Server 2008 R2 and Server 2003

Amerilab used Ask the Experts™
We have a 2003 Domain Controller and want to know if you can have a 2008 Domain Controller in the same domain?  
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2012
Yes you can there is no problem running both versions as Domain Controllers.

Here is a link on adprep in Windows 2008 Server r2

Here is a link on adding Windows 2008 Server to your domain
Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008
Yes - but you will need to run ADPREP (ADPREP32) to update the 2003 schema, see
Acronis in Gartner 2019 MQ for datacenter backup

It is an honor to be featured in Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Datacenter Backup and Recovery Solutions. Gartner’s MQ sets a high standard and earning a place on their grid is a great affirmation that Acronis is delivering on our mission to protect all data, apps, and systems.

I am running a mixed environment while working towards a full 2008 environment.  before being able to add a 2008 DC you need to do a schema update.  At which point you can still continue to add 2003 and 2008 domain controllers until you change the domain to be a 2008 functional level.
Top Expert 2011

Yes this is no problem. Before you are going to promote the windows 2008 R2 server you have to prepare your active directory.

Here is a good guide how to do this.

Note, after introducing, make sure you do not upgrade your forest / domain functional level to a higher level then window 2003, otherwise you will have problems with your 2003 domain controller.
Note if you run adprep on a 2008r2 server they supply both a 32bit and 64bit version on the r2 64bit cd/image.  This tripped me up for a while as this changed from 2008 which you had to use the adprep from the proper cd.


Nice.  Plenty of information.  I'll give those suggestions a try.

Thank You.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial