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In-place upgrade of Windows NT 4 PDC to Windows 2003 DC

By kent2612 ·
Currently i intend to run a in-place upgrade of a Windows NT 4 PDC to Windows 2003 DC on my server box. The current domain uses a flat namespace of 'ntdomain'.

During upgrade will i be prompt for a change for a new domain name (such as as what we usually see when we do a dcpromo ? I need to change the domain name to

My concerns are what impact will it have on all client workstations running on Windows 2000 Professionals and Windows XP Professionals, such as user profiles and is there any new options to logon to the new domain ? Lastly, due to some software compatibility issues, i will not be upgrading the current Windows NT 4 BDC immediately as it will still be needed to function in the production environment.


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by blazinride In reply to In-place upgrade of Wind ...


Your domain structure should remain in place. What i would recommend is take your PDC offline, separate it from the network, and then do the upgrade (you'll need to be able to assign a valid ip address to the NIC for DNS setup so plug it into a non active switch). This will allow you to promote one of your BDC's to PDC if the upgrade goes bad. The upgrade will handle the promotion of your NT domain to a 2003 domain, but the NETBIOS name (NTDOMAIN) will remain intact, but you will need to assign the .local (NTDOMAIN.local) during the upgrade. After this is done, add it back to your network, set the DNS options for your 2000 and later clients, and voila, done, with no harm no foul.

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Oh yea

by blazinride In reply to Upgrade

All the security principals will remain intact, so it should be invisible to the end users. Once you upgrade, your 2003 box will have all five FSMO roles assigned, which includes the PDC emulator role. So as with any NT domain, you can only edit security principals on the PDC (or in the case the PDC emulator), but your end users should see a thing.

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Decommission existing DC ?

by kent2612 In reply to Oh yea

After upgrading the BDC to PDC. I do a in-place upgrade to a Windows 2003 DC. I then setup a new Win2k3 Server and have all the 5 FSMO successfully transfered.

Is there a need to decommission the old Server? I do come across some comments where there is a need to run dcpromo to decommission it.

I don't see any options to configure the DNS on the new Win2k3 Server. Do I need to install and reconfigure the DNS on this new server again?

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I have 2 doubts

by kent2612 In reply to Oh yea

I have successfully upgraded my Windows NT4 PDC (upgrate from BDC) to Windows 2003 DC (NTPDC). I setup a new server, name W2k3DC, set it as the Global Catelog Server and have FSMO transfered from NTPDC.

I have 2 questions:

Previously from NTPDC, after I do a DCPROMO and where the DNS is configured I am able to see the DNS settings from the 'Administrative Tools --> DNS. I do not see the option to view the DNS from W2K3DC ? Do I need to install and reconfigure DNS on W2K3DC ?

Do I need to run a DCPROMO on NTPDC to decommission the Server ? I have read about it on some forum to decommission it ? Can't I just keep it offline or simplily format it ? When I try to run DCPROMO on NTPDC, it prompt me that

The operation failed because:

A domain controller could not be contacted for the domain '' that contained an
account for this computer.
Make the computer a member of a workgroup then rejoin the domain before retrying the promotion.

"The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted."

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