Make a 2012 server a domain conmtroller in 2003 domain

I want to make a 2012 member server a domain controller.  

Current set up is two Server 2003 domain controllers.  One of them is having issues so I want to demote it and promote a 2012 member server to a domain controller.  Can this be done if the FSMO domain controller is running Server 2003?  

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Currently yes. But 2003 is officially out of support, so a security patch to 2012 could technically change this at any time.  Please please PLEASE plan on retiring both 2003 domain controllers, not just one. There is no good reason to keep running 2003 for infrastructure roles.
Jose Gabriel Ortega CastroCEO Faru Bonon IT - EE Solution ExpertCommented:
1. You need to make sure that FSMO are with the domain controller that is in good shape.
2. Remove the problematic 2003.
3. Make sure that your domain and forest functional levels are native 2003

4. deploy your server 2012.
5. Move FSMOs to the new 2012 DC.
6. Remove 2003 domains they have like 3 years out of support (taking Cliff considerations).  (july 14,2015)
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
I think that steps should be like this:

1. Make sure your 2012 is a member of 2003 domain (you've said it is)
2. Install DC role on new 2012 server
3. Make it as secondary DC
4. Raise functionality level of your DC to 2008 or 2012
5. Transfer FSMO
6. Transfer DNS, DHCP... etc to new server
7. If you have Exchange, make sure is connecting to new 2012 DC, to test this, just shot down your old 2003 DC and make sure all authentications works
8. Demote your old 2003 server

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Jose Gabriel Ortega CastroCEO Faru Bonon IT - EE Solution ExpertCommented:
Tom the step 1 is incorrect, you don't need the server 2012 to be part of the domain since that's what you're doing when you promote it to a domain controller.
Yes, this can be done
cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
The domain and forest levels are currently version 2000.  Should I raise the domain and forest functional levels to native 2003 before I promo the 2012 server to a domain controller?

When I move the FSMO roles to the 2012 domain controller will the 2003 domain controller become a back up domain controller?

I don't want to have just one DC and I'm not sure the old DC's, which are Dell PE 2950's can run Server 2012, so I may have to keep one of them running Server 2003 until we purchase a new server to replace them.

Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
You should rise domain functionality level to maximum level available for your controller and after you move FSMO to 2012 you should rise it again.
It's always good to have secondary DC in domain, so if you can just create another one, but if this is too expensive upgrade 2003 to 2008.
2003 is really too old to be safe.

According to Dell community forum it is possible to install Windows 2012 on PE2950

In addition to our newer 12th Generation & 11th Generation servers, This Microsoft RTM release of Windows Server 2012 has been installed successfully on 9th Generation PowerEdge Servers (i.e. PE1950, PE2900, PE2950, etc.)

As always, Dell will provide updated Windows Server 2012 drivers on as they become available, usually after our launch.

Below is a summary of the device drivers available in Windows Server 2012 RTM:

Network: Network Controller Cards Supported on Dell Platforms.

Broadcom NetXtreme I & II Gigabit Family on Dell platforms
Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Fiber & Ethernet Family on Dell platforms
Broadcom BCM570xx NetXtreme II GigE (NDIS) Family on Dell platforms
Broadcom BCM577xx NetXtreme II 10 GigE (NDIS) Family on Dell platforms
Broadcom BCM578xx NetXtreme I & II 10 GigE SFP+ Family on Dell platforms
Broadcom NetXtreme II 10 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel LOM & Network Daughter Cards on 12G platforms
Intel Gigabit Family of Server Adapters on Dell platforms
Intel 10GbE Ethernet Family of Server Adapters on Dell platforms
Brocade 10GbE Ethernet Adapter on Dell platforms


Dell™ PowerEdge™ RAID Controller (PERC) 5, 6, 7, 8
Dell™ SAS RAID 5 and 6 family
Dell Internal tape adapters


QLogic 246x and 256x Fiber Channel series Dell adapters and 82xx CNA adapters (NDIS only)
Emulex LightPulse 8GB (PCIe 2.0) /4GB (PCIe 1.0a) /2GB (PCIe 1.0) Dell adapters
Brocade 4G/ 8G/ 10G/ 16G Fiber Channel/FCoE series Dell adapters
cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Will I be able to make the 2012 server a domain controller if domain functionality level is set to version 2000?
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
No, you must first rise functionality level to 2003

Install or use domain controllers that run Windows Server 2003 or later (Windows 2000DC is not supported and must be demoted prior installation).
Raise the forest functional level to Windows Server 2003 or higher.
Install domain controllers that run Windows Server 2012.
Remove or upgrade domain controllers that run earlier versions of Windows Server.

When you will promote W2012 as DC wizard will ask you automatically to rise Domain functional Level

Windows Server 2003
Supported Domain Controller Operating System:

Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003

The Windows Server 2003 domain functional level is deprecated. When you create a new domain on a server that runs Windows Server 2012 R2, the domain functional level must be Windows Server 2008 or newer. For more details about supported domain functional levels in Windows Server 2012 R2, see Understanding Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Functional Levels and Upgrade Domain Controllers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
Jose Gabriel Ortega CastroCEO Faru Bonon IT - EE Solution ExpertCommented:
Nope must be 2003 as my answer says
cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
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