Replacing server considerations

First of all, I am an acknowledged neophyte when it comes to servers.

I am building a new Windows 2008 server for our school to replace an existing 2003 server.

It will be my primary domain controller, DNS, DHCP and Active Directory server.  I have one already running on our network.  I am assuming that if I install and configure these roles on the new server while it is on the network, I will experience conflicts and issues.


Do I need to disconnect this server from the network and configure it, import all my settings, etc and then when I am ready, just shut down the existing server and bring this one online?  


Can I use the same IP address as the old server when I bring the new one online - that way it will be seamless to the rest of the network?


How do I test the new server when it is offline?
Suggestions of online resources that can guide me?

(If I could offer more than 500 points - I would)
Ken HerrIT DirectorAsked:
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Paul MacDonaldConnect With a Mentor Director, Information SystemsCommented:
Build your new server, install the OS, and join it to the existing domain.

Run DCPromo to make it an additional Domain Controller/DNS server in the existing domain.

Move all the FSMO roles from the old DC to the new one.

Install and configure DHCP to duplicate the existing scope.  When you enable the new scope, disable the old scope.  It's best to do this over a weekend (or at night) after telling everyone to shut down their computers.


At this point you can DCPromo the old DC to remove it.  I would STRONGLY suggest wiping/rebuilding the old DC, then adding it back to the domain as a second Domain Controller.  You can even split the DHCP scope so each server has a range of addresses to service clients in case the other DC goes down.

There should be no need to use the same IP address for the new DC as was on the old DC.  No one should be talking to the DCs by IP.
Seth SimmonsConnect With a Mentor Sr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
1) you need to make the new server a domain controller and have the dns settings pointing to the 2003 server so it can join the domain and talk to the 2003 server for AD and DNS replication (which will happen automatically).  dhcp you need to move manually

How to move a DHCP database from a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008

there are also steps you need to do first before you can make the 2008 server a domain controller

Prepare your Domain for the Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controller

2) no.  you want both machines running together at the same time to allow for migration and proper demotion of the older server.

Demote a domain controller

3)  i assume you mean test the new server when the old one is offline?  you need to change any static addresses to use the new server for dns.  also change the server to point to itself for dns else you will have issues when then 2003 server is demoted.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
Build your new server, install the OS, and join it to the existing domain.
Run DCPromo to make it an additional Domain Controller/DNS server in the existing domain.

you can't just add to the domain and run dcpromo
as i mentioned, you need to prepare the domain first with adprep
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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
I'm reasonably certain he can raise the functional level of the domain once the old DC is demoted.
Seth SimmonsConnect With a Mentor Sr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
that's 2 separate steps
adprep to extend the schema before the promotion of the 2008 domain controller
after the 2003 server is gone, optional to raise the functional level
Ken HerrIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
HELP again,
I am following the instructions above as best I can but am getting stuck in the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard.  It is asking me if I want to add to an existing forest or create a new forest.  (I have an existing FQDN  If I select to add a domain controller to the existing domain, I get an error message that says I must first run forestprep.  When I run forestprep, I get an error that says I must run adprep on an Active Directory Domain Controller. (isn't that what I am trying to do here?)  When I try to run adprep on this machine it says that I have to install Active Directory Domain Services, which I have done but it is greyed out.  Then it tells me that I must run dcpromo.exe.  

I am stuck in a loop.  What am I missing?

The other option is to install a new forest but it asks me for an FQDN but it won't let me use my existing domain.
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
From the sound of it, this OS wants you to run ADPrep on the extant DC, then run ForestPrep, then run DCPromo on the new DC.
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