How will upgrading a 2003 domain to a 2008 domain affect the users, will changes need to be made at workstations?

Posted on 2012-04-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a small 2003 network with a file/print server as the domain controller,  a 2005 SQL server and a 2003 terminal server. We would like to upgrade the network to a 2008 Active Directory domain with a new 2008 domain controller and upgrade or replace the current 2003 domain controller.

After the domain upgrade to 2008 we would like to have 2 - 2008 domain controllers hosted on two file/print 2008 servers, a 2005 SQL server and a 2003 Terminal server.

Currently the 60+ workstations are approximately 50% XP and 50% Windows 7.

In the upgrade process will we need to make any workstation changes?
Question by:PeterFuerte
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

ThorinO earned 500 total points
ID: 37835423
You should not need to make any changes. If your 2003 DC is x64 you could upgrade it to 2008 R2. You would probably be better off (especially if you are dealing with VMs) to bring up two new DCs. After you build them you will promote them, you can then transfer the FSMO roles to one of the new ones and demote the old 2003 one. You should also move DNS, DHCP, and other services off the old DC. After you are done you will need to raise the domain and forest functional level to 2008 R2.


As long as nothing goes wrong you should be able to do it without affecting your workstations.

Assisted Solution

kinecsys earned 500 total points
ID: 37835426
Can't think of any due to Windows Server itself, other than new updates that will be triggered by the appearance of the new 2008 servers. However if SQL server is being upgraded and/or if you have Exchange Server and are upgrading it, that may require changes in client side programs that rely on those, such as Outlook 2003 having to require encryption to communicate to Exchange 2007 or 2010 as opposed to 2003.
LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Mike Kline
Mike Kline earned 500 total points
ID: 37835434
No workstation changes unless your DNS servers are going to change because of new IPs.  If that is the case then the new IPs would need to be listed for DNS.

If you want to use group policy preferences the XP machines will need the client side extensions




Accepted Solution

vmagan earned 500 total points
ID: 37835813

If you have network printer or fax machines make sure that there are 2008 drivers for them.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37836087
Thanks for all the excellent and quick information. Hopefully we will be doing the upgrade the weekend after next.

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