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SBS2003 - anyone know if it's ok to run the R2 adprep from a Server 2003 Std on a non-R" SBS2003?

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
ok, so here's the situation - my client has an SBS2003 Standard (non-R2) box that is running quite happily.

they bought a second server which was going to be for a dedicated service management system, but that project's been canned (nothing to do with me I hasten to add!)

this server is now sitting around not doing an awful lot, so I thought I would dcpromo it so there is a backup dc on the network in case anything should happen to the SBS box.

thing is the new server is 2003 R2, and the SBS server isn't R2, which means I have to run the R2 adprep utility on the SBS box before I can dcpromo the 2nd server.

anyone know if this will work ok? I blatantly do not want to stuff up the production server while trying to introduce some redundancy into the network!!
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Question by:SamTinley
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Philip Elder earned 1000 total points
ID: 34872448
There are no issues, but recoverability for the SBS domain can actually be more risky with another DC around.

See:
http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2008/04/sbs-disaster-recovery-second-dc-sbs.html

Philip
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 34872457
Should work just fine.  I would always recommend creating a system state backup and performing DCDIAG Diagnostics to verify the AD health first, but the fact that it's SBS makes no difference for the purposes of ADPREP.
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by:KCTS
ID: 34872516
This is what ADPREP is for - to modify the AD structure to conform with a later version of AD.

You can make the new machine an additional DC once ADPREP has completed and its always a good idea to make it a GC and DNS server as well, however as the other server is SBS, all the FSMO roles must stay on the SBS machine
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Author Comment

by:SamTinley
ID: 34872703
many thanks for the speedy replies chaps, much appreciated. Philip's link certainly makes interesting reading and has been filed for future reference, although I sincerely hope it won't be needed!! (if it is, I expect it would be a bit easier than some of the situation described as recovery would be done onsite, so the 2nd DC would be available. Also interested to note comments about additional DC's at branch offices as my understanding of SBS is that one of the limitations is that it doesn't support multi-sites in AD?)
I am pushing the client to move to a non-SBS environment as soon as possible, as they've basically outgrown it, but as usual they're saying they don't have the money to do it, while I'm saying their business is so IT dependent they can't afford not to.... plus ca change, n'est-ce pas mes amis ;-)

@Lee - already done the system state backup, but running DCDIAG prior to ADPREP is a good shout, thanks
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Author Comment

by:SamTinley
ID: 34872731
@KCTS, yep, thanks, basically knew all that already, just wanted to be sure that running ADPREP for R2 on a non-R2 SBS box wasn't gonna break it... they are bit different to standard 2003 servers and can be somewhat idiosyncratic at times! ;)
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 34872748
We have many branch office setups with site to site VPNs set up between them. Other than setting up the static routes in RRAS we generally don't go too much into setting up AD Sites.

We may customize the OU structure and GPO linking a bit for the remote sites for things like local WSUS settings, folder redirection, and the like but we prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

They have grown beyond 75 users? Then they have no choice to go to the stack model.

Win2K8 R2 provides similar functionality to RWW via TSWeb. That setup can be customized to have similar functionality to RWW so no real loss there.

Philip
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Author Comment

by:SamTinley
ID: 34873551
just thought y'all might like to know -
. made a good system state backup of the SBS box
. ran dcdiag /e /v /c and passed all tests ok
. ran ADPREP from the R2 disc on the SBS box, completed successfully & SBS box didn't explode
. dcpromo'd the R2 server ok

so now have some redundancy on the network which means I for one will sleep easier at night ;)

thanks for all your input everyone, much appreciated
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