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  • NT4 to 2003 changeover question

    I'm planning an NT4 to 2003 upgrade soon and am curious where in the process I should make client side changes. My understanding is the clients will need the new dns and wins or will not be able to log in. Lets say my deployment goes like this:

    1. Promote new NT4 server to PDC.
    2. Detach it from network.
    3. Upgrade it to 2003
    4. Configure AD, DNS, etc.
    5. Attach to network.

    Now should step 6 be "change client DNS settings to new server?" If so will they be able to do any authentication before this happens? I need to minimize downtime in this scenario. Im afraid that once I put the 2003 machine on the network then everyone will not be able to login or do anything until I change their DNS and WINS. Is this true? Thanks
    Last edited by lowbot; 30th October 2008, 19:47. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

    For future reference, questions related to Active Directory are best asked in the Active Directory forum. One of the MODs will most likely move this shortly.

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    • #3
      Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

      Im also curious to know if the new domain name can be kept just like the old one or if it needs .tld suffix. Lets say the domain name is compnay. Can it still be company or will it need to be company.local for this to work?

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      • #4
        Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

        Windows 2003 will ask you to create a domain that contains a TLD. You won't be able to change the current "DOMAIN" name but you can change the "domain.tld". It doesn't what you change it to it will still work.

        I did an NT4 to 2003 migration last year with hardly any downtime. My steps...

        Create a Windows Virtual Machine of NT4 and join it to the domain as a BDC.
        Promote it to a PDC.
        Upgrade this to Windows 2003.
        Installed Windows 2003 on the new hardware and joined this to the domain.
        Promoted it to a DC.
        Moved all files etc from NT4 to the new 2003.
        Demoted my Virtual Machine and removed from the domain.
        Removed the NT4 Server.
        Deleted it (NTDSUTIL) from AD.

        This way I had a fresh copy of Windows 2003 running my existing domain.
        Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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        • #5
          Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

          Thank you for you helpful reply. Much appreciated.

          Can you also tell me when in that process you changed the client-side DNS? Did you just do this right after the 2003 machine connected to the network? Im not exactly sure what happens when you add this 2003 machine for the first time to the network and the clients dont have the proper DNS settings.

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          • #6
            Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

            DNS should point to the new Windows 2003 server as Active Directory relies heavily on DNS.
            Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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            • #7
              Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

              Hi all,

              I am too planning on this NT4 - > w2k3 r2 thing. Currently, I have a NT 4.0 PDC server and my company allows me to buy a new server to handle the increased workload. I have some qualms on integrating this new server into my production environment. Because I need to maintain the domain name , this is my plan :-

              1. Get a PC to setup a BDC ( to migrate the users and computer accounts )

              2. Promote the BDC to PDC ( naturally, the currently PDC will be demoted ).

              3. Offline the new PDC and plug in the cable into a 4 port switch ( to be shared with my new server
              only )

              4. Do an in-place upgrade to W2k ( because we have the PC with ram 256mb )

              5. Run DCPROMO on that w2k.

              6. Install w2k3 r2 on the new server and run dcpromo. ( I guess I have to run the R2 upgrade using the
              disc 2 on the w2k server first before doing the dcpromo)
              7. Do a transfer of FSMO roles.

              8. Plug in the new w2k3 r2 server into my production environment.

              Is this the fastest way to get a new server into my working envirnoment , without using any software that needs me to pay?
              Comments and advice please. If there are any better solution, please advice too.

              Thanks and regards.

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              • #8
                Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

                You do mean Windows 2000 Server?
                Not sure what you mean by Step 5. Upgrading from the NT4 PDC to a Windows 2000 Server will already be a Domain Controller after the upgrade finishes.

                Anyway your steps look good to me.
                Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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                • #9
                  Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

                  Hi,

                  I realise I can upgrade my PDC to w2k3 r2 without installing w2k first. i have done the testing and it works.

                  Now I have this question and I hope anyone can help me.

                  After I have promoted the BDC to PDC ( point 2as in my first post ), the current NT 4 server would become BDC. This BDC will be offline to act as a contingency plan if there are problems with the upgrade. Would there be any problems if I reintroduce the NT BDC after I have upgraded the PDC to W2k3 R2?
                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

                    What would you reintroduce it as? It doesn't have AD so it isn't a Domain Controller. It also isn't a Member Server in it's present state.
                    1 1 was a racehorse.
                    2 2 was 1 2.
                    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                    2 2 1 1 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

                      well, I've just realised that BDC is also an apps server for certain application and it is also a file server for a certain dept. Would it affect the current users if I put back the BDC? My main concern is permission to access. Thanks

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                      • #12
                        Re: NT4 to 2003 changeover question

                        The NT4 server will continue to work. I recommend though that the Windows 2003 server be a complete fresh install rather than an upgrade. Following your first steps where you upgraded and then demoted would be my option. This way you have the existing domain but with a fresh copy of Windows.

                        There is a command you need to run apparently to prevent all users from only ever talking to the NT4 server for domain authentication. This was a bug fixed in one of the services packs for Windows 2000 Pro. I don't think its an issue for XP and above clients. I will try to find it for you.

                        *Edit*

                        Here we go.
                        Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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