Converting an NT4 PDC to a member server in an SBS 2003 Domain

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by chris johnson, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Hi All
    I posted this question in the sbs2000 group be fore I found this one, so
    appologies if you've seen it there already1

    Some advice please!

    I have 2 sites in the UK. One has been running SBS 2000 for several years
    with no problems & I am delighted with it.

    At the 2nd site (recently aquired) I have inherited 3 nt servers in a single
    domain doing a similar job with other email & proxy software. One of the
    servers runs the main business control software & I don't want to interfere
    with it any more than I have to. It is also the PDC. The two remaining
    servers are both BDCs. One does file & print, the other handles email &

    Proposed: New SBS 2003 (premium) box with a NEW domain name, running
    file/print/email/proxy & the old PDC with the main business software.

    I planned to take the PDC off line & promote one of the 2 remaining BDC's to
    a PDC until such time as I retire them. I planned to use the UPROMOTE
    utility to change the old PDC to a stand alone server, then add it as a
    member server to the SBS 2003 domain (in mixed mode). Finally switch the
    client PCs to the new domain... Would this work?

    Alternativly, Could I retire the two old BDCs, leave the old PDC in its own
    domain, but set identical user names & passwords on the SBS 2003 server. I
    would join the client pcs to the the new domain. Would they then be able to
    access the main business software on the NT4 box (still in the OLD domain)
    without further authentication ( I am aware that trust relationships are
    not allowed)

    Hope this makes some sense!

    Chris Johnson
    chris johnson, Nov 24, 2004
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  2. Not supported by MS - I would not do this.
    I'd rebuild as a W2000/2003 server in the SBS domain, honestly. What exactly
    is running on it that would be so hard to rebuild?
    Yes - but it's a PITA. Also, NT4 reaches end-of-life for support next month.
    Time to get rid of it.
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Nov 24, 2004
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  3. Thanks for your info.

    My problem with the existing PDC is the version of the database system
    (mvBase) running is only compatible with NT4 SP4.
    I can't even upgrade to NT4 SP6, let alone Win2K or Win2003 without
    considerable downtime (& expense). It would be a shame to have to do all
    this, when it works perfectly well as it is.

    Chris Johnson

    "Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]"
    chris johnson, Nov 25, 2004
  4. Is a newer version available?
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Nov 26, 2004
  5. Thanks for your continued interest Lanwench.

    I have researched further & find that the next release of mvBase (1.02.03
    available without charge... thank goodnes) WILL support windows server 2003.
    Consequently I'm now thinking of doing the following:

    1. Upgrade NT PDC mvBase database app
    2. Database Backup
    3. Full Sstem backup ( I have Ultrabak which claims to be able to save a
    full system & subsequently use the tape as a disaster recovery method)
    4. In place upgrade NT4 to Win server 2003 (Still a PDC on the old domain)
    5. Demote Win 2003 server to Member server, then move it accross to join the
    new SBS2003 domain.

    I hope steps 2 to 4 could be accomplished in one weekend, with time for a
    disaster recovery if problems occur.
    I understand that once I have bought Win server 2003, my client licences for
    SBS2003 will cover users connecting to the Win 2003 member server.

    Any problems with this?

    Chris Johnson

    "Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]"
    chris johnson, Nov 26, 2004
  6. Should work, but I am leery of upgrades, honestly. Any option to just back
    up the database data, and do a clean install of Win2003 server as a member
    server in the SBS domain, reinstall the database app & restore your data?
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Nov 27, 2004
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