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Forest/Domain Functional Level

Posted on 2015-02-24
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Last Modified: 2015-02-24
Hi,

We have 4 domain controllers that run Windows Server 2008 R2. These have been introduced a while back and there are no other DC's that run a lower OS.

The domain functional level is running at Windows Server 2003 and the forest functional level at Windows 2000 (only one domain in the forest).

What order do I need to upgrade the forest/domain functional level in? Do I need to do the forest level first - to 2003, then to 2008 then to 2008R2. Or can I go straight to 2008 R2?

Do I raise the domain functional level straight after? Again to 2008 first, then to 2008 R2? Is there a specific order?

Anything I need to be concerned about or can I pretty much just do this on the fly?

Thanks
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Question by:MFAFC
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by:Joseph Moody
Joseph Moody earned 250 total points
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Raise domain level first - straight to 2008 R2 is fine. Then raise forest.

You can pretty much do it on the fly.
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by:Joseph Moody
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Just be aware that you can't add DCs lower than 2008R2 after raising level.
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Will Szymkowski earned 250 total points
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What order do I need to upgrade the forest/domain functional level in? Do I need to do the forest level first - to 2003, then to 2008 then to 2008R2. Or can I go straight to 2008 R2?

In your case you can really do it any way you want. When you raise the Forest functional level 2000 to 2008 (example) it will also raise your domain functional level from 2003 to 2008.

So as a best practice it is a good idea to always raise the Domain Functional level first. If you raise the forest functional level it will force all domain's (even if there is more than 1) to go to what ever functional level the forest is set to.

This change is irreversible and you need to make sure that your AD replication is working properly.,
repadmin /replsum
repadmin /showrepl
repadmin /bridgeheads
dcdiag /v

Also you can go right from 2003 to 2008R2 no need to go to 2008. Same goes for the Forest functional level.

Will.
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by:MFAFC
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Thanks Joesph, appreciate the uber quick reply!

Yeah, I have no itnention of putting any DC's lower than R2 in. I just want to be able to take advantage of the AD recycle bin feature.
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by:MFAFC
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Thanks Will - very helpful with your response.
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