What is the best way to migrate from SBS 2003 to a standard Windows Domain (2008)

Posted on 2011-10-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a couple clients running SBS 2003.  They want to upgrade to AD 2008, and Exchange 2010, they are NOT using SharePoint (Thank GOD!). This is moving from SBS to a standard Windows Domain, all will be running on VMware if that makes a difference to you.

The number 1 goal is to retain the existing Domain!  Now I have done this before, and it actually worked out, but it was the scariest experience ever.  During the migration AD vanished for a few minutes!! It's a long story, I was able to rescue things, but it was very scary.

I have some steps I found online, and they happen to be right along the lines of what I did in the past with a few additional steps.  I am really interested in your thoughts on what is the best practice when migrating from SBS to a standard windows domain, should the existing domain even try to be saved, or should I just start over with a new domain.

Here are the suggested steps, the end result will be AD 2008, so I was planning to use a Windows 2008 R2 Server operating in Windows 2003 AD mode for this purpose, and after the migrations is completed and all tested I would raise the functional level of the domain.

How to: Migrate SBS 2003 to Windows 2003 domain

1. Install Windows 2003 on a new computer.
2. Setup TCP/IP using static IP and DNS pointing to the SBS DNS.
3. Join it to the SBS domain.
4. Install DNS and WINS (if you have Exchange and VPN connection, it is better to install WINS).
 5. Run adprep /forestprerp to extend your Active Directory forest's schema.
6. Promote the Windows 2003 to be a DC by running dcpromo. When the Domain Controller Type displays, select Additional domain controller for an existing domain. then follow the instruction to finish the process.
 7. After rebooting the new DC, change the DNS and WINS point to the new DC IP.
8. Make the new DC as a Global Catalog Server. To do that, open Active Directory Sites and Services. Expand Sites, Expand Servers, then expand NTDS Settings. Right click NTDS Settings for the DC and Click Properties. Check Global Catalog.
 9. Transferring the FSMO roles to the new DC.
1) Open Active Directory Users and Computers. Right-click on the domain name and selectOperations Masters. In the RID tab, click the change button to change the RID Master role to the new DC. Repeat this for each of the other tabs (PDS and Infrastructure).
 2) To transfer the Domain Naming Master, Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts. Right-click on it and select Operations Master. Click the change button to change the Operations Master to the new DC.
 3) to transfer the Schema Master role, follow these steps: a) Go to command line and run regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll, and then click OK. b) Run mmc, and then add Active Directory Schema. c) Right-click Active Directory Schema, and then click Change Domain Controller. Specify the new DC server name. d) Right-click Active Directory Schema, and then click Operations Master. In the Change Schema Master dialog box, click Change.
 10. Move the site licensing server from the SBS 2003 to the new DC. To do this, open Active Directory Sites and Services. Expand Sites and then click Default-First-Site-Name. Right-click Licensing Site Settings, and then click Properties. Click Change, type the name of DC in the Enter the object name to select area, and then click OK.
 11. Reboot the DC. Check Event ID 1119 or 1869 on the DC to make sure the DC is a GC.
 12. To remove the GC from SBS, open Active Directory Sites and Services. Expand Sites, Expand Servers, then expand SBS NTDS Settings. Right click NTDS Settings for Exchange01 and click Properties. Uncheck Global Catalog.
 13. Demote SBS. To do this, Click Start, Run, type dcpromo and click OK. Following the instruction. After that, the SBS will be a member server. To remove SBS from the domain, right click My Computer and select properties. Click the Computer Name tab and click the Workgroup radio button. Enter WORKGROUP for the new workgroup name and click OK. You will be prompted to reboot.
Question by:jodiddy
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    sure, you could  also add a DC in the existing domain & move all the FSMO roles to it. Then you could use it in your new environment & move the roles as desired. The directions you have listed look right on track.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Awesome, that is what I was thinking. Thanks for the response
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    David Overton has a great Blog about his, you may want to check him out,  but it's really a simple process and you look to be on top of it.  
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution


    The steps you put down have covered most clearly, maybe this article:
    will help you more, it is a step by step based migration from SBS 2003 to windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010, because it is step based you can do it step by step when you like and if a step doesn't fit for your environment just skip it. I have used this guide a couple of times with big success.
    LVL 3

    Author Closing Comment

    Great article!

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