raised functional level from Native... can I still access NT 4 server files and SQL

handyjay used Ask the Experts™
We have an NT4 server.  Its only purpose is to run some legacy software running SQL 7 and some file storage.

We are thinking about upgrading our Exchange server from 2003 to 2010 which required raising the functional level on the Domain Controller to Windows 2003.  The NT4 server does NOT handle our Domain Controller tasks.

I have read that raising the functional level on the DC will cause the NT4 server to longer be accessible on the network.

I have a public IP mapped with our router to the NT4 server to access the files, programs, and SQL using the IP address.  I did this in hopes of eliminating network share issues if I raise the functional level.

Now...  // works.
SQL connection strings work by using the public IP.

I am wondering, if I raise the functional level, will we still be able to access NT4 using the IP address I mapped? ... or does raising the functional level make the NT4 server inaccessbile no matter what?
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DarinTCHSenior CyberSecurity Engineer

the functional level primarily applies to DC (Domain Controllers)
in order to raise the func level you have to have all DC at that level
member servers can be older versions


Me have one main DC running W2K8.  The NT4 was demoted to a BDC... but it does not perform DC functions (it tried, but event logs show failure).  I would actually like to remove it as a BDC, but only found software from upromote to do this.  

My concern is not that it is a DC (I dont want it to be), I just need to access the files and apps on it.  I want to still use it and I just want to make sure I can still access it from the network if I raise the functional level.  It appears, upromote will create it as a stand alone server and this should give me what I need.  Then I can raise the functional levels without issue.

Is there agreement or disagreement with this?
That should be fine.

The bad thing would be to leave it a BDC (performing domain tasks or no) and then upgrading the functional level.

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