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Networking: Change of existing Domain Controller (NT to win 2008)


This is an enterprise network. There is a domain controller (It is still at Windows NT server; it also functions as DNS server, DHCP server); There is an exchange server (It is EARLIER than Exchange 2003); There is a File Server (It is a Windows NT/2000 server); and around 30 workstations and laptops . The private IP is
-The IP for Domain Controller is
- The IP for Exchange Server is
- The IP for File Server is
- All the client machines get the IP address from DHCP server

The Planning:
-      The Operating system of the Domain Controller will be changed using Windows 2008 server
-      The Exchange  will be changed to Exchange 2007
-      Leave the File Server with windows NT/2000 server
-      Some clients would be changed to Win 7

The Condition:
- The existing daily operation should not be disturbed (as maximum as possible)

The things that I will do:
-      Setup a new machine with windows 2008 server (I use the available IP of; make this machine as a Replica Domain Controller of the Existing one; make this machine also as a “Master DNS” server; THIS PART, I am not sure that I can do it as it is from Windows NT to Windows 2008 server; Could I make a Replica domain controller here? I need the comments or recomendation from the experts please)
-      If everything goes well, I can take out the existing domain controller (with the windows NT server) from the network
-      Then, I will configure the DHCP server (at the new domain controller with Windows 2008 server)
-      My assumptions: I do not do any change of configuration at the router at all

My Questions:
1) Does the above approaches correct or wrong? Please provide some comments
2) If it is not feasible or cannot be done, what options would provide the solutions?

Thank you

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3 Solutions
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
As on this page (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/zh/winserverMigration/thread/b6a3f0d9-3ee0-45b4-b8ab-4986b4d0020c) is mentioned, you should do in-place upgrade a Windows NT 4.0 PDC to Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 first.

Have a reading first on those links.

To migrate the DHCP: http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2009/08/05/how-to-migrate-dhcp-server-from-windows-nt-4-0-or-windows-server-2000-to-windows-server-2008.aspx
tjieAuthor Commented:
Hi Clonyxlro,

Per the above links,

- It seems that I have to upgrade the existing Windows NT Domain Controller ("PDC") to Windows 2000 server firstly ....
- Then, If it is already at Windows 2000 server as a Domain Controller; I can install Windows 2008 server, then make it as a Replica Domain Controller
- For DHCP server, I can export it using the "mentioned commands"

Please correct me if I am wrong or NOT workable

Feroz AhmedSenior Network EngineerCommented:
Hi ,

You can make this Machine a child domain controller by installing ADS on this Machine the procedure is Goto---------Start--------Run--------- type DCPROMO and -----Enter--------Select the option make this computer a child domain controller from the given 3 options  and continue with ADS installation.
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

Feroz AhmedSenior Network EngineerCommented:

You can try to install additional domain controller on different server to make a replica of Domain controller.through DCPROMO and select additional domain controller.
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I would go with 2003 upgrade path. Per Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326209

Then do 2003 -> 2008
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Also found more documentation on this: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2479
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