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Migrating from NT to 2000

By joendosey ·
In a couple of months, we will progress from an NT4 based network to Win2000. Planning and implementing this will be my first major responsiblity here, so I am gathering a great deal of information to help smooth the transition, and would like to solicit ideas, suggestions, tips, tricks, etc from the wonderful members here. Here's what we got: A Primary Domain Controller that functions as a file and print server. Backup Domain Controller is used primarily as an application server. We also have a Web Server and a machine we use as an internal chat server. Also, one of our secretaries runs NT4 on her computer that functions as another application server. These machines all run NT4. Our bookkeeper runs SQL server on a Win2000 Server machine.We have approximately 275 client machines, 250 of which run Win98. The other 25 are newer machines with 2000 Pro on them. Currently, all machines have static IP's (Long story. Until recently, the entire department was a one man staff who has patchedthis network together over the last several years with very little tech training.) Anyway, as stated, we are going to upgrade the servers to 2000. The boss wants to keep the existing clients running Win98, and any new additions will probably be XP. We want to switch to a private addressing scheme, but still maintain static IP's on the machines. This is in a school environment, so we will have the entire summer to complete this before school resumes in the fall. What are your suggestions on the process? Clean install or upgrade? If we can convince the boss to upgrade workstations, do we do those first or the servers first? Any input, including links to other resources, would be greatly appreciated. If more info needed, please ask. Thanks.

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Couple things.

by madroxxx In reply to Migrating from NT to 2000

First I can't imagine why you would want to stay static IP for 275 clients. That just sounds like a huge headache for no reason.
Second make sure you get software assurance on your new licenses. With server 2003 just released I wouldn't be too keenon jumping into it but you might want to in the near future.
Third upgrade the PDC then the BDC. Go to active directory (either mixed mode or native depending on if you are ALL your NT boxes). Make sure you have DNS services running on your PDC andBDC. I would upgrade the clients last so you don't have to double up on work.

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Migration (Part 1)

by timwalsh In reply to Migrating from NT to 2000

As to whether to do a clean install or an in-place upgrade, there are number of factors to take into consideration. These factors include:
1. Does the current PDC (or the BDC) meet the hardware requirements for running Win2K Server?
2. Number of user accounts/groups to migrate
3. Current domain organization;
4. Stability of the current NT4 installation on the PDC/BDC.

If you plan on upgrading hardware, by far, it is easiest to do a clean install.

If you have a LARGE number of existing user accounts and groups, it could take you a lot of time to regenerate those accounts and groups if you do a clean install.

On the other hand, if the NT4 installation on your PDC is flaky, or your NT4 domain organization is not what you want it to be, a clean install might be the way to go.

IP addressing scheme: I would suggest going to DHCP from the standpoint of ease of management. I assume you have your reasons for staying with a static IP scheme. Depending on your requirements, there is nothing to say you can't go with a mixed scheme (some workstations having fixed IP addresses and some having them dynamically assigned).

Switching to a private addressing scheme should not be a problem as long as your router is configured properly. It may become tedious going to each workstation and re-entering all the appropriate IP configuration information manually (which can lead to inconsistancies and errors) (another advantage to using DHCP is all you would need to do is tell each workstation to get its IP address automatically - all other information is configured on the DHCP server).
(continued)

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Migration (Part II)

by timwalsh In reply to Migration (Part 1)

Workstation OS: I'm assuming that at least a portion of these workstations will be accessible to students. In a school environment, security and the ability to configure (easily) what workstation features are available to students is highly desirable. Win98 is an inherently insecure OS. It is also hard to lock down consistently. With Win2K or WinXP, you can use Group Policy to apply a consistent configuration against all computers in domain or against specific groups of computers that are members of Organizational Units (OUs).

If you can upgrade your workstations, I would recommend upgrading the server(s) first. You don?t need to upgrade ALL your servers at once, only the PDC. You can then make use of Remote Installation Services(RIS) to push a consistent software load to all (or groups) of workstations. However, RIS can only be used with clean installations. Therefore, you can't use it if you need to do upgrades to workstations as opposed to clean installations. In thiscase, it wouldn't matter whether you upgrade the server or workstations first.

Also as a review, there are several rules relating to Active Directory that are unbreakable (these rules mainly apply when conducting an in-place upgrade vs. a clean install):
1. A Win2K Domain Controller CANNOT exist in an NT4 domain (although Win2K member servers can).
2. An NT4 PDC CANNOT exist in a Win2K Active Directory (AD) domain (although NT4 BDCs can).
3. Win2K and AD MUST be installed on an NT4 PDCfor a successful migration to occur (will not work on a BDC).
4. Installing AD on any Win2K server creates a DC.

Hope this helps.

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Migrating from NT4 to 2000

by joendosey In reply to Migration (Part II)

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I get plenty of raised eyebrows when I describe our current network structure as it is somewhat unorthodox. The District Technology Coordinator started this network about 5 years ago, starting with less than 100 computers and no technical training other than a couple of workshops (He's a science teacher.) So as the district enrollment increased, creating a need for more computers, the network grew. With little experience and no staff, he just patched it together the best he could and kept it functional. Next year, this will be a consolidated district with over 1000 students and 100+ faculty and staff. We now have a budget to support a small staff, including myself. Our first priority this summer is thisproject. Unfortunately, the District Coordinator is insisting we don't change certain things, such as the static IP's. He's convinced that this scheme is much easier to manage and troubleshoot relative to our network utilities such as VNC and NetSupport. And while I certainly am no network guru, I have offered many suggestions that are being met with resistance. There is a definate fear of any "radical" change here. Maybe my post should have been a request for advice on how to convince the bossthat certain changes are not only advantageous, but necessary! (continued)

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Migrating from NT4 to 2000

by joendosey In reply to Migrating from NT4 to 200 ...

I tended to ramble a bit much in the previous post. A couple more questions: Without upgrading all the workstations to 2000 Pro, are we missing out on many of the functions of Active Directory? One thing that was mentioned in one of your replies wasthe need to control the desktop environment on many of the computers at the school. Currently, we use a third party program called WinShield to restrict access to many of the classroom computers, such as changing background, etc. The downside to this program is that it is also set to restrict access to DOS, which prevents any login script we might want to employ from running. Frustrating. I would really love advice and input on methods to remotely deploy upgrades, updates, and other installations to our workstations. I spend way too much time visiting workstations to download updates, mapping drives, and such, when I know all this can be done remotely in a logically configured network. Thanks once again for any input.

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Remote Installation Services

by ND_IT In reply to Migrating from NT4 to 200 ...

With the Remote Installation Services, you can remotely install software, patches, and upgrades to each computer that is part of the domain using Active Directory and group policies. You can set this up in such a way that you can push them out to the user or the computer.

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DHCP

by madroxxx In reply to Migrating from NT4 to 200 ...

I understand the thinking that static may be easier to manage and troubleshoot but with WINS and DNS properly configured it just isn't true. Take for instance your VNC if you have a good naming sceme you just ping the machine by name and use the address it returns for VNC.

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Migration Cookbook

by cs3420 In reply to Migrating from NT to 2000

Take a look at this migration cookbook on Technet. It is detailed and may answer many of your questions. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/deploy/cookbook/cookintr.asp

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