Upgrade domain 2003 to 2008 effects on Exchange


If I upgrade my AD domain from 2003 to 2008 by introducing a new 2008 server, making it a DC, transferring all roles to it and demoting the existing 2003 DC, will it have any effects on my Exchange 2010 server or will it automatically work with the new DC?
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Krzysztof PytkoSenior Active Directory EngineerCommented:
Don't worry, it won't affect your Exchange Server (if you do not touch Exchange itself). Go ahead, if you wish yu may follow an article on my blog at

When you transfer PDC Emulator Master then you need to advertise your new time server in a forest

[...]- after transfer of the PDCEmulator role, configure the NEW PDCEmulator to an external timesource and reconfigure the old PDCEmulator to use the domainhierarchie now. Therefore run on the NEW "w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:PEERS /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update" where PEERS will be filled with the ip address or server(time.windows.com) and on the OLD one run "w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /reliable:no /update" and stop/start the time service on the old one. All commands run in an elevated command prompt without the quotes. [...]

and extract from MVP blog at

MAS (MVE)EE Solution GuideCommented:

1. Raise your forest function level to 2003
2. Run the command adprep32 /forestprep (in 2003 DC)
3. Promote 2008 server to DC and make it a GC as well
4. Transfer all FSMO roles to the new 2008 DC
5. Change the DNS address (in exchange) to the new DC
6. Restart recommended (not mandatory)
7. Run the command in exchange 'setup.com /prepareAD'
8. Restart again to make sure it communicates with new DC
9. Check event viewer. You should have the new dc name in ADaccess in the event
10. Shutdown the 2003 DC and check the event viewer for errors.
11. If exchange is error free switch on the old dc and demote (This is because exchange2007/2010 is tightly integrated with Active directory. you have to make exchange error free)
In fact exchange 2010 recommends windows 2008 or later dc's
In fact exchange 2010 recommends windows 2008 or later dc's
SandeshdubeySenior Server EngineerCommented:
It will not affect the Exchange Server.You also need to change the DNS setting on the exchange server to point to new DC.I would also recommend to have atleast two DC in the environment for redendancy.

There are a couple of very important considerations, that you should have in mind, before you proceed with your migration scenario.
--Check, and raise, if necessary, the Domain and Forest functional levels. You cannot upgrade directly from Windows 2000 mixed, or Windows Server 2003 interim domain functional levels.

--The first Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller in the forest must be a Global Catalog Server, and it cannot be a Read Only Domain Controller, RODC.

--Check the FSMO roles assignments. When you prepare the existing AD, you should run adprep /forestprep on the Schema operations master, and adprep /domainprep /gpprep on the infrastructure master.In your case as there is a single Dc you need to run on the same server.

The installation of Windows 2008 into the domain and migration is quite simple.
First you need to Adprep your 2003 Domain by running
adprep /forestprep    and
adprep /domainprep   and
adprep /gpprep

from the 2008 DVD on the Windows 2000 DC  - adprep is in the SOURCES folder on the DVD.

Next install 2008 server on the new machine. You need to assign the 2008 new computer an IP address and subnet mask on the existing network. Make sure that the preferred DNS server on new machine points to the existing DNS Server on the Domain (normally the existing domain controller)

Join the new 2008 machine to the existing domain as a member server

From the command line promote the new machine to a domain controller with the DCPROMO command from the command line Select "Additional Domain Controller in an existing Domain"

Once Active Directory is installed then to make the new machine a global catalog server, go to Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand, Sites, Default first site and Servers. Right click on the new server and select properties and tick the"Global Catalog" checkbox. (Global catalog is essential for logon as it needs to be queried to establish Universal Group Membership)

Install DNS on the new server. Assuming that you were using Active Directory Integrated DNS on the first Domain Controller, DNS will automatically replicate to the new domain controller along with Active Directory. Set up forwarders as detailed at http://www.petri.co.il/configure_dns_forwarding.htm

You must transfer the FSMO roles to the 2008 machine then the process is as outlined at http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm

You then need to install DHCP on the new 2008 server (if used) and set up a scope, activate it and authorize the server.

Change all of the clients (and the new 2008 DC itself), to point to the 2008 DC for their preferred DNS server this may be in DHCP options or the TCP/IP settings.

You can then transfer any data to the new server

Before removing the old DC from the domain, run DCPROMO on it to remove Active Directory.

Reference article:
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