Configuring the first windows 2008 domain controller in a 2003 AD domain

Hi guys happy new year to u all.
Guys we ave a windows 2003 ad domain. We currently do not have any 2008 domain controllers, but want to start.
What steps are needed to ensure that our first 2008 dc is configured correctly so at it can coexist in our 2003 domain?
Any help greatly appreciated.
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Shabarinath RamadasanInfrastructure ArchitectCommented:
Refer the below techet article.

The steps apply to domain controllers that run Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. If the domain controller that you plan to install will be the first that runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 in your domain or forest, you need to prepare the domain before you can install the domain controller. Otherwise, follow the links later in this topic for the different methods (using the GUI, command-line, or an answer file) to install the new domain controller.

To prepare the domain and forest, you need to run Adprep.exe (or adprep32.exe) commands. If you want to understand all the details about what Adprep.exe does, see Running Adprep.exe ( The Adprep commands that need to be completed are:

    If you are installing the first Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller in the forest, run the adprep /forestprep command on the server that holds the schema master operations master (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO) role. For more information, see Prepare a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Forest Schema for a Domain Controller That Runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    If you are installing the first Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller in the domain, run the adprep /domainprep /gpprep command on the server that holds the infrastructure operations master role. For more information, see Prepare a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Domain for a Domain Controller That Runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    If you are installing the first read-only domain controller (RODC) in the domain, run the adprep /rodcprep command on any computer in the forest. For more information, see Prepare a Forest for a Read-Only Domain Controller.
Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
You must to run a schema update before promoting any 2008 on a 2003 domain:

ADPREP /Forestprep  
ADPREP /rodcprep
ADPREP /domainprep

I suggest that raise domain functional level set to 2003 native.
Bruno PACIIT ConsultantCommented:

The process is very easy.

The first step is to upgrade the AD schema. This step is not really risky but anyway you have to take minimum required precautions before modifying the schema so that you're able to restore your previous schema in case of abortion of this step.

After you have upgraded the Schema, you install your new Windows 2008 server as a member server in the domain, install the ADDS role, and finally make a dcpromo to make this server a new additional DC in your domain.

Processed like this for other Windows 2008 DCs.

Before unpromote old Windows 2003 DCs, you must transfer the FSMO roles (Schema Master, Domain Namin Master, Infrastructure Master, PDC, RID Master) from the ols Windows 2003 DCs to the new 2008 DCs with the same process as you did when you moved your FSMO roles between 2003 DCs.

Also, Don't forget to activate the Global Catalog functionality on the new DCs !

You'll then have to install all others services: DNS server, DHCP server (if needed), etc...

When you ensure that you transfered all required roles and services to new DCs you can unpromote old 2003 DCs.

Have a good day.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Krzysztof PytkoSenior Active Directory EngineerCommented:
Hi, if you wish, you may follow an article on my blog for that at

SandeshdubeySenior Server EngineerCommented:
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.

Steps to Install Windows 2008 DC

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

You must transfer the FSMO roles to the 2008 machine then the process is as outlined at

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.

Netometer has a nice video -

As for Exchange then that should ideally be put on a 2008 MEMBER SERVER, not a DC, and it must go on a 64bit machine, you can then migrate the mailboxes etc to the new exchnage server

Reference link:

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Simon336697Author Commented:
Hi guys, thank you so much for your help.


Our domain and forest functional levels are Windows Server 2003 native.

What we want to do is to leave our functional levels at 2003 native (for the time being).

We have the following forest:

Root domain
    |____ child domain

We have 3 DCs in the root, and over 50 DCs in the child dc. They all run 2003.
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