Upgrading windows 2003 domain controllers to Windows 2008 DC

Hi All,

  I have single domain forest with single  windows 2003 domains , Im planning to migrate them to windows 2008 domain contollers, I have two new servers that I will use for windows 2008 DC.
I need the best practise  and to be sure that my current AD is errors free and the steps to migrate them and remove windows 2003 DCs, also I have Exchange 2010 as a member server.

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Mike KlineCommented:
Quick initial comment, have you thought about going to 2008 R2?

High level steps:

prep your forest for 2008
install the 2008 member server (can be done before the prep too)
use dcpromo to promote the box
make the box a global catalog (does it by default in the 2008 dcpromo process)
if you have DNS on your 2003 box install it on the 2008 box
At that point you have a fully functional 2008 DC
Transfer FSMO roles to 2008 box
Point clients (static and DHCP) to the new box for DNS services.
once all your 2003 DCs are demoted you can raise the functional level.

There is a lot of great info on this subject already so I won't rewrite the book.  

The official Microsoft document

·     http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=FA629DE2-F4DD-47AC-8D80-3DB46B2877A2&displaylang=en


I also really like two blog entries by MVPs on the upgrade.  One is from Meinolf the other from Sander.  

·     http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/archive/2010/02/10/upgrading-an-active-directory-domain-from-windows-server-2003-to-windows-server-2008-or-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx

·     http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2010/05/26/transitioning-your-active-directory-to-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx



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Can the new 2008 domain controller coexist with the existing 2003 backup domain controller?
Mike KlineCommented:
@PCNNY yes you can have a 2008 DC with a 2003 DC, you won't be able to raise the functional level to 2008 until all the DCs are at 2008.

There is no real concept of backup DC though (but I know what you meant)


When you say we will not be able to raise the functional level to 2008, is that a problem?  What does that restrict us from?  As it is now with the PDC and the BDC being 2003 standard, if we make changes to active directory or dns on one of those servers, it syncs with the other instantly.  Will it still function in this way with PDC being 2008 and BDC being 2003?
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Windows Server 2008

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