We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Replacing server?

I'm replacing a server in a single server environment with from the current windows 2000 server with a 2008 server. I added the new server to the domain. How do I make the new server the domain controller. I've found articles about transferring FSMO roles but none seem to work or they say to select things that aren't there. Does anyone have a link or a guide I can follow to transfer these functions to the new server so I can shut down the old one?
Watch Question

Top Expert 2012
Axis52401Security Analyst


I found this link and attempted to follow it but on this step

If you are NOT logged onto the target domain controller, in the snap-in, right-click the icon next to Active Directory Users and Computers and press Connect to Domain Controller.
Select the domain controller that will be the new role holder, the target, and press OK.
Right-click the Active Directory Users and Computers icon again and press Operation Masters.

I assume I do this from the old or current DC I double click on the computername of the new server there are 3 tabs but on any one I click the change button I get an error

'The current domain controller is the operations master. To transfer the operatiosn master role to another computer you must first conenct to it.

What does it mean by connect to it?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Since it doesn't appear you have any experience doing this, I would strongly recommend you first learn it or hire a consultant so that you don't end up destroying your Active Directory.

Then you need to clarify exactly what you've done and what you have.  Do you have Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2?

So assuming you are going to setup a test environment to learn this on, what I would recommend you do is:

1. Join the 2008 server to the domain.  It should appear as a member server.
2. Confirm your existing domain controller is healthy and if not fix any problems (this would seem to make sense, no?)  Do so by running DCDIAG and reviewing and resolving any unexplained errors (for 2000 DCs, I believe DCDIAG is a part of the Support Tools on the 2000 CD and may be available for download as well; it's included in 2008 and later).
3. Perform FULL BACKUPS of your production servers when you move on to production and off the test environment!  Test environments help you learn what to expect, but EVERY environment is different (where the value in hiring someone with experience is) and even if you know what you're doing, you could encounter unexpected errors.
4. Run DCPROMO on the 2008 Server to make it a Domain Controller first (You may have to add the role first, but I think DCPROMO will work anyway and add the role for you).
5. Once the 2008 server is a domain controller, allow it to fully replicate.  This usually only takes a few minutes, but I would generally recommend letting it sit overnight and resuming tomorrow to ensure everything is good and make sure any problems that might occur due to previously unknown errors or misconfigurations can show themselves and be corrected.
6. Once the new server is a DC, run DCDIAG /C /E /V on it and the old DCDIAG on the old server as well to ensure, again, that the domain controllers are all healthy.
7. Transfer the FSMO roles.
8. Leave the old server online for redundancy.  If you want to completely remove it because redundancy is not something you want (why not?) then run DCPROMO on the OLD server and demote it (READ THE SCREENS CAREFULLY!!!)  Once demoted, you can turn it off and trash it.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Almost forgot, Step 3A - you need to run ADPREP on the OLD server to update the Active Directory Database Schema to the 2008 version.  Do this using ADPREP32 from the 2008 DVD (assuming you're not using the 32 bit version of 2008, in which case, it's just ADPREP).

For further information, reference: http://www.petri.co.il/prepare-for-server-2008-r2-domain-controller.htm

And for further education, I recommend reading over the links at www.petri.co.il, especially the related articles at the bottom of each article.

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.