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Windows 2003 forest domain level

Posted on 2012-12-26
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Last Modified: 2012-12-27
I am currently working on a project which includes replacing several 2003 servers with 2008 servers and migrating an exchange 2003 server to exchange 2010.  When I started the domain consisted of 4 2003 servers, one of which is also the exchange 2003 server.  All 4 2003 servers were DCs.  I believe this network never had a 2000 server but I can't guarantee that for certain.
I have added 4 2008 r2 servers to the network.  3 have been promoted to DCs, the 4th is to become  my Exchange 2010 server.  I have since demoted 2 of the 2003 servers.  Now for my problem.
When I attempt to install Exchange 2010, during the initial prep phase it errors out with the message "Error:  the forest functional level of the current active directory forest is not Windows 2003 native or better".  I have verified that my AD is 2003 by attempting to raise the level again - at both remaing DCs - and both reply that the AD is raised as far as it can go (2003).  I have also verified in Exchange System Manager that the AD is in native mode.  I believe that I would not have been able to promote my 2008 R2 servers to DCs if this was not the case.
Where else can I look for anything that would confuse the Exchange 2010 installation routine?
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Question by:Cybertronnh
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Expert Comment

by:Sommerblink
ID: 38722687
You can install 2008R2 domain controllers into a 2003 forest. The problem is likely caused by replication problems.

I would recommend halting everything that you're doing AD-wise and solve the replication issues first.

What do you get if you run 'repadmin /showrepl' from all your domain controllers, including your two legacy 2003 DCs? Do you see the inbound neighbors with relative current time stamps and the replication reported back successful?

On the 2003 servers, it may be necessary to install the 2003 Support Tools http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15326 -32 or 64-bit.
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Nagendra Pratap Singh earned 668 total points
ID: 38722692
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by:djsharma
djsharma earned 668 total points
ID: 38722900
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Assisted Solution

by:Leon Fester
Leon Fester earned 664 total points
ID: 38723128
You can confirm your domain and forest functional levels by opening "Active Directory Domains and Trusts"
Then right-click the forest name and click "Properties"

You're specifically interested in the value of the "Forest functional level"
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Author Closing Comment

by:Cybertronnh
ID: 38723690
It was indeed that the forest level had not been raised - exactly what the message was telling me.   Thank you all for your help!
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