What should I do? Migrate from server 2003 or start fresh with server 2012?

I'm uncertain which route I should take. I have a client who has a 2003 server DC with File server, Print Server, Remote access/VPN server, Domain controller, and DNS server roles installed. They just purchased a 2012 server. Which path should I take? Migration or just start fresh? I've read in some cases server 2003 doesn't play well server 2012. I want to do it right and not lose any data or settings.

Anybody done this before that could give me some insight?
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MaheshConnect With a Mentor ArchitectCommented:
Just add 2012 server as member server in AD
Raise domain and forest functional level of domain to 2003
Upgrade AD schema to windows 2012
promote 2012 server as ADC with AD integrated DNS and GC
check if both servers are replicating properly
transfer FSMO roles from 2003 server to 2012 server
Point Windows 2003 server primary DNS to Windows 2012
Gracefully demote Windows 2003 server to member server
If you have DHCP server for client computers, then just chnage primary DNS server IP from 2003 server to 2012 server
if you have static IP addresses for client computers, just enable zone transfer on primary DNS zone of windows 2012 DC for windows 2003 server.
On windows 2003 server create Secondary DNS zone pointing to windows 2012 server as master server.
Later on slowly you can change primary DNS ip on client machine to point to Windows 2012 server.
All other roles on Windows 2003 server will continue as it is.
You don't require downtime in this way and this is pretty very straight forward.......
Well, do you have the option of starting from scratch? Are there not too many user accounts?
GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
there are approx 20 user accounts. Some with varying degrees of permissions. I think starting from scratch is the way to go but how does one do that with limiting the down time of the transition? I could do it after hours.

If I do it from  scratch how will the existing  user accounts be affected? Will they lose settings? What would you do?
Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

Hari Babu BalarajuTech LeadCommented:
You can also try exporting users and organizational unit from 2003 to new domain controller:


This way you can setup the new 2012 server and just import the users.
GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
I've added the 2003 server to the DNS of the 2012 server but the 2003 server does not want to see the 2012 server for some reason.
Sorry, I don't get your point ?

What steps you have taken so far please ?

GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
but instead of adding to existing domain I setup "add new forest" as I want to start from scratch.
The step you followed mentioned in above article are correct

Your last comment:
"but instead of adding to existing domain I setup "add new forest" as I want to start from scratch. "

If you do select "add new forest", then it will create new active directory domain which is not required in your case.

Let me know what you are trying to do and exact problem you are facing now please ?

GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
O.K. I've completed these steps.


But now when I go to change FSMO roles it says the current domain controller is the operations master. Now I'm stuck.
1st ensure your account is part of schema admins, domain admins group in active directory
Then try below
On 2003 DC, go to run and enter below command
regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
This should register schema management snapins on 2003 server
then open mmc and add schema management in that
Check below link for step by step

Once you opened schema management, then in cosole, right click "Active Directory Schema" and Select "Change Active directory domain Controoller"
This will preset you the list of available domain controllers, here select 2012 domain controllers and click OK
Now again right click  "Active Directory Schema" and select "Operations manager"
There click on change, it will give you warning message, just accept warning message and now your role will be transffered to 2012 DC
Now open cmd on 2012 server and run below command
netdom query fsmo
it will show you the owners of each FSMO role
hope that helps

GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
I should add that after I finished all those steps in my last comment, the 2012 server now shows the same domain name as the 2003 server in both operations Master prompts and cannot be changed. I had setup a .local extension instead of a .com that the 2003 server had. But now that .local is nowhere to be found. Is that normal?
What is your 2003 server name (FQDN) - u will find in My computer properties
For ex. server1.domain.com

What is your 2012 server FQDN
For ex.server2.domain.com

Also let me know the command output from 2012 servers
netdom query fsmo

GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
server 2003 FQDN: server2003.mydomain.com

server 2012  FQDN: SRV2012.mydomain.com

C:\Users\Administrator.mydomain>netdom query fsmo
Schema master                server2003.mydomain.com
Domain naming master   server2003.mydomain.com
PDC                                  server2003.mydomain.com
RID pool manager            server2003.mydomain.com
Infrastructure master      serv er2003.mydomain.com
The command completed successfully.
GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
added note: when I do the netdom query command from cmd prompt in 2003 server it says it is not recognized as an internal command?
Your 2012 server have been properly promoted as DC
let run below command on 2012 server with cmd
net share
Check if you are able to view sysvol and netlogon shares on 2012 DC
also run repadmin /showreps from same cmd to check if replication is happening

You have not installed 2003 SP2 support tools on windows 2003 server
That's why 2003 server is unable to recognize the command
You can download tools from below link and install it on 2003 server

I can see that you have not transffered FSMO roles to windows 2012 server yet.
Before demoting the 2003 server do not forget to transfer roles to windows 2012 server

Refer below article for transffering the same

GregDSelwahAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your time and help. It truly is appreciated!
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