SBS 2008 Migration - Cannot Raise the Functional Level of the Domain or Forest

Posted on 2010-08-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We are in the midst of an SBS2008 migration (on our own server) - We ran the prep tools but apparently did not raise the functional level of the SBS2003 server.  Now when I attempt to do this-- I am getting the message that "The domain functional level cannot be raised because the PDC cannot be contacted" -- the 2003 server already thinks that the SBS2008 server is the PDC!   On the 2008 server we are getting the warning message about the functional levels not being raised.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in Advance
Question by:biglabs
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 33512937
Can you raise from the 2008 server?  What does AD show as who is holding roles?

Author Comment

ID: 33512980
Thanks Jorlando66 I will try that and post back results.

Author Comment

ID: 33513265
Jorlando66 -

We cannot raise it from the SBS08 server.  I learned that the technican working on this wiped the 2008 server after the first attempt at migration produced a lot of errors.  So at this point - we do not have a PDC even though the SBS2003 server thinks that there should be one.

Any ideas on how to make the SBS2003 server a PDC again.

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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 33513294
Try running dcpromo on the 2003 machine.  Post errors here.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 33519027
Before you begin a migration you need to ensure that AD is in a health state and fix it if it is not. If AD has not properly replicated to the 2008 DC and you run dcpromo on the 2003 DC and demote it there is a chance that you could lose AD completely.

I would recommend that you
1. stop the migration
2. Seize the FSMO roles back to the SBS server
3. use ntdsutil to clean out any DC's that no longer exist (including your new SBS2008 server, if it is there)
4. run dcdiag on the sbs server and confirm it is now OK
5. raise functional levels
6. start migration again on clean SBS2008 build


Accepted Solution

biglabs earned 0 total points
ID: 33525377
Just to update everyone and hopefully this will prevent angst for others....

The tech doing the migration had initial errors when building the new server - after the FSMO roles had been passed to the NEW server.  He then wiped the new server and restarted the install -- thus loosing the ability to get the FSMO roles back.  We talked to Microsoft and their recommended solution was to restore the SBS2003 server from backup and start over.  We ended up deciding just to build a new server and migrate the users over manually -- this was an in house project and we definately learned from our mistakes.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 33526612
aoakeley: The migration was allready completed or so they thought...They migrated and then rebuilt the 2008 server leaving the 2003 box in limbo.

The restore would have been the next option had the promotion of the 2003 box not worked.  THey not have lost AD as for all intents and purposes it was gone when the 2008 server was rebuilt.  I was hoping on the fsmo roles having been transferred back to 2003 when the tech took the 2008 box down.

Glad it worked out for you biglabs.  Good luck.

LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 33526617
While you cannot "get the FSMO roles back" (otherwise referred to as transferring roles) you can *SEIZE* FSMO roles and is a common practice, and quite necessary if, for example, a server holding said roles were to suddenly and unexpected suffer a catastrophic failure.
more info on seizing roles for a server that has vanished:
I would strongly encourage you to consider this route. Manually moving users introduces a *ton* of ACL overhead when it comes to preserving their personal data and profile information. Remenber that user accounts have unique SIDs so simply creating a user with the same name will not be sufficient. Long term, I've rarely found people that have chosen to go this route to end up being satisfied with the result. The frustration of the end users bleeds back on the technicians and overall confidence in technology is lost for a time.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 33526862
Agreed. You should be able to seize the roles back quite happily.

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