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How to change or move my Windows 2003 DC to another existing Windows 2003 DC

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
A couple of years ago when I first built this Windows 2003 Small Business Server (named SPBSERV.local domain) we did not have other domain controllers with active directory.  So I created this server with its own separate domain functioning as its own active directory.  Two weeks ago, my supervisor converted our NT DNS server to a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and merged our other NT servers to join.   We now have a functioning active directory serving most of our computers and users.  Now, my supervisor asked me to figure out how to join in this one Windows 2003 SBS edition to join our primary domain controller (BERSERV.com domain name).  My my problem, to start with, is that I can't log in as a local computer administrator because there is no WORKGROUP option login (only as a domain login) and for me to change this from domain to a workgroup I have to sign in as a local computer administrator first so then I can move on and use the dcpromo to demote it an so on....Please advise
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Question by:grazal
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by:Matt V
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DCPROMO must be run as the domain admin to remove a DC from the domain.  There is no other way to do it.

When you demote it, it will ask you for a new local admin password.
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by:grazal
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I did what you instructed and I was able to log in with the local password!...Now that this is now a workgroup computer, how do I join this server to the new domain? do I go to computer properties and change from workgroup to the new/existing domain name OR run the dcpromo again to promote this server to a domain controller on the new/existing domain where the Active Directory running (BERSERV.com).  What is the next correct procedure?
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by:Matt V
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The computer is now a member server, you can go right from one domain to the other, or change to a workgroup first, then reboot and join the new domain.  Once you are joined to the new domain, then run dcpromo to add it into the domain controllers.
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by:kevinhsieh
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Since this is an SBS Server, I believe that some special care needs to be taken. Do you have Exchange involved. I have no idea if you can just add SBS to an existing domain, or what the steps would be. I would think that you would need to join everything to the SBS domain. I do know that an SBS Server needs to have all FMSO roles. I think that it is best to consult with an SBS expert.
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by:libran2011
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You can check the following KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884453
which talks about how to install SBS 2003 in an Existing Domain.
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by:grazal
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Hi,  I think I should be more clear of my intention so that I can get a better answer.  Here it is.  The normal function of this 2003 SBS before I demoted it to a workgroup contains one web and gui application shared and accessed only by 10 users thru citrix.  One of the requirements of this application (Logility) is to install it onto a Windows server; and at that time we did not have another Win server with active directory and therefore we installed this application in Win 2003 SBS on its own domain.  Two weeks ago, management decided for us to have an active directory company-wide using Windows Server 2003 R2 as the primary active directory server.  We then able to migrate our other NT servers into our new active directory with the main domain name different from the Win 2003 SBS.

Now, my supervisor thought of perhaps, to let the Win 2003 SBS change and join our main domain.  But this seems to be a problem...When I demoted this server Win 2003 SBS to a workgroup and had joined the main domain, the web and the gui application originally installed in it ceased to function (can't even login into the program even locally).  Luckily, I have a ghost image of this server where I can restore it back, whew!

So, it looks like this Win 2003 SBS seemed to want to remain an active directory and not just a member of another domain (based on the error I experienced)?  Is that right?
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kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
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Yes, SBS can not be a member server. It needs to be an Active Directory domain controller with all FMSO roles. There can be other domain controllers, but the SBS server has to be the main one. If you want to use the server, a better move is probably to have joined the entire enterprise to the SBS domain. Another option is to ditch the platform completely and migrate your apps to a new server (physical or virtual, some hardware or different).
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