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Adding 2012 DC to 2003 Domain with 1 DC running Exchange 2003

Posted on 2014-02-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-03-14
Forgive me if this has been answered in another post, if it was did not locate.

According to Technet a 2012 DC will cause problems with Exchange 2003.  Want to ultimately migrate to 2012 AD with Exchange 2010.
-- Initial thought was to add the 2012 as a DC and then install Exchange 2010 (I know should not install on a DC, but small office with only 8 users). Migrate mailbox and remove Exchange 2003.
-- Then was thinking because 2012 comes w/2 VMs maybe can install 2 - 2012 VMs one DC and the other for Exchange 2010.
Is this feasable without breaking Exchange 2003 or should the configuration be 2008 R2 DC, 2012 member server w/Exchange 2010?
Question by:Webcc
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 39896727
Won't break exchange 2003, just did pretty much the same thing for a customer, although as an interm step I installed W2008R2 server and exchange 2010 in a SBS 2003 with exchange 2003 system.  Since there is no migration path to Exchange 2013(our final goal-waiting for exchange 2013 sp1).  Mail flow was fine, although I had to rip out exchange 2003 thru manual method.

Just make sure you follow the migrations step to a tee, and be patient when you move public folders.  it take sometimes days.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39896776
You can upgrade the Exchange piece first. Exchange 2010 can talk to a 2003 DC/GC. Then do the DC second.

So create you 2012 Hyper-V host. First VM is Exchange. Complete that upgrade. Decommission Exchange 2003. Then put in the second VM, which is your 2012 DC.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sushil Sonawane
ID: 39896896
1) First you can add windows server 2012 in you windows server 2003 domain

Refer below link :


Or you can install windows server 2012 and add in domain.


3) Migrate user mailbox exchange 2003 to 2010 and demote the exchange server 2003.

2) Install exchange server 2010 on the windows 2012 server.

Refer below link :

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 39896924
Just introduce 2008 R2 SP1 ADC in virtual environment on Windows 2012 physical server and then introduce Exchange 2010

I believe 2008 R2 SP1 is fully stable as compared to windows 2012 server and then add your Exchange 2010 SP3 member server as another Virtual machine on same windows 2012 physical host

Then do complete migration from Exchange 2003 to 2010, remove Exchange 2003 and then demote Windows 2003 DC, that's all

Now you can upgrade active directory to Windows server 2012 \ 2012 R2 directly without any issues or you may wait until new service pack release for 2012 \ 2012 R2 server to get stable version
Because you will not get any surprising \ special benefit by upgrading active directory to Windows 2012 \ 2012 R2 immediately

Check my comment in below article for more details on above topic


Author Comment

ID: 39909116
So I created a 2012 physical host with 2 VMs.  Built the first one with 2008 R2 as a member server with Exchange 2010.  Will do the Exchange migration next.

Then I will load 2012 on another VM and that will be my new DC.  Will remove Exchange 2003 on the old DC and demote the old DC.  Next will probably load 2008 R2 on the old and reintroduce as a secondary DC.

Any flaws?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 39909158
Yes, you can do that with one exception.
After removing Exchange 2003 you don't required Windows 2008 R2 ADC, Exchange 2010 can leave peacefully with 2012 DC

According to me, Exchange 2003 should be completely removed prior to introducing 2012 ADC

You need to build 2nd VM with 2008 R2 SP1 Domain Controller 1st

This will involve schema upgrade and all

Then you need to transition Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 peacefully
Then remove Exchange 2003, Once you remove Exchange 2003 properly, then you will be left with 2008 R2 Active Directory and Exchange 2010

Now you can add \ introduce new 2012 \ 2012 R2 ADC and you will be better off
Later on you can decommission Windows 2008 R2 ADC

This approach is suggested because there are concerns raised with Exchange 2003 and Windows 2012 Domain controller and active directory and this approach will eliminate possible compatibility issues with exchange 2003 and windows 2012 \ 2012 R2 active directory

LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 39909307
I would get Exchange complete migrated and decommissioned first. Then load your 2012 DC and then decommission the DC role from the old Exchange server.

Author Comment

ID: 39909367
Will start the replication today and hope it is complete by the weekend then move the mailboxes.  Next will stop Exchange services on the old server and let things run awhile.  Then as was suggested will remove Exchange 2003 before adding 2012 DC.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Mahesh earned 2000 total points
ID: 39910495
How many 2003 Domain Controllers do you have ?

If this is the only 2003 domain controller you have with Exchange 2003 then there is risk involved with removing exchange from that server
If any wrong happens during Exchange uninstallation, you will lose active directory server as well

That is why the safe way is to introduce 2008 R2 ADC 1st, migrate FSMO on that server, then install Exchange 2010, do migration from 2003 to 2010, then demote exchange 2003, wipe out 2003 DC as well if you wish OR you could leave it as is and then introduce Windows 2012 ADC and introduce Exchange 2013 finally


Author Comment

ID: 39915408
Have 1 2003 DC running Exchange 2K3.
Makes sense to introduce 2k8 DC, transfer FSMO, etc.  One question, can I install 2k12 as a member server in the second VM to install Exchange 2010?  Have to consider licensing.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39929859
Have the 2008 DC running and transferred FSMOs.  Built another VM as a member server and will be installing Exchange 2010.

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