Windows 2012 Server Domain Controller Upgrade


We are upgrading our old Windows NT Domain Controller/File Server to Windows 2012 Server.  I am trying to make this a easy as possible.  The Server has all the shares and permission for all of our users and groups.  Is there an easy way to transfer everything, users, files, permissions, etc or will I just have to create everything from scratch?  

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Adam BrownConnect With a Mentor Sr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
I haven't done an NT4 to 2012 cross forest migration before, so I can't say for certain. I can tell you that NT4 Active Directory is an almost completely different animal, so it's likely you won't be able to accomplish a migration like that.

That said, migrating to 2003 first should not cause any downtime at all. If you stand up a 2003 DC in the existing domain and transfer all roles, Active Directory should replicate everything else without much difficulty. Once the 2003 DC is running, you can shut down the NT4 server without clients having any connectivity loss.
Adam BrownConnect With a Mentor Sr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
If you're creating a whole new domain, you might be able to use the Active Directory Migration Tool to do it. Out of curiosity, is this a Windows NT4 domain controller?
Rob StoneConnect With a Mentor Commented:
ADMT 3.0 was the first and that is compatible with 2003.  It won't work on NT4 (especially as that didn't use AD).

You will more than likely need to do it from scratch, however, there are blogs out there from migrations back in the day. Here is one that may give you some insight of what is required.
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mcsdguyianAuthor Commented:
I was actually thinking that it might be better to upgrade to windows 2003 server on the server, because of Active Directory. Will ADMT 3.0 do what I need it to do on Windows server 2012?
mcsdguyianAuthor Commented:
Yes it is Windows NT4
Adam BrownSr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Well, I can tell you you won't be able to upgrade the actual DC to another version of Windows. NT4 is horribly behind the times, so you will likely have trouble moving anything you have off that domain without migrating to a newer (but not 2012) functional level first. But you're also going to seriously want to move entirely off the NT4 domain, since the domain naming scheme and practices have changed a lot since NT4 came out. Build a new forest with Windows 2012, add a 2003 DC to your NT4 domain, replicate your AD and DNS to the 2003 DC and retire the NT4 servers entirely. Once that's done, upgrade your Domain and Forest functional levels in the now 2003 domain to 2003 Native, then use ADMT to migrate into the new forest. This will greatly ease the transition and keep you from having to deal with the problems inherent in having chunks of NT4 functionality remaining in a 2012 forest.
Rob StoneCommented:
Server 2012 currently uses ADMT v3.2.....although many people are expecting v3.3 based on their revision history.

I think you are right, a 2003 in place upgrade seems to be a good option from blogs and support groups.

Another one with quite a lot of detail is here:

I don't want to commit you down any path though, I've not touched NT4 for a long long time!
Sarang TinguriaSr EngineerCommented:
Not sure why people are suggesting ADMT when its just an upgradation not Migration

one, I would have eliminated use of ADMT
Two, NT4 can not be upgraded to 2012 Directly

What I would have done is installed one ADC with 2003 then transferred the roles,GC to this 2003 Server
Then demote NT4 DC , Raise FFL & DFL now add 2012 DC & then transferred the roles,GC to this 2012 Server, run health and replication check then demote 2003 and here you are...............

Please refer below link by MVP Paul
It has all the list of things which needs to be checked prior performing the DC demotion

How to Decommission a Domain Controller
mcsdguyianAuthor Commented:
Will the ADMT v3.2 also allow me to move my shared files and folders over to the new server and retain the permissions or is ADMT only to bring groups and users over?
mcsdguyianAuthor Commented:
Without upgrading the NT4 server to 2003 server.  Is it possible to setup my Windows 2012 Server which is a brand new HP GL360 and transfer everything directly, files permissions, users, etc from the old server to the new server?

I keep reading everything and it just seems like the whole upgrading the server first then migrating could cause problems.  The NT4 server really cannot be down very long.  

I would have a Friday night to get take the old server down and bring up the new one.  I have no experience with this type of move.
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