Upgrading entire 2000 Active Directory Domain to 2003 and exchange 2003

Posted on 2007-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
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!

Question by:maestro2be
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Accepted Solution

LauraEHunterMVP earned 1600 total points
ID: 18794544
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

LVL 48

Assisted Solution

Jay_Jay70 earned 400 total points
ID: 18796422

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



Author Comment

ID: 18799452
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,

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Author Comment

ID: 19211759
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.


LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 19212993
good to hear things are moving along well :) Post if you need help


Author Comment

ID: 19927762
Solution worked.  Company is now on AD 2k3 and Exchange 2k3.  All is well.



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