NT4 to 2003

Posted on 2006-07-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Have already asked this question but having accepted answer I am not entirely sure it will be the right thing to do. The NT4 box is full of errors and our BDC only handles mail for one account through iMail and has only 128Mb and is already having hardware errors. I have been advised to upgrade the PDC to 2003 but cannot afford to take it offline to do this as it is the main mail server for the business for one of their online domains as well as central file storage, however the events logs are filling up with disk errors and its partitions are not suitable for a 2003 upgrade, ie C drive 1Gb! Everyone is telling me to do a clean network install as we have loads of logon issues as well so I suspect some corrupt user accounts (it is over 10 years old and has been unmanged).

So my main plan was to basically introduce the brand new 2003 r2 as a new domain controller ie new domain, create all the user accounts and setup mailenable as mailserver, then create a trust between the domains, and copy over the working files and images they need then take the NT4 off the network.

I know this will create two SID's on the users PC's but I know I can get rid of them later and also everyone seems to be in favour of a fresh start with new user accounts ie proper names and passwords ( not currently so) and proper file sharing using some of the features on the server.

Ideas appreciated..

Question by:Andrew Wilkinson
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17144972
You could do that or just build a new machine as NT4 as a BDC, promote it to PDC, upgrade it to 200x.  It depends how much work it wil be for you to in effect esetup a new network. In fact I'd

Find any old naaff desktop machine, build it as NT4 BDC.  Switch it off
Build new server at NT4 BDC, promote it to PDC
Upgrade it to 200x
If all fails turn off the 200x box, put the desktop back and promote it to PDC

Then sort out your mail etc. on the old DC afterwards.


Author Comment

by:Andrew Wilkinson
ID: 17144995

I  understand what you say but could I not do this.

demote nt4 PDC to standalone, introduce brand new wizzy 2003 server, create new domain (have to as company taken over and parent company want specific domain), amend client logins, only 15 PC's, introduce member server and copy over files and then setup mail server?

Author Comment

by:Andrew Wilkinson
ID: 17145000
new server has come with 2003 R2 pre installed and it is at the domain creation screen when swtiched on...
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Wilkinson
ID: 17145104
Someone has told me to do it this way

Build the new server as 2003 (create a new domain).
Migrate the user accounts to it Using ADMT (active directory migration tool) which will extract the users, groups, etc from NT4 and import them to the new server.
Copy the data over, and reset permissions.

Would the NT4 server be able to retain itself as a PDC in this role and therefore all I need to do is demote it afterwards and make it a member server on the new domain if I wanted to use it for anything else?
LVL 43

Accepted Solution

Steve Knight earned 250 total points
ID: 17145519
You can't theoretically demote an NT4 from DC to Member without a rebuild ... I think there may be a tool available to do it now but not officially.

OK How about this.

Naff desktop box.  Install NT4 as BDC.  Turn it off.  That's your backup again
Second naff desktop box.  Install NT4 as BDC, Promote it to PDC using Server Manager, Upgrade it to Windows 2003.  If something fails bring the first backup as PDC.
Join your new W2K3 machine to the domain, dcpromo it to become a DC, sort out your mail server when you have time etc.  then turn off the NT4 and up the functional level of the forest and domain to 2003 native.

I really would do iut this way rather than a second domain btu as I say it depends how much work you want and ADMT would do the trick too.


Author Comment

by:Andrew Wilkinson
ID: 17518244
what we have done is setup a new ip address range [issues there as well] brought in new domain controller, created new user accounts and groups, copied files over from old domain server, shut old one down and hey presto all nice and clean and working. Still have two sid's on workstations though but script will sort that out in time. Thanks for help, as this progressed more requirements were put regarding how network should look from parent company which would have meant renaming user accounts etc and moving groups around so it was easier to start afresh.

thanks anyway
LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 17518732
Thanks for the points anyway then, been there done that with parent companies they like it done there way and 15 users is only a quickish process to rebuild I suppose!

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