Can a Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition Server join a Windows Server 2012 R2 domain

I have a very small Windows 2003 Enterprise Server (single server, 15 user) domain.
I plan on installing a new 2012 R2 server.
I don't plan on doing any type of migration, other than data, as the existing domain controller is such a mess.
I've been patching and implementing workarounds for some time now.
AD is a mess as well, so I really don't want to migrate that, so I'm going to start with a clean, pristine environment.
However the existing DC is running a very important network app that I'm not prepared to migrate at the same time (sometime soon in the future that software will be migrated to another Windows 2012 R2 server, and the 2003 server will be taken offline.)
My plan is to demote the existing 2003 Enterprise DC, bring online the new 2012R2 DC and join the existing Windows 2003 32bit Enterprise server to the new Windows 2012 domain.
Is that possible?
I haven't really been able to find a definitive answer.
I've read that it's possible but the Windows 2003 server has to be Windows 2003 R2.
Thank you in advance for any assistance with an answer to this problem.
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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
It can but not as a domain controller. Functional level only apply on dc's, not member servers.

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Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
You should be able to add the server as a member server only. Because you are doing a clean AD installation your AD Forest and Domain functional levels will be at 2012 R2 level and for this reason you can only add it as member server and not as DC.

The network application you are using is it using Windows Authentication (Domain User name and Password) or their own passwords? If its windows authentication you might have troubles setting up a new link to the new domain.

Agreed with the other two answers, yes, you can rejoin your 2003 server (as a member) to the newly created domain.

Also, your users will have to do migrations of their documents and settings since a new domain means new SID's.

Dirk does ask a good question, does your network application have any dependency on the current domain?

f1techsAuthor Commented:
Those are all answers that I needed, thank you.
The network software has no dependencies on network authentication.
New profiles, due to new SID's, won't be that painful, as there are so few users, with very little local data, but thanks for asking those questions.
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Windows Server 2003

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