NT 4 to Win 2k3 Domain Upgrade/Replacement

Discussion in 'Active Directory' started by Jim Rackley, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Jim Rackley

    Jim Rackley Guest

    I've been looking around the web, but I have discovered conflicting
    information on my problem.

    I have a NT 4.0 Domain with a PDC and BDC on older machines. We would like
    to upgrade our domain to Win2k3 as well as replace the older machines with
    new ones.

    Will I be able to just setup the new Win2k3 machines, add them as domain
    controllers to the NT 4.0 domain, promote the new machines to master, and
    then demote and remove the old machines? This begs the question of whether
    a Win2k3 machine is compatible with NT 4 as it is with Win2k.

    OR

    Will I have to do an in-place upgrade of the NT 4.0 machnies to Win2k3, then
    add the new machines as domain controllers, then remove the older machines
    from the domain?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!!

    Jim
     
    Jim Rackley, Nov 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Hello Jim,

    If you want to perform an upgrade of the account database you'll have
    to upgrade a Windows NT4 PDC to Windows Server 2003. You can *not* add
    a Windows Server 2003 as DC to an existing NT4 Domain.

    Therefore either the hardware of any PDC or BDC is able to run WS2k3 or
    you'll have to install a new Hardware with Windows NT4 as BDC into the
    same machine, make sure it replicates netlogon, then promote it as PDC
    (the current PDC will be demoted to BDC in the progress) and run the
    upgrade on that machine.

    I'd always recommend not to keep a upgraded OS in the domain as DC if
    not absolutely necessary, but after you upgraded the SAM to AD you are
    able to install other servers from scratch, take them as DC into the
    same domain, make GC, DNS and FSMOs available on them and depromote the
    upgraded machine which you are able to reinstall from scratch as well
    if you need it, or get rid of it and reuse it if you have already
    installed plenty DCs in the prior steps.

    HTH - you'll find some links to the upgrade on
    http://www.windowsserverfaq.de/faq/migNtWs2k3.asp

    --
    Gruesse - Sincerely,

    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner

    MVP-Book "Windows XP - Die Expertentipps": http://tinyurl.com/44zcz
    Weblog: http://msmvps.org/UlfBSimonWeidner
    WebSite: http://www.windowsserverfaq.org
     
    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner [MVP], Nov 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jim Rackley

    Jim Rackley Guest

    That's exactly what I expected! Thanks for the clarification.

    I'm going to share my plan for the upgrade, please pick holes in it as you
    see them:

    1. Backup the current NT 4.0 PDC and BDC.
    2. Disconnect the NT 4.0 BDC from the network to keep it "safe" from oops.
    3. Upgrade the NT 4.0 PDC in place to Win2k3
    4. Bring my first replacement Win2k3 machine online as DC.
    5. Raise the domain functional level to 2003.
    6. Remove the older machine from the domain and disconnect from the
    network.
    7. Bring my second replacement Win2k3 machine online as secondary DC.
    8. All the magic works and my domain goes on as usual :D

    Thanks again,

    Jim
     
    Jim Rackley, Nov 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Jim Rackley

    Jim Rackley Guest

    Another quick question:

    The documentation I have on this issue mentions "upgrading the NT 4 to
    Win2k3". However, it's not clear whether this is referring to the OS or
    just AD. Any ideas?

    BTW, my wife is German as well...from Ulm. I spent 3 years near
    Hanau/Frankfurt am Main. Where do you call home?

    Jim
     
    Jim Rackley, Nov 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Hello Jim,

    (2) Whatever - if you are able to pull a raid drive that's totally OK
    as well - I've already done some upgrades at bigger companies even
    during business hours - inplace upgrades are just great and without
    pain (when you know what you are doing and are prepeared for every case)

    (4) you are able to install WS2k3 and put it into the NT4 Domain prior
    to (1), enables you to configure your future DNS-infrastructure in
    advance, point the PDC to the WS2k3 DNS-Servers and not to care about
    DNS on the upgrade DC which you hopefully take out of the domain later
    anyways. Another advantage of having the WS2k3 Servers there in advance
    is that you are able to promote them as DCs right after your upgrade DC
    is working well. Place FSMOs, GC and DNS-Servers properly after you
    have your DCs installed, then take the old one out of the domain
    (dcpromo)

    (5+6) you don't want to raise the level with NT4 BDCs in the domain,
    take them first out then raise the level

    (7) see (4)

    --
    Gruesse - Sincerely,

    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner

    MVP-Book "Windows XP - Die Expertentipps": http://tinyurl.com/44zcz
    Weblog: http://msmvps.org/UlfBSimonWeidner
    WebSite: http://www.windowsserverfaq.org
     
    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner [MVP], Nov 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Hi again,

    Upgrading NT4 to WS2k3 is refering to the OS + Active Directory (at
    least in the link on the page I've sent you earlier).

    You'll have to upgrade the OS on the PDC first, but afterwards the
    dcpromo wizard starts up but asks you for your input. If you have to
    configure anything like DNS you can leave the wizard open in the
    background, configure DNS and then get back to the wizard (don't
    restart - havent tried this).

    I call home wherever my wife is ;-) - we live in Munich.

    --
    Gruesse - Sincerely,

    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner

    MVP-Book "Windows XP - Die Expertentipps": http://tinyurl.com/44zcz
    Weblog: http://msmvps.org/UlfBSimonWeidner
    WebSite: http://www.windowsserverfaq.org
     
    Ulf B. Simon-Weidner [MVP], Nov 8, 2004
    #6
  7. Jim Rackley

    cgijag Guest

    Not to 'beat a dead horse' here but i'm in a similiar situation as Jim. I
    have a client currently running Nt 4.0 as a PDC. There are no other NT 4.0
    server on network. We just added a Windows 2003 server (installed as a
    member server). From what is being said, you cannot install ADS onto the
    Windows 2003 as a backup to the NT PDC (so nothing from NT gets replicated to
    2003). So, the only options I really have is to upgrade their NT to windows
    2003, then install ADS on the new Windows 2003 so everything gets replicated
    then remove the old NT. Or create a new ADS and migrate the pc's to it.
    What about this
    "Solution_Accelerator_for_Domain_Server_Consolidation_and_Migration.msi"
    utility? Has anyone ever used this? Thanks.
     
    cgijag, Nov 18, 2004
    #7
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