Best way to handle Server Upgrade project

Tomorrow I will be replacing two computers (easy), and replacing their server that runs quickbooks pro 2010 and is their DC for about 5 computers.
Their server is server 2003, the new server is 2012 essentials.

What is the best way attack to this?

I was thinking replace the two computers first and don't join to domain just yet.
Upgrade quickbooks to 2017 desktop pro on the old server.
Then start to set up the new server. Transfer the quickbooks files over after it is set up.

Is there a best way to do this?

Any help appreciated.
Chris SwinneyOwner Asked:
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Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
Are you going to migrate or start fresh?  It makes some difference.  

For QB...  You want to do only one step at a time so either add  New QB 2017 to an existing system and upgrade the QB data, or install old QB on one of the new systems if compatible, and wait until you have all the new bits in place to upgrade.

For a migration of the AD no disjoin/rejoin is necessary.  And, if memory serves, you do not have to install QB on the server, just the data management portion to allow more than one simultaneous user to open a company data set.

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Chris SwinneyOwner Author Commented:
Are you saying to install quickbooks on one of their computer that already have it?
Ah I think see what you mean on the last part, you're saynig that if I install quickbooks on their desktops it will upgrade the data on the old server, and from there I can transfer their books database to the new server?

As far as getting AD and everything else the same on the new server, whats the best way to do that? Is there something I can read?
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
Search this forum or the internet for "migrating to Server Essentials" or similar.

Go here:  

click on "migration guides"
Chris SwinneyOwner Author Commented:
Set up the server and replicated all of the roles etc from the old server.
Quickbooks support assisted with upgrading from the old version to 2017.
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