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Anyone do a NT to Server 2003 Migration Lately?

By TomSal ·
Well things are starting to get MUCH busier for our little IT department here. After years of meetings with pretty charts and graphs, debating with the local bean counters on costs and our lead programmer throwing out the buzzwords like "ROI" to the top dogs we finally are beginning our migration planning from NT 4 to Server 2003, along with completing all our clients getting upgraded to XP Pro. Along with setting up Exchange 2003 (oh yeah and upgrading our SQL Server 6.5 db to SQL 2000).

Unfotunately we won't be able to get AD running in 2003 Native mode, as the highest we can upgrade one server (due to the fax server software on it and the company's unwillingness to spend the money for the new version that supports 2003) is Windows 2000.

Now we are looking at in-place upgrades on some of these boxes, so its not gonna be as simple as normal SOP would generally be doing a clean install.

We are looking at all the "gotcha's" to consider -- and we are reading a lot, including using the Microsoft Migration Guide as a main point of reference.

I was wondering if there is anyone experienced with this type of migration and any things they found a long the way that possibly made life difficult or made them say "I wish I knew that was gonna happen....".

Also from my research I'm finding that I have to nuke my raid volumes on NT 4 because Server 2003 won't recognize (ie. Migrate them)? Is this true?

Thanks for any help.

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Fax Software

by BFilmFan In reply to Anyone do a NT to Server ...

Verify that the fax software will actually NOT run on Windows 2003. Most software that functions with Windows 2000 will function with Windows 2003.

The majority of differences between 2003 Forest and domain modes concerns which OS domain controllers, global catalog and active directory replication is handled.

Forest Level Setting

The attribute is msDS-Behavior-Version on the CN=Partitions, CN=Configurations, DC=ForestRootDom, DC=tld object.

Value of 0 or not set=mixed level forest

Value of 1=Windows Server 2003 interim forest level

Value of 2=Windows Server 2003 forest level

Domain Functional Level Setting

The attribute is msDS-Behavior-Version on the NC head root of each domain DC=Mydomain, DC=ForestRootDom, DC=tld object.

Value of 0 or not set=mixed level domain

Value of 1=Windows Server 2003 interim domain level

Value of 2=Windows Server 2003 domain level

Mixed/Native Mode Setting (Domain setting)

The attribute is ntMixedDomain on the NC head root of each domain DC=Mydomain, DC=ForestRootDom, DC=tld object.

Value of 0=Native level domain

Value of 1=Mixed level domain

ADMT 2.0 can migrate the RAID volumes. See here for details: 8/b/78bac42a-59df-440f-a73c-cc934a9e1262/NT4toWNET.doc

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Windows Migration Experiance.

by duck In reply to Anyone do a NT to Server ...

I have recently moved my servers from NT4 to Windows 2000 Advanced Server as well as a SBS server. We have run into a few small bumps in the road, but they aren't to hard to figure out. The best way to not lose the data on your Raid drives is to move everything into one array and nuke the other, bring up your new domain, trust in the old, and then move the data across and delete the trust. This works extremely well, and will give you a lot of freedom as to how things are brought across.

The next big hurdle that we ran into was the units that didn't recieve full wipes before the upgrade to XP Pro. There are a few settings and things that will be hold overs that can make your life a lot harder. One thing you might consider doing if you have the free server space is backing up the units that need to have hd's brought back to the servers and then do a complete format. After you bring up everything then you can pull back across the data that you are looking for. If that is not an option you might want to consider looking into grabing a few spare hd and doing a swap. Load XP on the new HD and then slave in the old HD. This will keep you from having to wipe out the old HD but still give you a good clean install with no legacy settings issues.

These are just a few things I found out doing my migration. Hope that helps.

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NT to Server 2003 Migration

by Allen Risler In reply to Anyone do a NT to Server ...

We had NT40 Enterprise Edition but only purchased 2003 Server Standard Edition. Big mistake there because you can't upgrade from Enterprise to Standard. I tried the whole Backup Domain Controller, demotion/promotion scheme with zero success and wound up seting up up active directory from scratch. Good thing I made a complete backup of all of the data and documented all of the usernames, groups and network configurations.

After that I really had a hard time with the XP clients. Every click of the mouse required a 2-3 minute wait. I don't think that the server actually authenticated the log-on and eventually the client logged on from local credentials. If the username and password of the local machine was the same as what I setup in active directory I could eventually map network drives and NTFS permissions worked, eventually. Performance was reduced to almost unusable. Also many clients kept forcing a PDC election. I removed the clients from the Domain and made them a member of a workgroup by the same name.

Fortuneatly I only have about 125 users on a small network. If this were an actual large corporate environment I would be totally hosed. I have been to many MCSE classes and talked to many MCSE Instructors and tried a buttload of fixes but eventually I gave up and left the well enough workgroup alone.

I wouldn't attempt what you are about to do without an experience consultant on contract.

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bah! its fairly easy...

by akalinowski In reply to NT to Server 2003 Migrati ...

if you've done it before :)
i recently upgraded our network from NT4 domain to 2k3 domain, about 2 months ago, were about a small - midsized network 132 users
also got Exchange 2k3
you can use active directory connector to migrate your user accounts and settings, (WARNIGN: passwords dont move over)
this wouldnt be an upgrade it'll be a migration, you cant upgrade from NT4 ent to 2k3 standard, but you can migrate!

i recomend you read up on everything on ms's website, and if you have spare computers at home or in the office, do several test runs on test computers. setup an nt4 domain as close as possible to your real one, try to migrate it (or upgrade) and see what breaks, research the problems and start over until you get it right, then do it on your production servers.

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practice first as andresk says. saves anxiety

by CG IT In reply to bah! its fairly easy...

andresk is pretty much on the mark. Migrate! use the ADMT for users, computers, security groups and ExMerge [two step] to move mailboxes and the migration will go pretty smoothly.

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