Demote Win2003 svr and replace with Win2012 svr

Hi, we currently have a Win2003 standard server running as a domain controller, dns server and terminal server.  There are only 10 users.

We just purchased a brand new Dell server to replace this Win2003 server,  The new server is running Win2012 standard.
From what I understand, these are the steps I can take:

1.  Add/introduce the new Win2012 server as an additional DC into the network.
2.  Transfer the FSMO roles from the Win2003 server to the new Win2012 server.
3.  Make sure everything (users and groups) and replicated to the new Win2012 server, then power off the old Win2003 server for a couple of days to make sure everything is working.
4.  Once determined all are good, demote the Win2003 server and trash it.

I'm concerned about step #2.  Must I raise the Win2003 functional level to Win2003 first?  Currently, it is at Win2000 native functional level.
Did I miss any steps?
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
yes, the functional level must be 2003 native or higher before you can promote the 2012 server

also make sure clients are pointing to the 2012 server for dns
what are your plans for the terminal services?  not recommended to run terminal services on a domain controller
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
You need to do the following...
- Add the 2012 server to the current 2003 domain
- Raise the Forest Functional Level to 2003 (this will also rasie the domain level to 2003 as well)
- Promote 2012 DC into the enviornment
- Check to ensure that replicaiton/DC health is good (check event logs)
- Transfer the Roles to the new 2012 server
- Configure the PDC external time server (
- Point new clients to the new 2012 DNS server
- Check to ensure that replicaiton is working between both DC's
- Check Sysvol to ensure that all objects were replicated
- Check Event logs on both DC's to ensure good health
- Run DCDIAG /c
- Run repadmin /replsum
- When all test come back successful demote 2003 domain controller

Note: if your replication and DNS is funcitoning correctly it is not a good idea to just power down the old server, as you will then get error messages on the 2012 DC saying that it cannot contact the 2003 DC etc. If all tests come back successful and replicaiton is good it will be fine.

Hope this helps

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Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
Seth, why is running TS on a domain controler not recommended?  Security reasons?  We only have 10 users and only 5 are using RDP.  
Thanks Spec.  Great steps to follow.
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Adding first Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller within Windows 2003/2008/2008R2 network
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
Seth, eventually, all users will not be connecting via RDP.  I'm not worry about performance.  Right now, the current server is very old and there is no performance impact.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
ok...if you won't be keeping terminal services then it's a non-issue
Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
This question is for Spec01.

What do you mean when you said, "if your replication and DNS is functioning correctly it is not a good idea to just power down the old server, as you will then get error messages on the 2012 DC saying that it cannot contact the 2003 DC etc. If all tests come back successful and replicaiton is good it will be fine."

What should I do if everything is fine?  Should I demote the old server and then power down the old server?
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Yeah when you have enabled DNS on the new 2012 server run the replicaiton/health checks i.e as i have listed above repadmin /replsum, dcdiag, when all tests come back and do not have any issues (your AD environment is stable) you can then gracefully demote the 2003 server.
Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
I'm stuck!  Trying to promote the new Win2012 to a DC and the installation is taking so long. It's over a day now.
Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
Finally gave me an error saying this computer cannot be promoted to the domain controller. I signed in as the domain admin and it said the pw expired.  Renewed the pw, re-ran the promotion and installation completed.  Seems fine so far and will check to make sure replication is healthy before I move the roles over.
Soho_DanAuthor Commented:
Hi, I would like to re-open this case.  
Before I transfer the FSMO roles to the new 2012 server, I want to make sure my DNS is working.
I checked the old server and it says it is the primary DNS server and when I checked the Win2012 server, it also is the primary DNS server.
Is this a problem cause I want to transfer the roles to the new 2012 server and make sure my clients can login and also have the proper DNS settings.
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Windows Server 2012

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