We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

windows 2000 DC migrate to 2003? need help bringing up new server

yalemort asked
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
Here is my scenario.
i have a windows 2000 sp4 DC.
thats it. i do not have a secondary server.
on that DC i have dns, dhcp and print services.
I want to bring up a new 2003 server make it a DC and basically transfer over all of the dns, dhcp settings from the 2000dc (i am going to put all the printers on a different server completely, if anyone can help me do this without adding each printer again it would be greatly appreciated).
What do i need to do to bring up a 2003 dc, bring all that stuff over.. then get rid of the 2000 DC and bring up another 2003 DC so i have primary and a secondary DC.
I am not too familiar with the activer directory structure and I know there is some stuff I have to do with the global catalogs and master browsers.  

i think i have to bring up the 1st 2003 server as a secondary dc, until i promote it to a primary? but then how do i get rid of the 2000DC which is primary now?

Any detailed help would be greatly appreciated.
thank you
Watch Question

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

No such thing as a Primary or Secondary - these terms last applied to Windows NT 4.0 - 11 years ago.

Everything is a DC and there are Global Catalogs and 5 FSMO Roles which COULD be distributed over 5 servers, in which case, which ONE would be best considered Primary?  None... that's why they are all DCs.

Rather than retype what many other experts and companies have published (which would be plagiarism anyway),  I'll simply suggest you review these links.  And keep in mind, things are a little different now with R2 - but there's a few links that talk about that as well:

 Here are some links that should get you going for upgrading a 2000 domain to 2003:

Common Mistakes When Upgrading a Windows 2000 Domain To a Windows 2003 Domain

How to upgrade Windows 2000 domain controllers to Windows Server 2003

[If using R2 release of Windows 2003] Extending Your Active Directory Schema for New Features in Windows Server 2003 R2

Hotfixes to install before you run adprep /Forestprep on a Windows 2000 domain controller to prepare the Forest and domains for the addition of Windows Server 2003-based domain controllers

Commodore.ca | Windows | How To Upgrade Windows 2000 Domain to Windows 2003 Server
Quote from the top of this article: "Several glossy Microsoft presenters have stated that all you need to do to complete a Windows 2003 Domain upgrade is run ADPREP and then upgrade away.  This may work for very small / simple environments but it is definitely not good advice for most companies.  After upgrading five servers in two unrelated domains and installing many fresh copies of 2003 I can say that I personally would not skip a single step in the process I have developed below."

Windows Server 2003 Upgrade Assistance Center

Here are some links that should help you in replacing existing domain controllers and/or transferring services and Active Directory functions to another/new system:

How can I transfer some or all of the FSMO Roles from one DC to another?

How To Create or Move a Global Catalog in Windows 2000

How to move a DHCP database from a computer that is running Windows NT Server 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003 to a computer that is running Windows Server 2003

How can I move a DHCP database from one server to another?

How can I move DNS from one Windows 2000 Server to another Windows 2000 Server?
(Two Related if going 2000 to 2003 - read both before moving)

Exchange Considerations:
[If you run Exchange 2000] Windows Server 2003 adprep /forestprep Command Causes Mangled Attributes in Windows 2000 Forests That Contain Exchange 2000 Servers


i dont really want to do an upgrade, as i heard its not the best practice to do it.
can i bring up a new server, replicate everything over and then demote the old server and install from scratch server 2003?
thats what im kind of looking to do. please let me know if this is not a good idea. i know it may be a little bit more work.


alsi i have an exchange 2003 server on the network which is integrated into the active directory.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

You are NOT upgrading the server - you are UPGRADING THE DOMAIN.  


leew, all of these articles talk about upgrading the machine that has the dc role on it. i want to leave that intact until i have a new server running 2003 corectly.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Unlock this solution and get a sample of our free trial.
(No credit card required)
Forced accept.

EE Admin

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a sample view!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.