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Windows 2008 AD in Windows 2003 AD Environment

Are there any issues with installing a new Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller in an environment where all my other 6 domain controllers are Windows 2003 AD servers?

IF this is possible, thinking if I should stick to 32bit or use the 64bit OS?

Recommendations please?

Thanks in advance.
6 Solutions
Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
No issues at all. If the 2008 server is not a domain controller you don't really have to do anything but add the server to the Domain. I prefer 64bit, and if you have Windows 2008 R2, there is no 32bit version of the OS.
Mike KlineCommented:
Not only is it possible it is what is normally done (you wouldn't demote all 6 2003 boxes at the same time)

I'd go with 64 bit and go to 2008 R2 which is only 64 bit.

More details and steps in this question I helped with



Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Sorry. Misread that the 2008 server is going to be a DC. You'll need to run adprep on one of the 2003 Servers, and you'll need to use the 32bit version of it. After ADPrep is run, there aren't any real issues with having mixed 2003 and 2008 servers. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731728(WS.10).aspx has some info on ADPrep.
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

I could type all this out but it would be easier to send you the link I used when we deployed our first Win2008 server in our 2003AD environment.


1). You have to "update" your 2003 AD schema (steps listed in the website above).

2). eventually, you will want to get all roles moved over to your Win2008 AD machine for future growth (when you start killing 2003 machines off and replacing them with 2008 machines).

3). Use 64 bit OS ... it will work with your 2003 AD machines and it will make your future brighter.
2008r2 by default when you create a new tree root.  its default domain/forrest level is 2003.  

if u descide promote it.  you will not have issues.  just dont upgrade the funtionality level for the domain or forrest.  i would change the fsmo over to the 2008 box for when the company descides to take advantages of its 2008 domain funtions
Darius GhassemCommented:
I would have to agree with Mike I would go with Windows 2008 Server R2 which is only 64-bit.

Here is an article in changes in adprep in Windows 2008 Server R2


And here is guide to add a Domain Controller of 2008 to 2003 domain


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