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2003 primary DC convert to VM image

By rovlive ·

We need to convert or only primary DC (physical server) into VM. Easy right but wait the problem is.

ESX server sit's in different subnet(same network) so once we convert it to VM it will have all sorts of DNS issue. So what's the best way to do this?

Two ways i can think of

1. Setup new VM installed everything from the scrach and create as secondary DC once happy with the settings convert it into Primary DC? not sure how its will work we only have one primary DC

2. Use the VM converter to create VM image and then load it n ESX server make the ip and dns changes manually?

any other best ways?

This is a live production environment. so I can't afford to screw this up any help would be appciated. Thanks in advance.

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Choice # 1

by BFilmFan In reply to 2003 primary DC convert ...

You did not say if you had Exchange installed on the system. That will complicate things significantly if you do.

Assuming that this is jsut a regular GC, then you need to put up another DC, make it a global catalog, set up DNS on it, fail all the roles from the old DC to the new, then take down the old one.

If Exchange is involved, your work is much more complicated as MX records, mailboxes, mail connectors could all be involved. If Exchange is involved, just stop and get someone in that has done a migration.

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by rovlive In reply to Choice # 1


Thanks for the reply, no exchange is not invloved.

is there a migration process for DC or should i just setup a new secondary DC, setup DNS and trasfer the roles, once done then promote to primary DC?? is that even possbile?

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by BFilmFan In reply to VM

There is no "primary" domain controller in AD, but there is a role for the PDC Emulator that you will need to transfer.

Set up the server's OS

Get DNS working on it

Install AD

Promo it into the existing forest

Transfer the roles

And then pull the network cables out of the old server. Don't even shut it down. That way, if there is an issue in the first few minutes, you can plug it back in and fix what ya missed.

Since AD is a distributed database, the user accounts, security groups, etc. will be placed on the new DC when you dc promo it.

I've yet to try it, but I've heard mixed reports on ColdClone for VMware. See

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by rovlive In reply to Recommendation

thanks, I have to try this way i think as ESX sits on different subnet so i have to create a new server on esx host then install roles one by one and then import all the settings.

I can't afford to take the existing server down as its a live environment. Can i setup a new server as a identical DC ? once everythig is ok then i can take the phycial server down.

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