Need help configuring my new 2003 domain

Hello there professionals:

I am new to Windows 2003 Server but have setup 2 of them in the past.  I usually just install it in the most simple form, no special features, no VPN or anything fancy, just file and print sharing.  So my issues it this.

I currently have a Windows NT 4.0 domain with a PDC runing NT 4.0.  I also run one Windows 2003 Server attached to this domain.  I want to replace my Windows NT 4.0 server with a Windows 2003 server acting as the PDC and SQL server.  

So I installed Windows 2003 Server on teh machine and set it up as the PDC, I kept the domain name and server name teh same so i wouldn't have to reconfigure all the stuff that points to this server by name.  I did keep it unplugged from the network so it wouldn't cause an issue with my current network.

What I am wondering is the best way to approach this situation?  Is it even possible?

I am sure you guys will need more information so fire away,

thank you in advance for all your help, I love this site.

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Even though you named the Domain and server the same, it is a completely different entity.  The old domain and server will carry a different SID than the new one.  This means creating all new users, and removing computers from the old domain and joining the new one.

This also means the local profile on the PC will no longer be used when the new usernames are employed.

To preserve the domain, the NT4 PDC must first be upgraded to 2003, then the new server can be promoted into that domain.  All the FSMO roles, the GC and DNS can be relocated to the new server thereby preserving the domain and the users and computers.

The data will then need to be copied over and the old server demoted from AD.

dawndelcastillo1Author Commented:

thanks for the great information, the old NT4.0 server will be trashed so I don't think I need to upgrade it.  

So do I undersand you correctly?  my new server with the same domain name and computer name is a totally seperate entity from my existing domain?  

to test if it is working properly I will need to create a user account on the windows 2003 server and unplug my old domain with the same name and rejoin the pc to the new domain with teh username and password?  Sorry if these are dumb questions, I just don't want to go down the path only to find out I am doing this all wrong.  

thank you very much for your help

Yes, the domains are in no way identical.

You'll need new users and also to rejoin this new domain, yes.

No questions are dumb - and only dumb people don't ask questions!  :o)

I realize the old one is going to be trashed, but to preserve it you'll need to first upgrade it so you can get the new server online and replicate the domain and objects to it from the old one.

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dawndelcastillo1Author Commented:

cool, I will do some testing now.  Is there a way to join the new domain with the old domain online? a way to force which one I want?

thanks for that, it is nice to have someone who is friendly.

is it totally necessary to upgrade?  The only issue is it currently runs an SQL server and I woudl have to be stuck with no network because of this.  I don't need much off of the PDC actually, I have recreated the user accounts and grabbed all the data I will need (except the SQL Databases).. Does that make sense?  typing questions can be so confusing...

thanks buddy
Not really.  Since you named the server and domain the same there will be issues.  If they were different, then there wouldn't be a problem.

It sounds like you have most of what you need off the other server.  I would backup the DB then restore it on the new server and use a test workstation and user to see if you can access it normally.

If you have another switch or hub you can connect the new server to that and also a test workstation so that you can work offline from the production network.

dawndelcastillo1Author Commented:
excellent, you have been very very helpful.  So I guess the bigger question is am I saving myself any time by having the domain name remain consistent?  If not I can just re-do the domain settings and give it a new domain name.  I was hoping that the users woudl not lose their profiles, is there a tool that copies profiles in windows 2000?  I have found that the windows tools are garbage...

No, no time saving here.  You should take the opportunity to name it as you see fit rather than stay with the old name - unless it suitable.  Do NOT use a publicly registered name or there will be other issues.

Domain profiles can be saved using User State Migration Tool or by copying them without the system files in the root (NTUSER.DAT, etc).

Javelina makes migration tools as does a number of third party vendors.

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dawndelcastillo1Author Commented:

You are a good person, this has been the best experience I have had on here.  I am going to accept your answers and if I have more issues I will repost and you can get more points :)

take care and again thank you so much.

Anytime!  It was my pleasure.

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Windows Server 2003

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