Migrating from Windows Server 2003 Small Business to Windows 2012 Std

I have a Dell server that is 6.5 years old and is running Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server. This is the only server in my office so it acts as a domain controller, file server, houses the free SQL database as well as Quickbooks. It also controls DHCP and DNS. It has been causing us problems lately so we decided to buy a new Dell server.

Now I am tasked with migrating all the things the Windows 2003 Server does over to the Windows 2012 Std Server. I have never done this so I am seeking advise on the best practices, steps to use, etc.

I will put the new server next to the old server so copying all the users files over will not be an issue, but all the user accounts, printers, making this a domain controller, etc is puzzling me. Do I need to unjoin all the client PCs from the current domain and rejoin them to the new server's domain, and on and on...My goal is to get this cut over across a weekend, so when the users arrive Monday we are good to go.

Any help, pointers, etc are most appreciated.
Thx Experts...BobR
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Don S.Commented:
Here is the official MS step by step process for migrating to 2012 essentials.  It is nearly the same to migrate to 2012 Std.

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It all depends on the procedure you choose to use.
If you intend to create a new domain you will have more work, but you will have a clean environment not burdened with mistakes from history.
If you decide to use the same domain, you will have a little less work with initial administration, but you could have more problems in the future. It all depends on the health of the current server.
I normally decide to build a new domain, also because old domains normally use .local which will not be possible to use in public certificates soon. For new domains I normally choose ad.domain.com, where domain.com is publicly registered domain of the company.
Btw, windows 2012 std server does not have migration mode. For migration you will need to join new server as additional DC and then transfer FSMO roles.
If you choose to use new domain, then you will need to:
- prepare new server and AD
- prepare users, shares, permisions
- move data from old server to new one, including DHCP
- join computers to new domain and move user profiles (you can use a tool like forensit user profile wizard to ease and speed up this task)
- transfer, install all other stuff (printers, programs) and clean up things relating to SBS
It depends on the complexity of the current environment, but I would suggest you to prepare precise workflow and test all the steps, because two days could not be enough if you are not perfectly prepared. And for sure reserve first two days of the week to resolve minor issues.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My goal is to get this cut over across a weekend, so when the users arrive Monday we are good to go.

You can do this. We recently converted (migrated) a client over a 2 day weekend. It took one of us and a consultant working all weekend. We used the same domain and followed the steps pretty much as davorin outlined. It is important to remove (uninstall) Exchange from SBS 2003 first. It is likely installed even if you do not use.

We did not have to unjoin client computers because we used the same domain. I was not one of the two above. I came in Monday morning (although I had been in phone contact over the weekend) and everything was working.

We have an SQL application that gave some difficulty and we paid Microsoft to solve that (they did) and Microsoft told us going forward that SQL should have its own server, so we added a second new server.

What you want to accomplish is do-able, but plan and also plan on having a competent consultant expert in this kind of migration.
Can I add just that I agree on having SQL server on separate server.
With one license of Windows 2012 R2 std you have licensed Hyper-V host plus two virtual machines. So I would install all of them. One virtual machine I would dedicate as domain controller and file/print server, the other should be used as SQL server.
bobrossi56Author Commented:
OK, I think I have a plan that will work. Let me know what you think:
I will install new server on LAN next to DC1 old server, I will name it DC2 I will join the existing domain.

1. Copy all files and printers to New server
2. Setup DHCP and copy configuration to new serve
3. Promote new server to DC (with different name - DC2), it will replicate old servers AD, etc.
4. "Open" the shares and printers, test them
5. Deactivate old server's DHCP
6. Test new server's DHCP, DNS, and AD
7. Demote old server and turn off
8. Verify new shares and printers are working from new server
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Windows Server 2003

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