upgrade ad from 2003 server to 2008 r2 server

Posted on 2012-08-25
Last Modified: 2012-09-06
I have 2 active directory server 2003 r2 and 1 windows member server 2003 with exchange 2003 sp2 on it.  If I migrate to 2008 active directory in brand new server.  How would it effect the exchange server?  After success dcpromo in the new server 2008 r2 is it possible to keep both dc 2003 or I must dcdemo them to member server!

Best Regards,
Question by:Vincent2211
    LVL 52

    Accepted Solution

    How would it effect the exchange server? - It wouldnt affect the Exchange server

    After success dcpromo in the new server 2008 r2 is it possible to keep both dc 2003 or I must dcdemo them to member server! - You can keep the W2k3 servers as it is ... just dont promote the W2k8 server to GC nor upgrade the "Domain functionality level"

    - Rancy
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Brad Bouchard
    Prep your forest and domain by copying the dcpromo folder from a Server 2008 R2 DVD somewhere onto your 2003 DCs.  Run DCPROMO /FORESTPREP /DOMAINPREP

    After this you can keep both the 2008 DCs and the 2003 running in mixed mode as long as you do not upgrade the domain/forest functional level.  None of this will affect Exchange as long as you run the domain/forest prep.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Brad Bouchard
    just dont promote the W2k8 server to GC

    @Rancy, there is nothing wrong with having a 2k8 and 2k3 GC mix.
    LVL 52

    Expert Comment

    by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
    LVL 39

    Assisted Solution

    by:Krzysztof Pytko
    You can go ahead. There is no problem using mix of 2003/2008/2008R2 Domain Controllers.
    And I strongly recommend to make all of them Global Catalog servers and DNS servers.
    As long as Exchange is not on a DC, you  can do that. If you wish, you may follow an article on my blog for that at

    when you do that, you don't need to decommission 2003 DCs if you do not wish to :)

    But after that, you should transfer FSMO roles to the newest DC

    when you transfer PDC Emulator role to another DC, you need to advertise new time server in your forest

    [...]- after transfer of the PDCEmulator role, configure the NEW PDCEmulator to an external timesource and reconfigure the old PDCEmulator to use the domainhierarchie now. Therefore run on the NEW "w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:PEERS /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update" where PEERS will be filled with the ip address or server( and on the OLD one run "w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /reliable:no /update" and stop/start the time service on the old one. All commands run in an elevated command prompt without the quotes. [...]

    it's an extract from MVP blog at

    and if you wish, you may also add additional DC

    if you have any further question, do not hesitate to ask

    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Brad Bouchard
    Split points between all 3 expert comments (ID: 38333582, ID: 38333583, ID: 38335468)  as each offered the same, yet a slightly different, option that helped the OP figure out his issue.

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