How do I replace a Windows 2003 file server / domain controller what has exchange 2007 as a member

Posted on 2008-10-22
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a Windows 2003 domain controller the is servicing another MS Exchange 2007, furnishing DNS, DHCP, file server (users and profiles).  It's old (Pentium 3) and needs to be replaced.  I have the new server Windows 2003 R2 1-4 for quad core and want to copy over everything to it. What is the best way to move everything over without interruption? (IE migrate to the new hardware with fresh copy of Windows 2003 R2 installed)
MS exchange is saying the the certificate has expired as well so I would appreciate a solution for that as well.

Question by:Rolling_Tech
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Expert Comment

ID: 22780233
The first thing you need to do is dcpromo the new server so it is an additional domain controller in your domain .  

You can then install DNS on it.   Once you have done that, you will need to disable DHCP on the old server and enable it on the new server.  

At that point, you will need to copy over all you shares - I would recommend using Microsoft's File Server Migration tool for that. Available as a free download from here:

Can you post your question about the certificate in a seperate question?


Author Comment

ID: 22780354
Thanks for your response.  I'm worried that by adding the new server in it will have a different name and clients will not be able to get to their files without restructuring.  Does any part of that process rename the new server to the old name and IP at the end of things?

Thanks I will open another question about the expired Exchange certificate
LVL 58

Accepted Solution

tigermatt earned 125 total points
ID: 22780356

You don't make it clear if Exchange 2007 is on the DC or another member server. It sounds as though it is on another member server (not the DC), and thus that won't be so much a problem.

The migration procedure for the DC is as follows. Once you install the new DC and it is promoted to Global Catalog, Exchange will detect it and will start using that one once the old one is demoted / restarted (this can take up to 30 - 45 minutes though).

Use robocopy with the /copyall switch, or the File Server Migration Tool to move file data across.


Install Windows Server 2003 onto the new server which is intended to be promoted as a Domain Controller. Ensure the new server is assigned a routable static IP address on your IP subnet. Ensure the IP address is not included in any of your existing DHCP scopes. The only DNS server entry at this stage should be the IP address of the existing domain controller on your network.

After installation, join the new machine to the existing domain as a member server. This procedure is exactly the same as joining a workstation to the domain.

Promote the new server as a Domain Controller for the domain. Enter dcpromo at a command prompt and follow the wizard. When prompted, select the option for an additional domain controller in an existing domain. After the wizard completes, the new server will be acting as a Domain Controller for your domain. It is necessary at this point to restart the server for these changes to be applied.

In a single-domain Active Directory forest, all servers should also be Global Catalog servers. The Global Catalog is a required component of Active Directory which is used during logins to establish universal group membership for a user account. To promote the new server as a Global Catalog, open Active Directory Sites and Services from the Administrative Tools container within Control Panel or on the Start Menu. Double-click Sites, then Servers, followed by the name of the new server. Next, right-click "NTDS Settings" and select Properties. On the General tab, check the Global Catalog checkbox. Restart the new Domain Controller for changes to take effect.

Since you intend on removing the old Domain Controller from the domain, you need to transfer all the Operations (FSMO) roles to the new Domain Controller.

The current FSMO role configuration for your network can be found by running the command "netdom query fsmo" at a command prompt on a Domain Controller.

To transfer these FSMO roles to the new domain controller, follow the information detailed in the following Microsoft Support article: Please ensure any other information you follow is information regarding the TRANSFER of FSMO roles. Seizing FSMO roles is an emergency operation which should not be performed during this procedure.

DNS is a critical component of your Active Directory network. The easiest way to install the DNS role onto the new server is to follow the instructions outlined at You should be already using Active Directory-integrated DNS zones, which is the easiest method of allowing DNS replication to occur - DNS information is stored in Active Directory and replicates with Domain Controller replication traffic. To check if your DNS zones are AD-integrated (and convert them if not), please follow

You probably want to enable DNS forwarding in the DNS console on the server, too. This forwards lookups for external domains to a DNS server at your ISP, which allows the server to effectively resolve DNS for external domains. More information on forwarders can be found at

To move DHCP to the new server, you will need to first install the role. Please see for information on how to do this. To correctly configure DHCP after the role is installed on your new server, you will need to ensure you configure it to distribute IP addresses which are in a different range to the IP scope defined on the other DHCP server. You should also ensure the correct DNS and WINS servers are entered into the scope options. Remember that the only DNS servers which should be configured on workstations are the Domain Controllers which are also acting as DNS servers - no ISP DNS server should ever be set through DHCP.

Once all of these steps have been completed, you should have successfully transferred all of the Active Directory roles to the new domain controller. At this stage, I would suggest you shut down the old domain controller and check to ensure all services on workstations and servers are working correctly - including logins. If they are, you should be safe to switch the old DC back on, run dcpromo and demote it from its Domain Controller role. This will remove the DC as a Domain Controller, leaving it as a member server on the network.

To completely remove the DC from the network, you will need to remember that any other data - including folder redirection folders and user profiles - should be replicated or otherwise transferred to either the new server or another location on the network.

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LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 22780367

Regarding your subsequent question, you can safely rename the server to the old name / IP AFTER the old server is demoted and removed from the network. A restart would be necessary after doing so though, to update DNS records.


Author Comment

ID: 22780618
will I need to run ADPREP on the old server beforehand for R2 before joining the domain or will it handle that automatically?
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 22780656

If the old server is not the R2 edition and the new one is R2, then yes, you must run Adprep. Instructions below.


-After installing the new Server 2003 R2 instance on the new server but before running dcpromo to promote it:

Since you are upgrading the Operating System on the new Domain Controller, you will need to add some values to the existing Active Directory schema, in order for the new server to become a Domain Controller. Windows Server 2003 R2 supports more functionality than before, so a schema upgrade for the domain and forest is required to facilitate this and make this new feature set fully functional on the domain. To make the necessary changes, you must be logged on as the built-in Administrator user account, or a user with Domain, Schema and Enterprise Admin privileges.

Insert the Windows Server 2003 R2 media into your current server . Open a command prompt and browse to CD-Rom Drive:\CMPNENTS\R2\ADPREP. (on Disk 2 of Windows 2003 R2 media). Execute the command adprep /forestprep.

Next, execute adprep /domainprep . You must be logged on as a Domain Admin user for these steps to work correctly. Once these commands have run your Active Directory schema will have been extended to support Windows Server 2003 R2 as a Domain Controller.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31508911
Thank you very much.  You solution worked without a hitch. Cheers!

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