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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

By Frogbert ·
The company I work for is merging with a sister company. Both sides are running NT 4.0/DHCP/WINS and we are connected via routers and a FracT1. Each site has it's own subnet mask, PDC/BDC's and domain names. Both sites use Lotus Notes and I currently access the Inet, do Notes mail routing/replication through the sister company.

We are looking to merge the two networks into a single domain model because within a year or so we'll be thrown together in one building. One site will have a PDC/BDC while the other settles with just a BDC.

What's the best way to take a two domains and combine them into one?

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

Just to be on the level...there is no 'easy' way of doing this.

First of all I am going to assume that you are picking one of the existing domains to be the final one; both domains currently have a two-way trust in place; and you want to maintainexisting accounts/groups.

Your first move should be to set up a BDC for the chosen domain in the alternate location. Make sure any replication and services are working properly. By preparing the BDC first the rest of the move will be smoother. Ifthis server is to also support WINS/DHCP make sure to set up the WINS replication with the ones sitting on the chosen domain and disable the old DHCP service the same time you activate the new one.

Your next move should be the users. You will need to mirror the existing accounts and groups from one domain on the other domain. Then make sure the newly created accounts/groups have the same access to resources as the old accounts/groups. Start having the users log into the new accounts.

Nextmove any non-PC network resources (e.g. networked printers) to the primary domain and rehome users to those resources.

If you have NT workstations/member servers (not DCs) you will need to now remove them from the old domain and add them to the chosen domain.

PDC/BDCs on the old domain will be the difficult part. Some say that you can remove a BDC from one domain and add it to another but I haven't seen this done reliably. Your best bet is to back up each individual server and rebuild it adding it into the chosen domain in the process then restoring the data back to the server. You will definitly have to do this to the old PDC!

The old PDC will be the last thing to go. Make sure you drop the trust is has with the chosen domain before you bring it off-line. This will prevent errors on the chosen domain.

I have never messed with Lotus Notes myself so I can't give you any guidence there. Good luck!

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Frogbert In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Magetower In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

Just to be on the level...there is no 'easy' way of doing this.

First of all I am going to assume that you are picking one of the existing domains to be the final one; both domains currently have a two-way trust in place; and you want to maintainexisting accounts/groups.

Your first move should be to set up a BDC for the chosen domain in the alternate location. Make sure any replication and services are working properly. By preparing the BDC first the rest of the move will be smoother. Ifthis server is to also support WINS/DHCP make sure to set up the WINS replication with the ones sitting on the chosen domain and disable the old DHCP service the same time you activate the new one.

Your next move should be the users. You will need to mirror the existing accounts and groups from one domain on the other domain. Then make sure the newly created accounts/groups have the same access to resources as the old accounts/groups. Start having the users log into the new accounts.

Nextmove any non-PC network resources (e.g. networked printers) to the primary domain and rehome users to those resources.

If you have NT workstations/member servers (not DCs) you will need to now remove them from the old domain and add them to the chosen domain.

PDC/BDCs on the old domain will be the difficult part. Some say that you can remove a BDC from one domain and add it to another but I haven't seen this done reliably. Your best bet is to back up each individual server and rebuild it adding it into the chosen domain in the process then restoring the data back to the server. You will definitly have to do this to the old PDC!

The old PDC will be the last thing to go. Make sure you drop the trust is has with the chosen domain before you bring it off-line. This will prevent errors on the chosen domain.

I have never messed with Lotus Notes myself so I can't give you any guidence there. Good luck!

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Magetower In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

Sorry for the double post. I was logged off before I hit the submit.

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Frogbert In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

Thanks for the info, Magetower...Lotus Notes won't be a problem as we'll just cluster the two servers. I just threw that in to show that I was using their network resources without being trusted...I just forgot to mention the trust part.

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Frogbert In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

Thanks Magetower, this goes along the lines of what we thought we'd have to do, however, we currently do not have any trusts setup between us - there's never been a need. Also, because of political tension (we think we're better than them and they think they're better than us *rolling my eyes*) the powers to be have suggested creating a brand new domain name.

If we go with a brand new domain name it looks like we could introduce a new PDC using the Brand New Domain Name, trust it with one location and essentially follow the steps you've outlined...and then repeat the steps to bring the other location on board with the new Domain Name.

Since we currently don't have any trusts in place and other than the added steps, are there any reasons NOT to go to a new domain name?

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Merging two NT 4.0 networks

by Frogbert In reply to Merging two NT 4.0 networ ...

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