Upgrading 2003 schema to 2008

Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade our 2003 Schema to 2008 to gain access to the new preferences function.  We have no plans to fully upgrade to 2008 as yet, and just want to be able to fully manage both XP and Vista machines from our 2k3 domain.

I've tested this on a VM, and once the Client Side Extensions are installed on the XP client I can indeed use the Preferences (policy edited through a vista machine) to manage things like mapped drives etc.

Can anyone see any issues with this?  I'm assuming there's no licensing implications running it in this way?  Is there anything I should look out for?  

I plan to test this again in our full test rig, but wanted to see if there's anything I should be aware of before going ahead.

Thanks
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Sinder255248Asked:
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Darius GhassemCommented:
I have never done this personally but if you upgrade the schema I was always under the empression that you need to have the server edition to be a functioning DC. Now that said I would like to know if this would actually work. I just don't it would work correctly.
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Aaron_DentonCommented:
If you tried in test environment with no problems then I don't see any problem trying with the live environment.  
If you're just looking for client-side extensions I think you really just need SP2 installed on your domain controllers.  
I'm running Vista workstations with Server 2003 Domain Controllers w/ SP2.  My Group Policy is updated to be compliant with Vista.  My workstations with SP1 installed use the client-side extensions so far without any trouble.
So it sounds like what you really want to be careful of is the upgrade from SP1 to SP2 on your DC.  I have seen some older servers that don't boot after the upgrade to SP2.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
@Aaron_Denton

Good catch you need to install SP2 on 2003 server. I was wondering what extension he was looking that wasn't in SP2.
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Sinder255248Author Commented:
ahhh so you don't actually need to update the schema to access the new Preferences features?  Just SP2, will test that asap and see if it's the case.

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Darius GhassemCommented:
You will need to download the client extensions.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943729
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Sinder255248Author Commented:
Just to clarify, SP2 on a DC will give you access to preferences, or are you on about loading SP2 to be able to use Client Extensions on 2003?  I've after being able to set these up in GP.
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Sinder255248Author Commented:
DariusG, I've not actually got a 2008 domain, so I'm more looking to incorporate this feature into a 2003 domain and I thought the only way was by upgrading your schema?

The extensions patch just enables you to use these features (whether pushed out by an upgraded 2003 domain, or 2008).
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Darius GhassemCommented:
So, you want 2008 GPOs, right? If you want to have any new GPOs in 2008 then you will need to upgrade your network and have a DC to handle those GPOs. Now what Aaron_Denton is saying that for you to have your 2003 domain be compliant with Vista then you need to update to SP2 which is true. SP2 doesn't give you the 2008 GPOs.

Just upgrading your schema doesn't give you rights to the GPOs I believe. MS would be giving you free stuff which doesn't happen with them. You can download a eval copy then update your schema to get the new GPOs which wouldn't work for MS to make money. You need a 2008 DC to create the GPOs I believe.
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Sinder255248Author Commented:
Upgrading the Schema and installing the clientside extension on an XP machine defo gives you access to the New GPO features from 2003.  You do however have to edit the policy with a Vista/2008 machine, but it does store it in AD.  I tested a XP client mapping drives through Preferences, and it worked great.

Tale a look at:

http://ts2blogs.com/blogs/rwagg/archive/2008/06/25/extend-your-server-2003-active-directory-schema-for-windows-vista-and-server-2008.aspx

I was more wondering if there were any gotchas that I might need to look out for, it's always ok in a test environment, but applying it to Live always makes me twitch :o)

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Darius GhassemCommented:
WOW! Great article I would never have thought that would work. I would still install SP2 on your 2003 server. I don't think you will have any problems but I can't tell you for sure though. You would think that it has been fully tested the article but if you update schema I always install the DC with it. I would think the schema would want to managed by a 2008 server.
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