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Moving from 2 Server 2008 Domain Controllers to Server 2012 Domain Controllers

Posted on 2014-07-30
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Last Modified: 2014-08-05
I am currently in the process of setting up 2 new Windows Server 2012 servers. They are domain controllers. I also have 2 Windows Server 2008 servers. Until the two above were introduced, they were the only two domain controllers. They run DNS and the primary one runs DHCP.

Here's what I'm trying to do. I need to remove the two 2008 boxes and replace them with the two 2012 boxes. I want to rename the two 2012 boxes to the 2008 box names and give them the same IPs. Basically everything should be identical once the two new boxes are in and the old boxes are out.

What do I need to consider in doing this? How can I make sure that DHCP, DNS, etc. is set up and working before doing this? Also, how do I demote the two old servers and rename the two new ones?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Question by:street9009
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40228883
I don't see any reason to have DC with old same name and IP address. It is better to have servers with new name and ip, run dcpromo and promote them as DC's, transfer FSMO roles, transfer DHCP.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40228972
Okay, that's fine. Still need to know how to go about it. I'd prefer the same name (since they perform the same function and like the naming convention) but it isn't a must. Please if possible help me to accomplish what I set out above.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40229322
Given your rather strange requirement, I'd demote one old server (the one without DHCP) and remove it and its account then promote a new server in its place. Then demote the other old server and then promote the other new server. The staggered approach avoids renaming DCs and avoids changing IP addresses, which is good. Finally, add DHCP and configure scope options. But DHCP is a trivial afterthought most of the time it is so simple to set up.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40229818
Thanks for the suggestion. However all 4 servers are already domain controllers (and have DHCP and DNS configured already). They're basically mirrored except 2 are actually doing the work and 2 are ready to do it. Just need to remove the 2 old and replace with the 2 new.
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40229844
Old IP you can use, however name, I won't recommend. For using old ip, after change the ip, goto cmd and run ipconfig /registerdns
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40229943
Is there any way to reuse the name?

See above as well that I already have the 2 new servers configured (mirrored) as best I can.
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40229983
With same name you are asking for lot of mess up.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40230030
Okay. So what is the proper procedure for getting the 2 new ones in place of the 2 old ones? Still need to be able to rename the two new ones to something else.

What kind of mess up are you asking for by using same name?
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40230095
Ok you could have done this before promoting 2012 DC's. Here what I would do.

> Say DC1 we want to demote and bring new dc with same name and ip.
> First you need to move FSMO roles to another DC
> Demote this DC, remove DNS, in case it is integrated with AD.
> Wait for replication, I will say leave it for a day.
> Make sure to clean up everything related to DC1 from entire forest, like cleaning up from AD Sites etc. Follow this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498
> Now shutdown this old dc, clean up DNS record from AD, power on new server, which you want to promote as DC.
> Now rename the name to old dc, join to domain and Set old IP
> Rest run DCPromo, with DNS and Enable GC, if it is a GC

However in your case, your new DC's are already up and running, if you can do above steps again, you will get, what you need. Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40230417
So there's no way to just slide the two I have in and remove the old two?
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Accepted Solution

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Amit earned 250 total points
ID: 40231039
That's a better option and I really don't see need of having dc with same name. At the end of the day, your DC should serve the purpose.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40231484
I still need to be able to rename the two new ones to something else (right now it's <SERVER>-NEW which I really don't like). And I need to stop the current ones from doing DNS and DHCP. So how does that work?
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40232693
Just accept that renaming domain controllers is a bad idea. Yes, by adding DCs and then asking how to do something, you created extra work for yourself. Take the hit and move on. Remove the new DCs with the names you don't like them follow variations of the same advice you've gotten here. You've probably spent more time trying to find a way around it than the time it would've taken to just demote the servers and start over.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40232816
I doubt that, Cliff. I might've spent 10 minutes on here replying to your comments and if I had been able to accomplish what I set out to accomplish- that's time well spent. I just find it hard to believe that in 2014 it hasn't gotten easier than it was in 2000. Granted I wasn't working with AD in 2000 just understand it wasn't easy.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40232850
And in 2012, server manager can remotely install and uninstall roles on another server. Demoting your new servers temporarily is two minutes of work. One per server. So 2 < 10.

Since promoting and demoting is so fast and easy now, there is little incentive to make renaming DCs easier. That is such an edge case scenario it is just expected that one would demote instead.
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Author Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40234423
Actually, renaming was very easy. I left the two old DCs on and renamed the two new DCs following instructions I found online. I did choose 2 new names as recommended. But the renaming took effect everywhere once it came back up and replicated. They did not need to be demoted. Demoted the old two and shut them down. Up and running now on the 2 new ones and two old ones are offline.
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Author Closing Comment

by:street9009
ID: 40241569
I split the points between you since both contributed. I would like to point out that with 4 DCs up and running, renaming two was as simple as renaming a PC. When they came back up, DNS updated and there was no issue.

I then shut down the two old ones, enabled DHCP on the new one, and everything is going.
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