Domain Functional Levels - Quick Question!

Rob Samuel
Rob Samuel used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,

I am currently in the progress of implementing a new Windows 2008 domain controller onto our network.

The domain currently has the following servers:

Domain Controller - Windows 2003
Exchange 2000 Server (soon to be replaced) - Windows 2000
SQL Server - Windows 2003
Sage Payroll - Windows 2000 (Sage Payroll soon to be migrated to the SQL server)
Web Server - Windows 2003 Web

I've purchased a new Dell R710 which I've configured as a file/print/VPN server and I want to make this the new domain controller so I can retire the old, ageing Poweredge 2800 that is running the 2003 DC.

The prep work is going well, but when I run "adprep32.exe /domainprep" from the 2003 DC I get the following error:

Running domainprep ...

Adprep detected that the domain is not in native mode
[Status/Consequence]
Adprep has stopped without making changes.
[User Action]
Configure the domain to run in native mode and re-run domainprep

On checking the domain level, it is currently Windows 2000 mixed. This is due to previously having a 2003 DC and a 2000 DC.

Now that we've only got 1x Win 2003 DC, and 2x Win 2000 'member' servers - is it OK to raise the domain functional level to Windows 2003?

If so, I will raise the domain level to 2003, run adprep, DCpromo, etc to get our Win 2008 set up as our new DC.

Then once I upgrade Exchange, I can raise the domain level to 2008 and go from there...

I guess in summary, my question is:

"Is it OK to raise the domain functional level when there are member servers on the network with an older OS? E.g. Is it OK to raise the level from 2000 mixed to 2003 when the ONLY domain controller is 2003, and we have 2x Win 2000 member servers which are soon to be replaced".

Apologies for the long introduction, I just wanted to make the scenario clear.

I look forward to your comments...

Thanks in advance!





There is only 1 domain controller

adprep / domainprep - domain is not in native mode.

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Commented:
the answer for the question "Is it OK to raise the domain functional level when there are member servers on the network with an older OS? E.g. Is it OK to raise the level from 2000 mixed to 2003 when the ONLY domain controller is 2003, and we have 2x Win 2000 member servers which are soon to be replaced". is YES

Commented:
As long as you do not have any 200 DCs you can switch the FFL and DFL to 2003 native.
Krzysztof PytkoSenior Active Directory Engineer
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
run on server command

netdom query fsmo

and chcek which DC holds your Schema Master

there should be run adprep32 /forestprep

If you have no DCs based on 2000 you can simply raise your forest/domain functional level. But remember it is one time action and cannot be reverted!

Your domain level should be on the lowest DC version
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Commented:
As long as the DCs are only 2003 servers, you can raise the domain functional level to windows 2003 native, then upgrade the exchange, then get yourself onto domain 2008.
systechSenior Technical Lead
Commented:
Yes you can change it since you dont have any pre-windows (DC), Also once you upgraded the 2008 you can raise the level again.
Rob SamuelIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Thanks itsmein, that answers my question spot on. I thought that was the case, I just needed clarification that we could raise the FFL and DFL with only one 2003 DC, and other older member servers.

iSiek, I'll run those commands on the server to check the status of the schema master role. As long as all is well, I will raise do the following:

Raise the FFL & DFL to 2003 native
Run adprep / dcpromo, etc to create our new 2008 DC
migrate all the 'roles' - file, print, fax, etc...
Clean up / optimise AD & Group policies, etc.

Upgrade Exchange server
demote old 2003 DC
raise functional levels to 2008
upgrade other servers from 2003 > 2008
.
.
.
Job done!
Rob SamuelIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Schema Owner
Domain Role Owner
PDC Role
RID Pool Manager
Infrastructure Owner

All assigned to the only 2003 DC - the next step now is to raise the FFL and DFL!

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