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Add/Promote to DC 2012 "R2" Domain Controller to existing SBS 2003 domain environment

Posted on 2014-10-27
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Last Modified: 2014-11-02
I know you "join/promote-to-DC" a 2012 R2 Server into an existing Server 2003 Std domain environment, as have already been through that process.

Need clarification as to whether a 2012-R2 Server can be "joined/promted-to-DC" into an existing  SBS-2003 domain environment?

I found this thread which said you cannot on an R2 build:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Active_Directory/Q_28228559.html

And found this thread that said you can - and "somewhat" confirmed by the MSFT author of this thread: (comments section pg2 - top comment)

http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/57636-migrate-active-directory-from-server-2003-to-server-2012-r2

If someone could please advise - thanks -
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Question by:hwtech
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by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 40406661
You need to understand that when it comes to AD, SBS 2003 *IS* Active Directory from Server 2003.  There are additional software controls that force you to keep it as your FSMO master or face problems, but there is NOTHING WRONG with having additional domain controllers in the network nor is there any problem adding a 2012 R2 DC to the network.

Ok, now I'll say I'm wrong.  There WAS a problem which now has a fix.  Reference:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2014/07/23/it-turns-out-that-weird-things-can-happen-when-you-mix-windows-server-2003-and-windows-server-2012-r2-domain-controllers.aspx
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by:hecgomrec
hecgomrec earned 1000 total points
ID: 40408464
I have performed an upgrade from a SBS 2003 to 2012 in the following scenario:

SBS 2003 was there just as main access point, it had DHCP, RAS, Remote Web Access and DNS.  There were other servers on the company running Exchange 2003, file servers and DHCP and DNS.

I introduced the 2012 as a member and DC, move the DHCP and DNS, recreate the RAS and Remote Access with the new roles and services from 2012, Soon enough I introduced more server to move the file servers and performed the exchange migration; Once everything was working I then made it GC and transferred FSMO.  These steps render the SBS 2003 unusable after 30 min. as in SBS 2003 there could be only on DC, GC with FSMO in the domain; so after I remove all roles from the 2003 it was just a member of my domain and finally remove it after the new box was in control.
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Author Comment

by:hwtech
ID: 40408518
@Lee W - thanks for the link. While I have only deployed a single 2012-R2 server at this point - running in conjunction with a 2003 Std server - this account is using local logins. Not domain based, so not any issues with login per your linked article. Coming deployments will be domain-based logins. So I'll keep that issue in mind.

@hecgomrec - appreciate your thoughts as well. Was the 2012 server you deployed an R2? I don't see that mentioned.
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Expert Comment

by:hecgomrec
ID: 40408537
I both (2012 and 2012 R2) on the domain yes!!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:hwtech
ID: 40418475
Thank you gentlemen - that answered my question.
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