Can I add two more servers (2003 R2) to a domain already being served by a system running SBS 2003?

A client of mine has a old (5+ years) server running Small Business Server 2003. The server hardware has proven to be unstable. They are receiving two new servers this week, both of which will be running Server 2003 R2. The idea is to have one of those new servers replace the old one running SBS 2003 and become the DC. The old server will be taken completely off the network.

When adding both of those servers to the existing domain, will the AD information automatically transfer from the old SBS 2003 server to the new one automatically? Or is it more complicated than that?
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This is from a Expert here at EE:

The way to cleanly replace a Domain Controller cleanly and with minimal disruption to users is as follows:-

Install Windows 2003 on the new hardware

Assign the new computer an IP address and subnet mask on the existing network
Make sure that the preferred DNS server on new machine points to the existing DNS Server on the Domain (normally the existing domain controller)

Join the new machine to the existing domain as a member server

Note: If the new Windows 2003 server is the R2 version and the existing set-up is not then you need to run Adprep  from CD2 of the R2 disks on the existing Domain controller. Adprep is in the \CMPNENTS\R2\ folder on CD2.

From the command line promote the new machine to a domain controller with the DCPROMO command from the command line Select Additional Domain Controller in an existing Domain

Once Active Directory is installed then to make the new machine a global catalog server, go to Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand ,Sites, Default first site and Servers. Right click on the new server and select properties and tick the Global Catalog checkbox. (Global catalog is essential for logon as it needs to be queried to establish Universal Group Membership)

Assuming that you were using Active Directory Integrated DNS on the first Domain Controller, DNS will have replicated to the new domain controller along with Active Directory.

If you are using DHCP you should spread this across the domain controllers for now. In a simple single domain this is easiest done by Setting up DHCP on the second Domain controller and using a scope on the same network that does not overlap with the existing scope on the other Domain Controller. Dont forget to set the default gateway (router) and DNS Servers.

For now, all the clients (and the domain controllers themselves) need to have their Preferred DNS server set to one domain controller (the new one), and the Alternate DNS to the other (the old one), that way if one of the DNS Servers fails, the clients will automatically use the other.

Both Domain Controllers by this point will have Active Directory, Global Catalog, DNS and DHCP.

You now need to move the FSMO roles (including the PDC emulator from the old machine to the new machine.  You should cleanly transfer the FSMO roles. This can be done in different ways see or or for alternatives methods that can be used.

You should now test that all is OK by disconnecting the old DC (just unplug the network cable). The domain should continue to function, if not then troubleshoot any issues.

Reconnect the old Domain Controller when you are satisfied all is OK.

Once you are sure that all is OK then you can either leave both Domain controllers operational, (two domain controllers are normally recommended for fault tolerance)

If you really want to get rid of the old Domain controller then:

You should make sure that all the clients are using the new Domain Controller as their preferred DNS Server - and the Alternate DNS server, if used point to another Domain Controller.

Any data files can be transferred from the old machine to the new with the XCOPY (or ROBOCOPY) command line, to retain NTFS permissions (though you will need to reset the share permissions)

eg xcopy \\oldserver\data  \\newserver\data\  /f  /i  /e  /k /o /x /y

Run DCPROMO on the old DC to demote it back to a member server, and then remove it from the domain.
Reconfigure the DHCP scope if required.

If you follow this guidance it should result in a clean transition. There is no need to rename anything or manually add any DNS info.

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If your SBS server has an exchange organization you can review this link;
robmad92009Author Commented:

Exchange is installed on that SBS 2003 server, but is not being used. That server was set up by someone other than myself.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

Is there a reason you didn't link to the question you found that comment in or at least credit the expert who made it?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

The SBS is designed to be the FSMO Master Domain Controller - you CAN EASILY add other servers and domain controllers.  The restriction is that SBS MUST be the FSMO master.

Now, if you remove SBS, you are removing the wizards and the features that exist in it AND you are forcing them to buy new Client Access Licenses OR to purchase the Transition pack to remove the restrictions SBS has.

I would urge you to better understand your client's use and to put on paper the costs of both configurations - that is, what it would cost to replace the SBS server with a new SBS server (and probably license, since most people buy the license WITH the server (OEM) instead of through a Volume License Agreement that is transferable to a new server; Did you buy the new server licenses with the servers?  If so, I suggest you return the servers and buy them without.  Otherwise, your client will need to purchase new licenses AGAIN when they get new servers in 3-6 years (SHOULD be 3-4 as no server - you know, the critical systems that run the business - should be in production in a significant way and NOT under a warranty - this helps keep the network stable, unlike it is now).
leew, is there a problem? I didn't take no credit, I mentioned it's info from a Expert here at EE. Good day.
Plagiarism? For perhaps helping someone with a comment made by another and I clearly mentioned that another expert here at EE posted it? I call malarkey on me plagiarizing.
Unless there is a specific rule here on Experts Ex. on plagiarizing, that you can link, I see no wrong doing. I don't want credit and mentioned it's from another expert. You can remove the comment if you must to satisfy your needs. Good day.
Plagiarism - a piece of writing  from someone else and is presented as being your own work
I did NOT present as my own work. Don't accuse a member like that. You may have a point of linking the comment from someone else if it's in the rules, but don't go accusing people of plagiarism.
robmad92009Author Commented:

Both (new) servers will have the proper CALS as they will have Server 2003 loaded. This client really doesn't really require anything that complicated. Right now, their current DC is an old Gateway server that came with SBS 2003 installed. That same server also has SQL Server 2000 SP4 on it. When it went down last week, they lost their DC as well as their SQL server. I was able to get that old server back up & running again. The client doesn't want this to happen again (that old server has a long list of issues) so one of the new servers will be their DC and the other will their SQL Server.

The point of my question was if/how it was possible to replace the old server running SBS 2003 with one running Server 2003 R2 and have all the user info transfer over. I was told (never verified) that SBS 2003 would NOT do that. As I am seeing here, it is quite possible.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How is having two servers going to ensure their SQL server stays online?  From the description you've provided, it won't.  It'll just be two servers.  You can setup certain features to replicate data, but you would need two SQL licenses to replicate it.  About the only way they can be reliably setup without upgrading to 2003 Enterprise and setting up a cluster is to use a product like doubletake or neverfail to provide emergency failover replication.

I'm sorry if you don't appreciate me elaborating on the scenario beyond the initial scope of the question.
robmad92009Author Commented:

The thought behind two servers is that if one server goes down, the other stays online. They don't want to lose all functionality if one server happens to go down.

No problems with the give/take going beyond my original question. I always welcome other perspectives.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
What do they NEED to stay up?  A SQL database (without significant investment in redundancy products) will not fail over.  If this is a line of business App, then this could be a HUGE oversight... great, they can open word and excel files and log on to their computers, but if 70% of their time is data entry/searching/order filling/etc in a SQL based line of business app, then this likely a fairly large waste of money.  File sharing can be configured to replicate between the servers using DFS, AD is redundant by nature (if you have more than 1 DC) and DNS is generally redundant since most DCs are also DNS servers, especially in smaller environments.
robmad92009Author Commented:

I had always thought it wasn't wise to put all of one's eggs into ONE basket.

My client's SQL server tracks customer data that comes from their vending machines as well as purchases made from a web server. When the server containing SQL went down, their vending machines couldn't process transactions, nor could purchases be via their web server. Now, we're not talking about thousands (or even hundreds) of transactions a day here. But without the SQL back end, nothing works.

Apologies for not painting the "whole picture" from the beginning.
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