Should I do an in place upgrade from Windows Server 2003 Standard to Windows Server 2008 Standard?

Posted on 2010-01-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hello Experts:

I have two domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 R2 standard.  I would like to upgrade them to Windows 2008 Standard.  I have read some articles that it is not advisable to do and in-place upgrade--but to do a fresh install on another server and then move the domains over.  I much more prefer to do and in-place upgrade.  Can someone tell me what is the best route to take?

Question by:huntersp3
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Enphyniti earned 668 total points
ID: 26294624
I would definitely NOT do an in place upgrade.  If you don't have the spare hardware, I would demote one of your DCs, remove it from the network and do a fresh install of 2008 before rejoining and re-promoting.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

amichaell earned 668 total points
ID: 26294893
I never do in place upgrades.  Fresh installs is the only (somewhat) reliable method.  Do what Enphyniti advises.  If you don't have spare hardware, demote one of your current DCs, do a fresh install of 2008 and then bring it up to a DC level (make sure you know all of the steps including have a system state backup and checking your current AD health before doing so).  

Once you have your 2008 DC up you can DCPROMO your 2003 server.  Leave it offline for a few days to make sure everything is good.  If it isn't, you have the option of taking the 2008 DC down and doing a system state restore to your 2003 server to get your old AD back.
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

notacomputergeek earned 664 total points
ID: 26295356
In addition, you may be running 32-bit on the 2003 server and want to use 64-bit on the 2008 server. In this case, you have no option, you need to do a fresh install.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 26295441
Good point.  2008 R2 is 64 bit only, so if you are going that route you'll need 64 bit hardware.

Author Comment

ID: 26295659
Thanks everyone--great advice!

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