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Migrate Active Directory from Server 2003 to Server 2012 R2

Posted on 2014-12-15
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Last Modified: 2015-01-12
Hello Experts,

I have the following AD environment:

Functional Level: 2003

1 Windows Server 2003 = PDC, all FSMOs, Primary DNS, DHCP
1 Windows Server 2008 R2 = Backup Domain Controller

I am planning to add another Server 2012 R2  to become my next Primary Domain Controller. I will be migrating all FSMO roles from my Windows Server 2003 PDC to this new server and then decommission the Windows Server 2003 server and elevate the functional level of my domain to 2008.

My question is do I have to run ADPREP again before I can raise the 2012 server to become  a domain controller?
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Question by:lappladmin
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Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40501653
It depends on how you meant that question.

In 2012 and 2012 R2, the "add role" wizard will run adprep for you when you add the ADDS role. So yes adprep needs to happen, changes will be made, and a backup is wise. But no you do not need to run it manually first. It is now automated.
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by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 250 total points
ID: 40502190
Cliff hits the nail on the head. ADPrep now runs automatically when you install the Active Directory Domain Services role starting from Windows Server 2012, so yes it still technically has to run. The AD DS role installation process just runs it automatically for you. The dcpromo command has also been deprecated starting from 2012, you promote the server to a DC via the wizard instead.
2012-Promote-to-DC.png
You can still opt to run ADPrep manually if you want as ADPrep.exe is stored in the \Support\Adprep directory on the 2012 installation media. The limitation when running ADPrep manually is that there is now only a 64-bit version of it and it can only run from a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 and later if you do decide to run it manually. Since you have a 2008 R2 server, it won't be a problem in this scenario.

You can read here for more information on the changes made to ADPrep in Server 2012/2012 R2: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd464018(v=ws.10).aspx#BKMK_WS2012
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