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Changing Domain functional level from Svr 2003 to Svr 2008 R2.

Posted on 2012-09-20
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I have just started a new job. One of the first tasks is to upgrade the domain functional level from Server 2003 to Server 2008 R2.

I know how to do this, however I am unsure of the impact to the services running on our Server 2003 member servers.

My understanding is that once I raise the domain functional level, I can't go back, so I need to make sure any Legacy 2003 services will work in the new domain level.

Is there any tools out there that will help me identify what could present a problem?

My only other solution would be to migrate our old 2003 servers to 2008 R2 before upgrading the domain functional level.
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Question by:Howzatt
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by:FastFngrz
FastFngrz earned 572 total points
ID: 38420498
Domain functional levels only require that the DOMAIN CONTROLLERS are at that version before you can raise it up... All your DC's would need to be at 2008 R2 before it would go.

Member servers (and workstations) can take advantage of the new functions, but older Windows 2003/XP boxes wouldn't know any difference.

See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc787290(v=ws.10).aspx  and
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753437(WS.10).aspx for details

If you have any Windows 2000, make sure they're on SP4 :)
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by:Howzatt
ID: 38420563
Let me rephrase. I guess what I mean is that I will be transferring the master roles to the 2008 R2 DC.

If I do this, can I revert back if there is an issue?
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by:Sushil Sonawane
Sushil Sonawane earned 856 total points
ID: 38420564
Refer below article for change the domain functional level.

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322692)
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by:Howzatt
ID: 38420566
Also there are no Win 2000 servers. 2003 is the lowest.
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by:Sushil Sonawane
Sushil Sonawane earned 856 total points
ID: 38420568
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by:FastFngrz
FastFngrz earned 572 total points
ID: 38420578
Transferring roles is very low risk and easily switched back.

Do yourself a favor and check your AD replication (a little dcdiag never hurt) before messing with status quo.
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by:Sushil Sonawane
Sushil Sonawane earned 856 total points
ID: 38420620
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by:Premkumar Yogeswaran
Premkumar Yogeswaran earned 284 total points
ID: 38420642
Hi,

Domain Functional level is totally consist of Domain Controller version in your domain.
If you raised Domain FL to 2008 r2, then you cannot add the 2003 DC to your domain.
The functionality advantages will be increased to 2008r2 support.

Note: Member server cannot be impacted on domain functional level. (Functional Level is only for Domain Controllers)

Any questions, please let us know..

Regards,
Prem
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Lee W, MVP earned 288 total points
ID: 38420781
There CAN be other things impacted.  I believe other Windows Server roles MAY require certain AD functional levels - I want to say Windows Server Mobile Device Manager (MDM) was one... and Exchange is another.  Basically anything that does things with the AD schema could be a problem.  Since your asking this question, you probably don't have many such services to worry about.  So inventory the Windows (Microsoft) server services and verify.  I generally don't worry about raising the level with Exchange (it should be good so long as you're already at a minimum level, but I THINK MDM was one that would not work with 2008 R2.

And just to reiterate, DO NOT increase the functional levels unless you remove ALL 2003/2003 R2/2008 (non-R2) DOMAIN CONTROLLERS first.  Non-DCs don't matter, but DCs must ALL be 2008 R2 if you want to go to 2008 R2 Functional level.
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