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Move NT 4.0 Domain to Win Server 2003

By cj_mcnix ·
I understand that the below scenario is a bit odd. Why it was done this way, I have no idea; but it's my job to correct it, and I'd like some ideas on how to do so!

I have an NT 4.0 domain with about 60 users on it (lets call it ABC domain).

I also have Windows Server 2000 running Exchange 2000. The 2000 Server is NOT a part of the ABC domain, but it is the DC for it's own ABCEXCHANGE domain (previous vendor apparently pre-set up the server outside of the ABC domain and just brought the box in and plugged it into the network)

Users log into ABC with user/pass and that info is somehow transparently passed on to Active Directory on ABCEXCHANGE. Creating/modifying users has to be done on BOTH domains, or login errors occur.

I have one particular Windows Server 2003 box that is a member server (no AD) on the ABC domain. I would like to use this box as an Exchange 2003 Server (and possibly as login server as well), but I'm not sure if installing AD on an NT 4.0 domain is even possible.

Can I install AD on a 2003 server already in the NT 4.0 domain and have it assume the login functions for the ABC domain, and then remove the NT 4.0 server? Will I have to go to each workstation and rejoin it to the new AD domain (assuming the first question is 'yes')?

Thank you for any input.

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by CG IT In reply to Move NT 4.0 Domain to Win ...

nope you can't the schema in W2003 is different. It's different than W2K to which is why you have to do addprep/forestprep addprep/domainprep on W2K before you use W2003.

you can migrate the NT domain to a W2003 AD environment which at this point you would be well to do. You can then get exchange on the network the right way.

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by CG IT In reply to

the third answer is assuming that you create a seperate domain for the W2003 Server and then establish trust relationships between domains. Hal has a good idea but the bottom line is, you can't just run the dcpromo promote on W2003 to a domain controller and have the DC as part of the NT domain like a BDC. I would just migrate from NT to W2003. I would redo the exchange server. Might be a pain in the butt cuz everyone will get new email addresses but it's worth it in the long run.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Move NT 4.0 Domain to Win ...

Here is MS method of Migrating from NT4 to 2003 which is very useful

But if you need the NT4 server for a Mission Critical Application you'll be stuck with the NT4 Domain and you'll need to keep it for some fairly obvious reasons. Currently you should be running Y2K in Mixed Mode to access the NT4 Server or whatever way things are working.

Personally I would prefer to keep the Y2K Server in place to translate between the NT4 and 2003 Servers and Domain components. But if NT4 isn't necessary you can migrate the Box to 2003 with the above link.


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by cj_mcnix In reply to

Thanks for the link. I can see this is going to be a pain. I think the best thing for me to do is just bite the bullet and build the domain the right way; fresh and new. Thankfully, all of my apps are on W2k/W2k3 servers that I can just join to the new domain.

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by uppulurivasu In reply to Move NT 4.0 Domain to Win ...

You can join Windows 2003 AD in to Windows NT 4.0 Domain but some of the enhanced features like certificate services shall not be available to the user of Win NT 4.0
Now after you install ADS in Windows 2003 remember to raise as Windows 2003 Native mode and then add 2 way trusts to both the domains, now after you establish these trusts users of both the domains can login in a cross way.
Any issues pls let me know......

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by cj_mcnix In reply to Move NT 4.0 Domain to Win ...

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