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promoting a 2008 machine to a DC on an XP/2003 server network - switch to native mode to run domain prep

Posted on 2008-10-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
HI

I am trying to add a new 2008 server as a dc on a 2003 network and have successfully run adprep/forestprep. Now I need to run domain prep but it is telling me to switch the domain to native mode.

Firstly, why? and secondly will there be any risks/adverse effects anything to look out for etc etc?

I also have an exchange 2003 server and a sql 2000 member server - there are currently 2 other DC's on the network which are primary and secondary dns machines.

thanks
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Question by:pabby061203
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Expert Comment

by:madhusk
ID: 22749109
Hi,

Just wanted to check if the Windows 2003 Environment is running in Mixed mode or Native mode. IF 2003 domain is running in mixed mode you can raise the forest functional level to Native mode as long as you do not have any DC's with Windows 2000 OS.

The following article gives you a clear picture of Domain/Forest Functional levels and the impact of introducing the Windows 2008 Server in Windows 2003 environment.

http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/3734071

Regards,
Madhu
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Accepted Solution

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tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 22749133

Functional Levels essentially mean features. If you don't run at the highest possible functional level on your domain, you essentially lose some of the Active Directory features. In Windows Server 2008, you are required to have a domain functional level of at least Windows Server 2000 Native Mode. Mixed Mode CANNOT be used, because a Mixed Mode 2k domain can contain NT4 DCs, which Windows 2008 DCs do not play well with.

Thus, you must move your domain and forest to Windows 2000 Native Mode, which eliminates your capability for running NT4 DCs. If you don't have any NT DCs, there are no risks with such a change. The only point to remember is that you must let the changes replicate through all DCs before you proceed with any upgrade.

Any Member Servers and Workstations will be unaffected by the change. It is only DCs which will be affected, and the level of the functional level cannot exceed the oldest operating system running as a DC on the network. If you have Windows 2000 DCs, you cannot move higher than Windows 2000 Native, for example.

-tigermatt
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Author Closing Comment

by:pabby061203
ID: 31507416
Hi and thanks again - your answers explain everything clearly as usual. I have no NT4  DCs - only 2003 DCs and I will progress this change with a better understanding.
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