AD propgation from 'Server 2003 SBS' to 'Server 2003 R2 64bit'  DCPROMO errors

Posted on 2007-08-10
Last Modified: 2009-12-02
Present Server: s2k3 SBS w/ x2k3
Intended replacement: s2k3 R2 64bit w/ x2k7 (64)

I am trying to complete a DCPROMO to add my Server 2003 R2 (64bit) to a curent domain as a DC controller to propogate the AD structure and transfer files(then to be taken back offline and completed at a secondary location for testing until ready)

The R2 server has been joined to the domain as a standard server.

Upon running DCPROMO:
I keep getting the error that the AD structure is not valid.
"The version of the Active Directory schema of the source forest is not compatible with the version of Active Directory on this computer"

try to run 32bit ADprep on the SBS server it states that the forest and domain have already been prepped and does nothing (of course)
try to run 64bit ADprep on the SBS server (from the R2 CD) ande i get the "for a machine type other than" error.
and of course, it cannot run on the new server as it isnt a domain controller (not that it would accomplsih anything anyways)

How can i get the AD to propogate to the Server 2003 R2 64-bit  server from the Server 2003 SBS 32-bit?

i plan on putting exhcange 2k7 on after its all done.  From what i understand, I CANNOT install Exchange 2k7 UNLESS it is a Domain Controller.
Is this true?

Thanks fo your time.
Question by:darkrage000
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Annoying isn't it!  I came across this recently as well, kind of short sighted on Microsoft's part.  As you say you need to run the R2 version of ADPREP from Disk 2, and because you have to run it on an existing DC the chances are that DC is 32bit, but you've only got a 64bit version of Windows 2003 Server R2.
    I've uploaded a copy of the 32bit R2 ADPREP you need here -
    Once you update the Active Directory schema using "adprep /forestprep" then "adprep /domainprep" you will be able to join the X64 Server to the domain like a normal DC.  Don't forget to make it a Global Catalogue and DNS Server and let the data propagate as well before disconnecting or the server will be useless on its own.

    No Exchange 2007 does not have to be on a DC, in fact best practice is that it wouldn't be.  The domain functional level does have to be at least Windows 2000, all Global Catalogue servers must be Windows 2003 and the Schema Master FSMO role must reside on a Windows 2003 DC.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    I don't have an answer to your first problem but if you upgrade your SBS server to R2 then you don't need to run adprep in order to add your w2k3 R2 server as a DC.

    What do you mean by "taken back offline and completed at a secondary location for testing until ready"?
    If you configured as a secondary DC it won't hold the FSMO roles so when you taken it to the secondary location, unless its part of your existing domain it aint going to work. Also you need to make it a GC if you want to use it in remote site.

    For your exchange, you don't need to install exchange on a DC. However there must be a GC (global catalog) presents on the same site as the Exchange, which means you do need a DC on the same site, not necessary on the same machine. By the way, it is NOT recommended to install Exchange on a DC (except SBS) as you may get replication problems.

    Author Comment

    Thanks Zenith;
    I found the same thing myself. I have a copy of Server 2003 R2 that is 32bit that has a newer version as well as being 32bit and it updated the forest schema. the domain and group schemas aparently dont need updating.
    DC Promo actually was able to complete.

    You say not to forget to make it a catalog server.. how do I declare that to the system, and will that cause any issues with the current SBS controller?
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    Open AD Sites & Services, go down to through the tree and find your new server, expand it and right click "NTDS Settings" and select Properties.  Tick Global Catalogue.  After 10-15 minutes you should see an event logged in the logs on the new server saying something like "This server is now a Global Catalogue".

    It won't effect your SBS server.  You can have more then one GC, adding more is just like having a spare.

    What exactly is your plan here anyway?  You won't be able to install Exchange 2007 on that server with it disconnected from the SBS server.  Your Active Directory currently contains all the Exchange info so the Exch2007 installer will need to talk to the existing Exchange server.  Also all the FSMO roles are on your SBS server, again this will stop the Exch2007 install.  If you're not intending to install Exch2007 off the LAN then it's not a problem, just thought I'd mention these points.

    Author Comment

    ok. got the global done, thanks for that.

    So i have to install Exchange 2007 now while its still connected. will that take power away from the SBS 2003 exchange?
    assuming it does, if i then disconnect the new server to complete it (changing GPOs, clean up the users and file structures/shares etc) will SBS regain control on its own?
    (Our router directs our SMTP data to the main server via IP address under its rules)

    once i do the above can i just cut power on the sbs and power up the R2 server and all is good?

    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Ah so you're trying to actually replace the SBS server with this one?

    Firstly, when you install Exchange 2007 (after jumping through all the various hoops) it will become part of the Exchange 2003 "Organization".  Both servers are now acting as Exchange servers for your domain.  You can move mailboxes back and forth between them with the click of a button etc.  No control will be taken from SBS until you start moving mailboxes and connectors.  However Exchange will not appreciate being unplugged from the LAN, so I wouldn't do it, there's really nothing to be gained.

    What you're attempting to do here is actually quite a complicated process with a lot to it.  You definitely cannot just turn off the old SBS server, you need to go through a full transition or you will have endless problems in future.
    As an extreme summary of the steps (this is 3-4 days work in 7 lines :) ) -

    - Join new server to existing domain.
    - Install Exch2007 on new server, move mailboxes and connectors and rest of Exch roles, uninstall Exch2003 from SBS.
    - Move data & printers etc.
    - Move any programs.
    - Move FSMO roles to new server.
    - Stop old server being GC.
    - Demote old server so it is no longer a Domain Controller.

    See for full details of moving off SBS 2003 and for the Exch2007 process.  ALL of this is very important.

    I'm not sure your familiarity with SBS and Exch 2003/2007 but it might be worth considering hiring an IT company to do this for you, getting it wrong will cause you major headaches in the long run.  Having said that if you want to go ahead and do it you can always post on here if you get stuck.  Those Microsoft guides are quite thorough, the only problem is Exch2007 being quite new it isn't covered in the first guide, so you need to do a mix of both guides and know which bits to do or not do.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Do you have any 3rd party applications running on the old SBS server?  Bare in mind many applications out there do not yet support x64, so if you have any make sure you contact the manufacturers before taking the plunge.

    Author Comment

    Very informative. thanks for helping me make a major problem!

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