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AD upgrade

By GJ2008 ·
Currently we have 4 NT Servers and 4 W2K Servers (but not an AD environment) ? Our PDC is a NT Server, which I was going to upgrade to W2K Server and also add in the AD option when it prompted me to (if it didn?t do it automatically). I was under the impression that when the upgrade was complete, the domains would have automatically been moved over to the AD environment and could be modified in the AD console. ? Is this correct?

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by jeaster In reply to AD upgrade

Iam pretty sure that it is considered good practice to remove the PDC, and promote a new one, and then upgrade the new one. That way, if the upgrade doesn't work, you have a good PDC sitting around.

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by Navjun In reply to AD upgrade


I think you need to add a win 2k as a dc and then make it a PDC from the NT PDC and the demote the NT DC and then upgrade it. (so first you need to upgrade to AD then you can upgrade your servers.) I recomend reading the follwoing aticles that will help you do this and then useinig AD migration tool to do this; you can find it at

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by Rabbit_Runner In reply to AD upgrade

Been there and Done that.

When doing an upgrade from NT4 to Win2k with AD, you must always take BDC's (after full synchronization) off the network and place it in a corner closet. That way, if the upgrade goes 'south' you will have the BDC to put the domain back to the way it was.

Next, you MUST always run your upgrade on the PDC. If you attempt it on a BDC, you will create a whole lot of trouble for yourself. Only upgrade the PDC. If you cannot afford to lose the current PDC if things go 'south' during the install, then promote one of the BDC's to the PDC and upgrade that one.

DNS will be a MUST for your upgrade. You can either have an existing Win2k server on the network with DNS, or when you do the upgrade, DNS will be one of the options during the install. Also on your PDC, before the upgrade, the DNS settings must be pointing to the server that will be serving as the DNS server. Personally, I would recommend making the PDC a DNS server during the upgrade. It will save you some headaches later. If your PDC will be the DNS server, then the IP properties needs to be pointing to itself as the primary DNS server.

During the actual upgrade, the first stage is the copy of files and upgrading to Win2k. It will need to reboot and automatically begin the installation of AD. You can prevent it from running DCPROMO, but it is not recommended, unless you know what you are doing. You will need to select a DNS domain name. This can be different from your current Domain name. It is up to you and what you desire.

After AD has been installed, and rebooted, check that DNS is properly installed. YOu may need to make certain that DNS is set to permit dynamic updates. If DNS is not installed correctly, your domain will not be complete. If you have problems, you will need to read some KB articles on the topic.

Hope this may help.

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by GJ2008 In reply to AD upgrade

Answers 1,2 & 3 haven't addressed the question of what happens to the existing domains?

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by Rabbit_Runner In reply to AD upgrade

An answer about your existing domain.

If your current NT domain is MYDOMAIN. After your upgrade to Win2k with AD, Your existing NETBIOS domain will remain the same. This will not change. I do not believe that this can be changed.

During the AD install, you will be asked for a AD DNS domain name. If you will be using AD for your FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) you can use that. Or you can create one like MYDOMAIN.LOCAL or MYNEWDOMAIN.LOCAL

When I have done the upgrades, there are two names that a computer can logon to. The logon can be to the MYDOMAIN or to MYNEWDOMAIN.LOCAL

All downlevel clients (NT4, Win9x) will still require logging on to MYDOMAIN. Any Windows 2000 or XP can use either of the two names.

If this still does not answer your question, could you be more detailed in what you are wanting to know. Best of luck.

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by Rabbit_Runner In reply to

Your current domain will have been 'imported' into your Active Directory domain.
Please note: You CANNOT change the domain name, once AD is installed.
I do not understand what you mean by....
"and could be modified in the AD console"
A domain can be 'administered' but cannot be changed. Let me know if you have further questions.

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by GJ2008 In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

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by kmcniff In reply to AD upgrade

The existing NT Domain is Upgraded to AD in this senerio. This is called "Upgrade in Place" by upgrading a PDC and doing a DCPROMO on that machine. As stated before, remove a BDC and place it OFF LINE. Replicate the domain, do an ERD with the security switch. Back up anything on this server that you couldn't do without. I always install DNS on a 2 W2K servers (standard primary and secondary, the zone will be your root domain for AD) and have it working properly before you do the upgrade. This will prevent some of the hickups that occur during the upgrade. DHCP for workstations is also recommended if toy have pre W2K computers on your network. This should also be on a W2K machine and configure it to register clients in DNS by checking Enable updates for DNS clients that do not support dynamic updating.
I suggest you go to and read the many articles on NT4 Domain In-Place Upgrade. Be sure you completely understand the requirements and pitfalls before you start. You can't really go back easily after the upgrade. It is mostly a One-Shot for all of the marbles.

I also prefet to take a spare NT4 domain controller, put it into the domain and replicate the domain. Then I take it off line into a lab and do it once there on a separate network with no connectivity to anything. Promote this machine to a PDC, install a W2K server with DNS and DHCP. Then test your plan for upgrading here. You can keep doing this over and over until you have it down error free. Then plan your production upgrade. Good Luck. Remember Planing and Testing are important.

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by GJ2008 In reply to AD upgrade

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