How to upgrade W2K DC to W2K3 DC?

Balack
Balack used Ask the Experts™
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This is a mixture of W2K and W2K3 DCs AD environment. There are two domain, a.com, and b.a.com respectively; one W2K Dc and one W2K3 DC are located at a.com, and one W2K3 dc located at b.a.com.

My boss wants me to upgrade the only W2K DC located at a.com. There are 3 sites, W2K Dc is located at site a, W2K3 at site b, and another W2K3 at site c. W2K dc is also file server with up to 120GB files and folders.

Can I directly upgrade to W2K3 for the w2k dc? What are those considerations I have to take to prepare this dc for upgrading? Any better solutions with less risk are welcome!
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Since you already have 2003 DCs in the both domains, there's not much risk to AD.  I would perform System State backups on ALL DCs (always better to be safe when possible), and then run the utility on the 2003 CD that checks the machine for upgrade issues (incompatible drivers/software/hardware).  If that passes, do a FULL backup of the system and upgrade away.

Frankly, given the cost of drives nowadays, I'd suggest a better option would be to replace the hard drives and migrate the data to clean install on new hard drives (the new hard drives will give you the added benefit of having new, less likely to fail drives plus the ability to put the old drives back in and recover any data that maybe you missed for whatever reason).  Strictly speaking, there SHOULDN'T be any problems... I just prefer being overly cautious when that caution isn't too expensive.
Are you considering Win2K3 R2? might be a good time to update them all?

you may want to look at changing the domain level from mixed mode, or Win2K mode to Win2K3 mode after completing the upgrade also..

Author

Commented:
Hi debuggerau,

Can I assume W2K3 R2 is same as W2K3? No enhancement features provided by W2K3 R2 DC?
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basically, yes, it is the same, although there are some additional features..

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/windowsserver/bb428898.aspx
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
If you already have a 2003 R2 DC, then there's nothing you need to do special. If you don't then you would have to run ADPREP since R2 DOES make changes to the schema.  Otherwise, R2 is basically a bunch of feature packs, some that you can download freely and some that you only get if you purchase the upgrade.

Author

Commented:
Hi Leew,
That means I have to put in the windows 2003 R2 CD, and then run adprep for forest and domain? For domain, does it means that I only have to run for a.com, but not b.a.com, right?

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