Server 2003 -> 2008 Domain Upgrade

Hi everyone, I'm going to upgrade a server 2003 domain to a 2008 domain.  I have a ton of experience with 2003, but not much with 2008, and I wanted to get a sense of what gotchas to be on the lookout for, and other pertinent advice.

Here's how we're going to do it.  We're going to join a 2k8 machine to the domain, upgrade it to a domain controller, then slowly decommission the other 2k3 machines, while simultaneously bringing a new 2k8 DC into the mix later.  I don't have a lot of choice in that process, so any advice you can give me I'd appreciate.

Thank you,
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Bruno PACIIT ConsultantCommented:

Not much to say as the upgrade path is really unique and simple and is the one you explained.

1) Upgrade the AD schema
2) install a Windows 2008 server and join the domain.
3) promote the 2008 server as a new DC in the domain. This step is quite different than on Windows 2003 : you have to install the ADDS role on the 2008 server and then only you'll be able to make a DCPROMO. the DNS services are automatically installed.
4) Verify that you DNS zones are replicated on the new 2008 DC (it is automatic if the DNS zones are AD integrated).
5) transfer FSMO roles to the 2008 DC.
6) don't forget to make the new DC a GC.
7) proceed with other windows 2008 servers.
8) Don't forget to change DHCP settings so that your computers interrogate these new DNS servers instead of the old 2003 DNS servers.
9) depromote old DCs
10) when you have removed all 2003 DCs you can change the domain and forest functionning level to 2008 native but as this is not reversible you have to be sure that you won't need any 2003 DC anymore.

Have a good day

Mike KlineCommented:
Some more links/steps in this question I helped with

I would go to 2008 R2 at this point.  If you know 2003 then 2008 will not be a big will be fine.


Agree with Mike, its better to go for windows 2008 R2 becasue windows 2008 R2 has some nice enhancements which can be beneficial for saving administration time and cost.
Regrading gotchas, i haven't heard of any but if you running some very old application then you might want to confirm from the vendor once.

Upgrade from Windows 2000/2003 to 2008/2008 R2 Domain Controllers

Awinish Vishwakarma
schnibitzAuthor Commented:
thank you all for your help.   i ran a test upgrade based on all you contributed,  and out went really well.
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Windows Server 2008

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