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Promoting a Windows 2012 R2 Server

Hi Experts,

I have a active directory that have several domain controllers spread across several sites. All the current domain controllers are running Windows 2008 R2 except one domain controller.

The forest and domain functional level is Windows 2008 and I am not able to raise this level (highest).

I have two new domain controllers that I would like to deploy in my domain. These new domain controllers are running Windows server 2012 R2.

I started to promote one of the servers that is running server 2012 R2 but the AD promotion process wants to upgrade the following:

Forest prep, domain, and schema prep.

My main concerns are:

What will be the effect on the above actions? Will the domain controller with windows 2008 still work after the the new 2012 Dc is promoted?

Will this mess up anything on the other dc at the other site?

What would be the domain and forest level after the new DC (2012) is promoted.  

What OS would the client machine have to have in order to work on the domain?

Thanks
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Teavana
Asked:
Teavana
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3 Solutions
 
Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
This will not change anything. The system is just telling that he need to update the schema as you are adding new Windows version higher that already running one.

As long as you did not change your forest and domain functional level  which is Windows 2008.

regards
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Thank you for responding.

I did not make any changes as yet; I wanted to be sure of the effects before continuing the process because I am making the changes in a live environment.

So to be clear:

1) You are saying that by promoting the new windows 2012 R2 server to a DC this process will not  change the current Functional and domain level from Windows 2008 ?
 
2) The DC that is running Windows 2008 OS will still function until I demote it ?

3) The client machines will not be affected?

 I know that Windows XP machines do not work with AD if the functional level is 2012.

I just want to be sure, I do not want to mess this up as you can imagine this would be bad.

Thanks
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Any thoughts or can someone else comment on this item for me?

Thanks
0
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Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
You will not mess anything up and the answer to all ypur concerns are yes. I'm 100% certain.

If you want to confirm yourself again, you ca just quickly set up a lap with two Windows 2008 servers as AD and then add Windows 2012 server as domain.

You can achieve this by just using Hyper-V. (This is can be done on your laptop, if you are uisng Windows 7 or Windows 8, enable Hyper-V and install Dev servers)

regards
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Answers inline:

What will be the effect on the above actions?

The effect will be that your schemas will all be upgraded. This is usually not an issue.

Will the domain controller with windows 2008 still work after the the new 2012 Dc is promoted?

In a healthy environment, yes.

 Will this mess up anything on the other dc at the other site?

In a healthy environment, no.

 What would be the domain and forest level after the new DC (2012) is promoted.  

The same as they are now. Schema updates to not change functional levels.

 What OS would the client machine have to have in order to work on the domain?

In a default configuration, XP or higher. But if changes have been made, XP compatibility may be broken and they won't be able to authenticate against the 2012 R2 DCs, resulting in intermittent logon failures dependent on which DC they happen to be attempting against. There is no clear cut answer here since each environment is different,
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Hi Cliff,

Thanks for confirming these items.  

What do you mean by  "  But if changes have been made, XP compatibility may be broken and they won't be able to authenticate against the 2012 R2 DCs, resulting in intermittent logon failures dependent on which DC they happen to be attempting against. "

I have a few Windows XP Professional client machines that are in the same site  as the windows server 2012 R2 server.

We are in the process of replacing these XP machines but it will not be done until the next few months so what ever change I make now, these machine will still have to work on the domain.

Thanks
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
If you are looking for a guarantee, I can't give that. I don't know your site and have not performed a full audit. But there are scenarios (real world, I've seen them) where a client GPO had previously been set enforcing certain security protocols, and then a new DC was introduced that used the default security template which disallows old protocols, thus creating an incompatibility.

In a perfect world with a clean XP machine and a clean 2012 R2 DC in a 2008 functional level environment and no group policies? You'd be fine, But that isn't what you asked, so I can only give the honest answer that yes, you could have problems.... environment dependent.
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for explaining. I am just having second thoughts if I should introduce the 2012 R2 DC in my environment now since we some XP machines on the domain.
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Teavana's comment #a40217476
Assisted answer: 250 points for Emmanuel Adebayo's comment #a40216461
Assisted answer: 250 points for Cliff Galiher's comment #a40217444

for the following reason:

Thank you both for your help, I appreciate.  I was able to successfully promote the 2012 R2 machine to a DC without any issues.

You re correct, the promotion process did not change the Functional levels.

Thanks
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TeavanaAuthor Commented:
Thanks again!
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