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How to introduce a Windows 2012 R2 server into a Windows 2008SBS environment.


I am prepping to migrate an SBS 2008 to a Windows 2012R2 (DC/File Share/Print Services) + Windows 2012R2 (Exchange 2013).

My first phase requires me to introduce Windows 2012 R2 to the domain.  Then to make it an additional domain controller.  I have some questions.

1.I understand that once Active Directory roles have been moved to the Windows 2012 server, SBS will start complaining and will start shutting itself down.  
 At which point would it start doing this?  
 I plan on moving AD related roles AFTER Exchange 2013 is in place and all dependencies have been moved over.  
 In order to begin the Exchange 2013 process, is there anything I should or should not do when I add the Windows 2012R2 to the domain & add it as an additional domain controller?

2.I understand I will need to run adprep /forestprep and adprep/domainprep before I can promote the Windows 2012R2 server as a domain controller.  Is this correct?

Any additional gotchas or guidance would be greatly welcome.

ExchangeWindows Server 2012

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8/22/2022 - Mon
David Johnson, CD

Cliff Galiher

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Cliff - thanks for your clear structured response.  

Yes, I am planning to move FSMO roles right at the end.  I understand then that it is at this time that SBS will start complaining, and not when the new Windows 2012 is promoted to DC role, correct?

Yep.  I'll ensure we have a good image backup and additional System State backup in place.

No, there will be a separate Windows 2012 R2 that will be setup with Exchange 2013.

Cliff Galiher

Correct. As long as you don't create a child domain, or any type of cross-domain trust, and don't move the FSMO roles, you can keep an additional DC on SBS indefinitely. This is perfectly acceptable both legally and technically.
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William Peck

A couple of things that were not touched upon.

First, ensure that your current environment does not have any problems, run a DCDIAG and FRSDIAG (especially the FRSDIAG as it is extremely common for the FRS database in 2003/2008 to become corrupted).

A corrupted FRS database will not prevent the process of promoting the new server to a DC from running, but it will prevent the process from completing properly.  This is because the new server will not be able to complete a replication cycle which is a fail-safe used by AD to ensure that a server can act as a domain controller.

Secone, ensure that you make your new server a Global Catalog.


Thank you very much!!