Upgrading entire 2000 Active Directory Domain to 2003 and exchange 2003

Hi All,

I want to upgrade my 2000 Active Directory Domain to 2003 Active Directory and Exchange 2003.  Here is a current setup of our domain.  I want to share the idea i have and the orde i was thinking of tackling this in.  I was hoping you could please tell me in detail how to do each of the steps.

1. Domain controllers are on Windows 2000 SP4.  (will all be bumped up to 2003 AFTER the new 2003 servers are acting as DC's for the 2000 AD domain.)

2.  Exchange servers are running Windows 2000 SP4 and Exchange 2000 SP3 (they are on their own boxes.  They are not DC's and not on the same box as any of my AD servers.  Kind of a redundant comment lol)

I have installed brand new Windows 2003 servers in each location.  I now want to bring those 2003 servers online as Active Directory Domain controllers for my 2000 domain in each location.  I do not want to upgrade the domain to 2003 during this step.  First I just want to know how to install AD on each of my 2003 Servers in each location so that i have a new seconday DC to my 2000 AD Doman running Windows 2003 Standard server.  I assume this should be very simple to do but can you please tell me what commands to run and on what servers with what CD's in the drive to make this frist step happen please?

Once that is completed I would then like to upgrade the Domain to 2003 AD.  At this point I want to bring my current 2000 AD DC's up to Server 2003 and bump up the AD functional level to 2003 AD.  Can you please tell me the steps on each of my current Windows 2000 Server DC's  to make this second phase happen?

Final phase will be Exchange.  I will be doing in place upgrades and i wanted to do this last as I felt it might be easier to have the whole domain on 2003 server and 2003 AD before bringing the Exchange 2003 into the environment.  I have read that you first upgrade exchange to 2003 on all exchange servers and get that working.  After this then you go ahead with the inplace upgrade of the Server OS to Windows 2003.  Can you please tell me what commands i need to run on what machines to complete the entire AD prep etc before i stick in the 2003 Exchange disk and begin the upgrade?

Can anyone please address each one of these sections in some detail so i know exactly what i need to do in each phase before i move on to the next?

Thanks for the amazing help this site always provides!  you guys (and gals) rock!

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

If I'm understanding your question correctly, you want to install Active Directory on your Windows Server 2003 computers without "upgrading your Active Directory to 2003."  Unfortunately, this is not possible - by creating a 2003 domain controller, you now have a 2003 Active Directory; the process cannot be separated out. This is because adding a 2003 domain controller requires both a forestprep and a domainprep which will, among other things, extend your AD schema to support 2003.

That said, the steps necessary to upgrade your 2000 AD to 2003 are well-documented in the following Microsoft KB article:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325379.

The Exchange 2000-to-2003 upgrade process is documented in a number of online tutorials, such as these:


Hope this helps.

Laura E. Hunter - Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Networking


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial

Seems to me that you are looking at a relatively simple task and seeing issues that arent really there :) This is very simple as the above links show, and if you need to some extra support just post


maestro2beAuthor Commented:
James and Laura,

Thanks for the responses and the bit of humor James :) as well as helping to assure that this isn't really an extremely difficult task.  I have printed out all of the links provided Laura and I will be doing them here very soon.  I will keep you posted on the progress of this and please be a little patient as you can imagine this is something that has to happen very late at night or on a weekend so it will take a little bit for me to actually do the listed steps and update if it worked for me or if I am having any problems.

Thanks again,

Problems using Powershell and Active Directory?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

maestro2beAuthor Commented:
I am just updating this question.

I have completed the exchange 2003 upgrade and it went very well.  The system is running perfectly and much better then it ever has.  I am moving on to the AD upgrade to 2003 and starting to install my 2003 servers.  I will continue to follow the links for the upgrade and post any other questions I have right here.


good to hear things are moving along well :) Post if you need help

maestro2beAuthor Commented:
Solution worked.  Company is now on AD 2k3 and Exchange 2k3.  All is well.


It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.