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Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

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  • Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

    Hi. I have a SBS 2003 server standard edition running. I would like to add an old Windows 2000 Server computer to act as an additional DC for fault tolerance. I am aware that there can only be one SBS 2003 server in the network. Can i still make the old win2k server as an additional domain controller and accepting user authentication in case the main sbs 2003 server failed on me? Had anyone here tried this out before? Please advise. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

    You can, but if your SBS is down, it will be severely limited in what functions it can perform. SBS also hold what is know as the FSMO roles for the domain.
    In essence, by the time you get your backup DC soing anything useful, you'd be better off spending your time getting your SBS back up!.
    And why 2000? A 7-year old OS at the end of it's support life and quite honestly just another server to patch - it could be more trouble than it is worth. Now as a Terminal Server it is a different story.
    TIA

    Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
    http://www.wintra.co.il/
    sigpic
    Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

    We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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    • #3
      Re: Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

      Originally posted by teiger View Post
      You can, but if your SBS is down, it will be severely limited in what functions it can perform. SBS also hold what is know as the FSMO roles for the domain.
      In essence, by the time you get your backup DC soing anything useful, you'd be better off spending your time getting your SBS back up!.
      And why 2000? A 7-year old OS at the end of it's support life and quite honestly just another server to patch - it could be more trouble than it is worth. Now as a Terminal Server it is a different story.
      Hi. Thanks for the reply. The windows 2000 server used to be our DC before migrating to SBS 2003. The old server is unused right now, which i feel is a waste. Therefore i am thinking to make a good use out of it as a backup DC in the new SBS 2003 domain. I do agree with you that the windows 2000 server is kinda obsolete.

      You mentioned that if my sbs server failed, the windows 2000 backup DC will be limited in the functions it can perform. Am i right to say that the users can still log onto the domain?

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      • #4
        Re: Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

        Originally posted by mdhairil View Post
        Am i right to say that the users can still log onto the domain?
        Yes, but what can they do? No e-mail, no sharepoint. No home folder, no files or accounting app etc, etc
        If you don't have a backup DC they can still log on to their computer using cached credentials, they can use Outlook offline to see their calendars and catch up on unread e-mails, and if you redirect "My Documents" to the home folders but let them have the files available off-line, they can still work to some degree, though collaboration is down and no new mail flows.
        I still say concentrate your efforts on getting the SBS back up and running ASAP - put the 2000 to bed and recycle it as either a terminal server or a good workstation/LOB application.
        TIA

        Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
        http://www.wintra.co.il/
        sigpic
        Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

        We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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        • #5
          Re: Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

          Use you Win2000 server as a backup device -- keep server system state and ASR backups, file backups, workstation backups and duplicates of everything important.

          Practice ASR recovery and you will find that if (unlikely with proper maintenance) the SBS box goes down, you will be able to recover very quickly. If you want, investigate ghosting (or similar) over the LAN to have an alternative recovery method for workstations.

          Tom
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd
          Scotland

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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          • #6
            Re: Adding Windows 2000 Server as additional DC in a SBS 2003 domain

            Thanks for the advise guys. I have decided to use the old windows 2000 server as a backup and file server as what Ossian suggested. I do agree to teiger that the windows 2000 server will be of little use in any event that the sbs server failed on me. Therefore i feel its better for me to add in more storage space to the windows 2000 server as a backup server. Thanks once more for the advise.

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