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migrating from windows 2003 domain to 2008.

Posted on 2014-11-12
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Last Modified: 2014-11-20
Hi,
we currently have 8 servers and 3 of them are still running windows 2003 standard including the domain controller that is holding the majority of the fsmo roles such as pdc emulator.  My question is if i replace those 3 servers still running 2003 with 2008 then is there a necessary set of steps that need to be done to make it a 2008 domain or could I essentially just leave it alone despite having all 8 servers running 2008?  I know the important part is that i will have to transfer the fsmo roles from the current domain controller to a new server.  Thanks.
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Question by:dankyle67
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Expert Comment

by:A Karelin
ID: 40437735
Do you have one DC?
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by:dankyle67
ID: 40437788
We have 2 domain controllers both of which are running 2003.  The part that always confuses me is that we are already using 5 2008 servers and everything seems to be working seamlessly in active directory and we have been using the 2008 servers for 3yrs now.  In other words, do i even need to upgrade the domain once i replace the remaining 3 servers running 2003?  I need to replace the 2003 servers since the servers themselves are quite old and concerned about hardware and disk failure possibility in the future so dont wanna wait for that to happen obviously and want to be proactive about it.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40437808
you do not need to change the forest or domain functional level, you may want to to take advantage of newer advances in AD
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 40437970
So its not necessary to change the domain functional level but doing so would enable us to make use of the newer AD features?  We only have one domain since it is a small office with only 24 pcs and the 8 servers.  I guess what i'm trying to confirm is that if i go ahead with the replacement of the 3 2003 servers with 2008 servers, It's not essential or required for me to change anything else domain wise.  However if i decide to do so in the future, is the change to the domain functional level complicated?
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Accepted Solution

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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40438098
it is very easy to accomplish.
powershell
$currentForest = Get-ADForest 
Set-ADForestMode -Identity $currentForest -Server $currentForest.SchemaMaster -ForestMode Windows2008Forest 
$domain = Get-ADDomainController -Discover -Service PrimaryDC
Set-ADDomainMode -Identity $domain.Domain -Server $domain.HostName[0] -DomainMode Windows2008Domain

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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 40438302
So if i run these from command prompt the domain will go from a 2003 domain to a 2008 and i can i do this even if i dont replace the 2003 servers or will this only work if i have all 2008 servers?  What are some of the advantages of the 2008 domain in regard to AD as you mentioned?
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 40438383
Also, do i replace any of the commands with the name of our domain controllers or do i type the commands exactly as you listed?  I would have to do the powershell on one of the 2008 servers i'm assuming so i guess i would have to wait to replace the existing domain controller running 2003 and holding the fsmo roles to 2008 prior to running the commands correct?
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