Migrate or Rebuild


I have a Windows 2000 Server. Its working but has recently started to have a few bad days. We have an option to move across to Windows 2003 SBS which I am keen on prgressing but I am not sure the best path to follow.

A few points first:
     The server is a 6 year old Dell Power Edge.
     There have been a number of DC's on the domain before my time but the have failed at
     some point and not been removed from active directory.
     Finally for some bizarre reason a previous administrator has created and deleted several domains
     e.g mydomain.com, mydomain.mydomain.com, my_domain.com
      This has been causing so permission issues on some shared folders as they were shared
      at different point of these domains.

So I am looking for some advice on whether to Migrate the domain to the new server or start again from scratch ?

Would it be easy to migrate the user accounts to a new domain and also there desktop setup.... e.g. Application / Outlook settings ?


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Cleaning up a AD as you descibed may some work. Dependend on the number of users, you may decide to do the cleanup or to start from the scratch.

What you should take care about, if starting from the scratch is, that you will loose your SIDs for all of oyur Users. Wherever they are used (esp. permissions), you may have to reassign the new permissions and access rights to the new users (SIDs) on the new system, also porting mailboxes may be an issue, as also assigned to SIDs.

For y few single users, it may be an idea to start from the scatch, as you have a clean system. But I don't think it is lesser work, may be easier as a AD cleanup, dependend from your AD knowledge.

If you have only files and a few mailboxes, you may decide to copy the file over to the new server and recreate the persimmsion structure. For mailboxes you can export them to pst files and reimport them into the new system or you may use the Exchange migration wizard, which will do the same.

As larger your system, as more users you have, as more work is to transfer all the things to a clean system. But this includes also the chance, the start with a new design without the lack of old balast .


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ertnev74Author Commented:

Thanks Bembi for your reply. I forgot to mention the workstations are using Windows XP, with Outlook 2007 connecting to an externally hosted exchange server.

I think I if I start from scratch everything would be cleaner but I think it will be a lot of work to get the users desktops and settings configured how they were. Is there a tool to migrate the user accounts from the old domain to the new domain ?


OK, with external E-Mail mailboxes, you should have no problems as they should not have something to do with your AD.

There are some migration tools for AD or file system

They usually use the same methods as you would migrating by hand (exporting and reimporting).
It is a try, but you may also migrate old stuff, as these tools are exporting what they find in AD, including all not neccessary stuff.

You should make some analysis on your server an cleints.
Inspect, what they are using (servces, files etc.) and check, what is relevant to AD. Means whcih services are AD integrated and which not.
Also check, which settings are still needed, like user profiles, policies and whatever is set on server site. This gives you an idea, what you have to move to the new system.

Most of the things you can backup and restore, you can move files, you can reuse parts of the profiles (if server based) like the desktop or favorites or cockies (just by copying them over from the old to the new structure). If the new system has similar settings for the domain and network, you may also be able to take over the registry related settings of the profiles aor you may have to manually correct them. Some of the HKCU registry keys are domain or IP related and the SID is stored in the registry. You may also be able to export some settings from the registry before you move the users.

If the HKCU registry part is lost (part of the profile), the users may loose some program specific settings. Some programs reset to defualt, some others may have larger issues or are loosing some individual configurations. But if you export the registry before, you can later reimport parts of this reg-file back to the users machine, if needed.

As more your clients are automated, as less settings you have to correct. The complete network configuration can be set via DHCP, using policies, you can automatically set some client configuration settings, etc.
ertnev74Author Commented:
Cheers hopefully it will be plain sailing !!
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