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Migration of a messed up network

By flyingknees ·
Can anyone out there give me some clues how to go about this? I have a LAN environment consisting of about 30 users. The LAN is a single NT PDC environment. The end-user OS's consist of Win98, Win 2000 Pro and some Win XP Home & Professional. Everyone is able to "see" files residing on the PDC because there are literally no security permissions set. It's open to everyone. Furthermore, there's no telling what might be saved on their local drives, but for the most part the main files reside on the PDC itself.
How do I go about moving this environment to a structured Win 2000 environment?? The hard part is that some people log onto the NT domain while the others like the XP Home users don't. Moving files to a new W2K server would inherently cause problems.

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by eansor In reply to Migration of a messed up ...

Yo flying-

You might as well have asked why is the sky blue. IMHO, it is time to upgrade this system to Windows 2000 Server. You can do this and still keep an open system. LAN security, in my opinion, is only there if you need it. If everyone on the LAN behaves and doesn't cause any trouble then I never apply more than necessary. I hate to make work for myself and yours sounds like a fairly simple system. I would do the following:

Upgrade the server to Windows 2000 Server and leave it in workgroup or stand alone mode. There is no reason to install Active DIrectory or make this machine a Domain Controller unless absolutely necessary. I have demoted several servers back to stand alone because of the overhead misery of trying to administer DNS and Active Directory. Unless you are real saavy in both I would suggest you steer clear of that mine field. A stand alone server in a workgroup works just fine and is much less my opinion.

Then I would upgrade the Windows 98 machines. Upgrade all of them to at least Windows 2000 (my personal favorite, but I am quite fond of XP as well, although it does have a tendency to be a bit persnicity at first)

Be sure to create administrator accounts on all the NT Technology machines (2000 Pro and XP) and make the users log on to the workgroup. In addition, I always make it a company policy that ALL company data files be stored in appropriate directories ON THE SERVER. No exceptions. Then I make sure that the server is backed up daily, especially including the company data files and that at least one copy of the backup is off site.

There is probably more, but that is enough for now. If you like these answers and want more you can send to me direct. I'll be happy to help. Lot's of people have helped me over the years and, not being much of a geek myself, I can understand your frustration.

Good luck.

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by flyingknees In reply to

ok fine, why IS the sky blue??

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by lumberjack In reply to Migration of a messed up ...

I had the same job about 18 months ago.
before you start - get full backing from any line management - as high as you can. MD/CEO/owner is always good!!!

step 1) discuss this with the users - explain what will be happening and why, and what the differences they will see will be.

Step 2)survey PCs and discuss individually what files/shares etc are currently used.

Step 3) Setup the shares (and move shared data if necessary)preferably by employee group then team then user. group user accounts in similar structures giving complete access/read only/write as per requirements
Setup standard logon scripts so that everyone (if poss) has the same mappings.
Id data has to be moved then let users know first in case they have documents with links or shortcuts.

step 4) Ensure users who dont normally logon have accounts and configurations ready. Configure PC network/security settings so that everybody nows has to logon (add NT/w2k/xp Pcs to domain). Be on hand early on the 1st day this is affected!

step 5) move personal (locally installed) data onto server - perhaps in a personal share or part of users profile

step 6) tidy up any anomolies as much as poss

Pick a small group to test on first - iron out any problems with them.

If the users are given enough warning and good information, the whole job is made a lot easier
basic I know - if you want the technical what's and hows I can supply!

Basically - plan and investigate as much as poss now. It will make your life a lot easier in the long run! I was lucky in that it was done as part of a directive above - so if I got any grief I just pointed people to the MD!

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by flyingknees In reply to

yup doing many of these things right now but I'm getting users asking why their shortcuts no longer work. Then when I point them to the temporary file server, they don't have the required permissions because they weren't even logging onto the domain in the first place! On top of that, their profiles have to be migrated as well.

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by Kinetechs In reply to Migration of a messed up ...

There are always going to be growin-pains! Manage your end-users' expectations. Let them know this up-front.

Question: Which one works better? Upgrading a machine or formatting it and installing the OS from scratch. Any time you upgrade, you bring all the "band-aids" from the older infrastructure...all the things that we never done right but got rid of the symptoms. I'd suggest that you start building an new infrastructure right next to the existing one. It'll add a bit more complexity but when it's done, it'll be pristine...not an upgrade. You can put in trusts so mograted and pre-migrated users can still access the resources.

I do not agree with eansor in regards to:
1) Security. Give the users only the access they need. Don't just try to make your job easier by giving Full Control to all. Even if your users are trustworthy, worms and viruses aren't.
2) AD and DNS. On a network of that size, most aspects of these are pretty straight-forward. It's not like there'll be multi forest, site, domain issues to deal with.

Hope this help,

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by flyingknees In reply to

it's a big headache right now. I'd feel much better if a tornado wiped everyone and everything away so I can start from scratch.

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by voldar In reply to Migration of a messed up ...

All answers given above are very helpfull for you. I just add something:
- backup everything the users have now on their computers. Later, they may complain about not finding a doc and they'll said "it's your fault".
- users with XP HomeEdition can't be part of a domain so they need to be upgraded to XP Pro - if you intend to create a domain.
- if you upgrade to W2K server in my oppinion it's better to implement also DNS, Active Directory, DHCP. It's very easy to maintain control on all the domain by using pollicies.
- if users with W98 have computers that do not respond to the minimum required hardware to upgrade to W2k Pro I suggest you to implement also WINS
- "users like or don't like a system" - this is not an option. Discuss with them and show which are the good and the bad of the systems (if you have time), if not, they have to accept that everything is moving, so it's time to upgrade!!
- answer 1. about the back-up is the best sollution to implement on a network like yours. Through AD policies you can do that in a "single" click.

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by flyingknees In reply to

Don't I know it, backups will either make or break you. I learned it the hard way a few times and almost had to dust off my resume once.

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by flyingknees In reply to Migration of a messed up ...

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