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Promoting Windows Server 2012 R2 as domain controller in Windows 2003 forest & domain ?

Posted on 2015-02-10
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Last Modified: 2015-03-03
Hi,

I've just rebuilt a physical server of Windows Server 2012 R2 Std. and I' about to promote it as Domain Controller and FSMO role holders, what are the caveats and pitfalls that I need to be aware of when transferring from old Windows 2003 DC ?

I'm planning to make the new 2012 R2 box as a PDC Emulator, Infrastructure and RID master.

The domain and forest functionality level is Windows 2003. Some of the domain controllers are Windows Server 2003 and the rest is Windows Server 2008 R2.

Thanks,
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 144 total points
ID: 40600569
As long as you keep the domain and forest functional levels at the 2003 level, there is nothing to be concerned with, at least nothing I would be and can recall being concerned with.  Obviously, functionality offered by 2012 that relies on the functional levels being higher won't be available, but other than that... go for it.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40600583
Ok so what about the FSMO role to be transferred from 2003 to this new 2012 R2 box ?

Is there any special way to do it ?
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by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 72 total points
ID: 40600591
you can use ntdsutil on the 2012 R2 server to transfer

Using Ntdsutil.exe to transfer or seize FSMO roles to a domain controller
http://support.microsoft.com/KB/255504?wa=wsignin1.0
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by:Manoj Bojewar
Manoj Bojewar earned 142 total points
ID: 40600602
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 142 total points
ID: 40600910
Just a note, if you are going to be demoting your 2003 domain controllers make sure that all of your SRV records have been cleanup accordingly (_msdcs folder).

Will.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40601931
Thanks All for the suggestion.

@Will: Ok so as part of the old DC decommission process, do I need to manually delete the _msdcs folder or entries that point to the old DC ?
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 142 total points
ID: 40602285
Each folder under the _msdcs folder will have GC,DC, domains etc. I would go through these and make sure there are no remnants of the old domain controller in here after demotion. I have seen issues like this when demoting 2003 domain controllers.

SRV records can create a lot of issues if there are objects in there referencing services to domain controllers that do not exist.

So don't delete the folder itself go through the entires and see if there are any objects in there referencing the old DC. If there are delete them.

Will.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40607328
Ok, so one last question:

Can I just perform the DCPromo on the new Windows Server 2012 R2 to be the additional domain controller and make it as Global Catalog during the business hour ?

or would there be any impact to the user or to the Exchange Server email flow during the day ?
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by:Manoj Bojewar
Manoj Bojewar earned 142 total points
ID: 40607406
there is no any issue. you can add additional domain controller any time.
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Lee W, MVP earned 144 total points
ID: 40608329
BEFORE you do any promotion or demotion of a DC, I strongly recommend you review the AD health using DCDIAG /C /E /V and correcting any unexplained/unexpected errors.  If memory serves, if you have any failed DCs in AD, it won't let you add another.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40643146
Thanks !
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