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NT as PDC, SBS 2k3 as fileserver

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  • NT as PDC, SBS 2k3 as fileserver

    Hello World,

    I am a software engineer and have recently been assigned the task of deploying a new a fileserver. I have some server experience in environments like linux and nt. However, never worked on w2k so SBS and AD are going to be a good adventure for me.

    Currently, we have one NT server acting as both the PDC and our fileserver. It is a small office of 15 clients, about 5 of which are critical and somewhat file intensive (but still not extreamly demanding). There are two issues that are motivating us to build a new server.

    1.) Disk space is running low.
    2.) Fear of the old server dieing.

    Our solution map looks something like this:
    1.) Build sbs 2k3 to act as the fileserver, however, do not install AD so that NT will still act as the primary domain controller. (Disk space is our priority so we just want to get things up and running)
    2.) Some time down the road purchase another server and migrate the NT server to sbs 2k3 to act as DC.

    This map is not my idea and has been passed down to me. If it were my choice I would not leave the NT server as a PDC. I would do the migration right off the bat, copy the fileserver and add another DC when new time permitted it. However, management fears down time of doing the two things (transfering the fileserver and migrating the DC) at the same time.

    So my question is two fold:
    1.) Can I setup SBS 2k3 as a fileserver without it interfering with NT as a PDC?
    2.) What issues/conflicts to you see in our solution map.

    Any input or recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: NT as PDC, SBS 2k3 as fileserver

    1) No -- SBS can only be the first domain controller of a new Active Directory domain. It also won't allow trusts. If you want a 2003 box as a fileserver in an NT4 domain (why?), buy Standard or Enterprise Edition

    2) Won't work with SBS -- see above

    IMHO, bite the bullet (15 users only so go for a complete fresh start)
    1) Install full SBS
    2) Create 15 user accounts, Exchange email etc. The wizard will do it all for you in about 15 mins
    3) Use FSTW (files and settings transfer wizard) to get user profiles off their current PCs
    4) Join PCs to new SBS domain, enjoy all the features
    5) Decommission old server (or at least demote from DC -- can't remember if this is possible in NT4 -- and keep as backup storage space)
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

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


    • #3
      Re: NT as PDC, SBS 2k3 as fileserver

      Or you could use swing migration and move everything to your SBS in one fell swoop, without interrupting work for more than half a day. (That is because of backup/restore of data and the need to transfer the exchange databases physically from one machine to the other.)

      Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
      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.