new server name, under properties check the box "trust the computer for delegation". This will solve the premission issue.

3)next is the DNS issue. This is where i am have fits, It is not replicating properly. I am gettign errors all over my new server with DNS. What i have been told is i have to wipe out all DNS zones on all DC, point all the DC to the new server and then recreate the DSN zone. I will let you know if this works.

I hope this helps..
MicrotechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input guys, it looks like we are rebuilding the domain from scratch as the sister company wants to integrate with the main company and to do this we will have loads of other (potential) problems, and as the domain is only 150 users large we will recreate it in parallel and then we know we have a good and sound AD from the start.
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