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Transfer Primary Domain Controller, DNS to a new server

Posted on 2007-12-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I just got a quarter rack at a data center. In my office I have a poweredge server 2950 with Server 2003 Enterprise and Exchange 2003 enterprise. I also have the primary domain controller installed in a  PowerEdge 400SC with Server Standard 2003. At the data center I only got a quarter rack, so the 2950 is going, but I cant fit the 400SC because is a Tower. In order to solve this my tier 3 tried making the 2950 the Primary Domain Controller but he could not do it. Microsoft does not recommend making a server a Primary Domain Controller after you have installed Exchange. I want to know what you recommend. My idea was to get another rack server from Dell and make the new server the Primary domain controller and the DNS server, then make sure everything is working fine between the new rack server and the 2950 and then transfer it to the Data Center. Please let me know if that is what you would do and tell me what are the steps to transfer the Primary Domain controller, roles and dns to the new server, the changes I will need to do in the Exchange Server and what steps I need to do to check that the new server is communicating right with the 2950 (Exchange server). I will really appreciate your help. Thanks for your time,
Erick Solms
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Question by:esolms
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15 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394071
Absolutely fine.

Install a new machine into the network, DCPROMO it to a domain controller, transfer PDC role, and other FSMOs if you need.

Make sure that you configure the time service if you make it a PDC.  Also, I recommend that you make it a GC so Exchange can use it for that too.

Finally, are you planning on decommissioning an existing server?  And, make sure you configure the Active Directory Sites and Services configuration.
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394074
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Author Comment

by:esolms
ID: 20394077
I am removing the domain from my existing office. This means that the tower server will be removed from the domain. The 3 workstations in the office will also be removed from the domain. All that it will be left is the new rack server and my exchange server. I dont care about anything else. How do I transfer the pdc roles and all the fsmo's? How do I make it a GC?

Thanks for your help!
Erick
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394089
You must ensure that all the FSMOs are moved.  The easiest way to do them all is to use the ntdsutil command.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255504 for how to do this.

To make a server a GC, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313994
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Expert Comment

by:balmasri
ID: 20394090
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394097
Of course, if you are replacing a server, make sure that every service you need is provided for by another server.  Check DHCP, WINS, logon scripts, network drive mappings, shares, etc.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394098
And make sure you have a full backup, including system state, of the server you are removing.
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394102
I also tend to find that a certain amount of manual cleanup of DNS is necessary.  Otherwise, references to the old domain controller can remain.
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Author Comment

by:esolms
ID: 20394105
Those are excellent links. So after I do that I will have the new server with my Primary Domain Controller and Global Catalog. How do I transfer the DNS Server because this will be my main DNS server. In addition, what changes will be needed to be changed in the Exchange server so it communicates and works with the new server?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20394109
If your DNS server is already Active-Directory integrated, then the new server will pick up the zones automatically.

You need to adjust the network configuration on all statically-configured machines, such as servers, and also change DHCP if you use it.
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Author Comment

by:esolms
ID: 20395473
Thanks. what changes will be needed to be changed in the Exchange server so it communicates and works with the new server?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20397763
You should check that the recipient update services in Exchange System Manager don't point to an old server, and you should also check the Directory Access tab on the server object, also in ESM.  Nothing else should need changing.
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Author Comment

by:esolms
ID: 20397780
How about DNS pointing to the new server?
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Accepted Solution

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SteveH_UK earned 500 total points
ID: 20397900
If you are using Active Directory integrated DNS, then the server will register several records in DNS directly.  You do need to adjust the Exchange servers network configuration, as mentioned above (statically configured network configuration on all servers, i.e. IP, DNS, WINS).
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Author Closing Comment

by:esolms
ID: 31412272
Thanks for your great help!
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