Upgrade domian controllers currently Server 2003 (x86) to 2008 r2 (x86)


I don't expect anyone to answer thsi in great length as there is plenty of info out there BUT I would like advice on which way to appraoch this!

I have 3 sites and 3 x DC's all on physical x86 architecture and Windows 2003 Enterprise.

I want to Upgrade them to Windows server 2008R2.

My problem is 2008R2 is ONLY 64bit.

I'm GUESSING i would do one of the following:

- buy 3 new physical servers and install a fresh 2008r2 and then somehow move all the roles across and decomission old DC's
- add 3 new 2008r2 DC's and trust/sync them up and then shut off od ones?
- Do some virtualisation, but is having DC's as VM's practical/best practise?

Does anyone have a good step-by-step link/guide?

Any feedback would be greatfuly received or any advice or gotchas from someone who has done this very thing?
Who is Participating?
Darius GhassemCommented:
Here is a full guide


Here is an article on adprep32


Best option would be to purchase new hardware that supports Windows 2008 Server R2 to install

You can have DCs as virtual machines but recommended to have at least one physical DC.
Krzysztof PytkoSenior Active Directory EngineerCommented:
Yes, there is no x32 of Windows Server 2008 R2
I would recommend adding the new 2008 R2 DC into existing forest. You may check how to do that on my blog

For adding the first 2008 R2 DC

to add any other DCs

Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
You can follow your initial plan:
1) Buy servers
2) Install 2k8R2
3) Promote to DCs
4) Move roles as approprirate
5) Demote old DCs

DC can and have been virtualized.  There's no specific penalty for this.  I'm sure instructions exist, but you'd need to indicate what you want instructions for.
Build and Install 2008R2 server, run dcpromo and follow the wizard, add DNS/DHCP role as required: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13160156/Install-and-Configure-Active-Directory-DNS-and-DHCP-on-Windows-Server-2008
Transfer FSMO roles: http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm
Demote 2003 DCs (dcpromo again)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.