Upgrade or fresh install,

By TonytheTiger ·
We are in an NT4 domain structure, preparing to migrate to active directory. We are combining 20 domains into one. I am on the small end of this, Administrator of one of the 20 domains, and will not be involved in, or responsible for the Domain controllers. All I have to do is prepare our servers and workstations for the migration.

We have two Windows 2003 servers and one Windows 2000 server. The Windows 2000 server is used as a print server, and as static storage (the data does not change... just installed from DVD quarterly.) Hardware compatibility and performance are not issues (HP DL360 Dual 3.2 ghz Xeon, 1 gig ram).

My boss wants me to upgrade the print server to 2003 prior to the migration. I agree. But I want to do an "upgrade" and he thinks we should do a fresh install.

My reasoning is the print server. If I do a fresh install, it's going to have a different SID, so even if I name the server to it's old name and restore the print shares, the clients are going to have to reinstall their network printers (actually, WE are going to have to...)

I could understand it if we were talking an NT4 server, but is there really that much difference between 2000 and 2003 that an in-place upgrade wouldn't work?

And is the before migration a good idea, or would waiting be better?

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by p.j.hutchison In reply to Upgrade or fresh install,

Personally I would upgrade it, I would only do a fresh install only if there is a really good reason to do so.
You can backup all the print shares on the server using the Printer Migration tool available from MS Downloads page.

I don not think clients need to reinstall printers as they only connect to the server (SID is NOT involved) here via a unc path and auto download drivers.
You can deploy printers using VBS scripts or the new Printer tools by installed the Printer tools from Windows 2003 R2 so printers can be deployed via GPO!!!

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That sounds great.

by TonytheTiger In reply to Upgrade

I've not had any hands on with AD, do you suppose it's possible to assign printers to a workstation rather than a user (lots of mover-arounders)?

(Another problem (I don't know yet) is that a lot may depend on how much administration authority I'm going to have under the new model).

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You shouldn't lose any authority

by Tig2 In reply to That sounds great.

Assuming that they do this right.

For your printers, you can give your users authority to use a limited set of printers based on where they authenticate from. But you need to watch this with laptop users. I have had fully authenticated users printing down the block on a temp connect.

In my current environment, any user can connect any printer on the floor- part of the set up, relative to your login. So I can print across the hall or on the other side of the floor. I can't print on a different floor- restrictions based on my UID.

Joining multiple domains as you describe to me would suggest that all domain admins will retain control until a discussion on that subject happens.

Upgrade. At least in this case. Your primary goal is to not make any major change in the system until after the migration is complete. This avoids problems that you can't back out of and insures that your domain isn't the one that becomes problematic.

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The authority decision

by TonytheTiger In reply to You shouldn't lose any au ...

will likely be a political one rather than a technical one, unfortunately.

The majority of our users are, um, (how do I say this delicately?) technically challenged. What I'd like to do is IF they don't have a printer locally attached, make their default printer the closest one to them on the network, based on the workstation locations (one main building, three floors, five other buildings connected via fiber, 8 other complexes in different counties connected with T1, varying number of temporary offices (a few weeks to a couple of years), either dial-up, or, if available (we sometimes have to set up offices in the boonies, and yes, I have crawled in the mud under trailers running wire under the floor :) ), high-speed (ISDN, T1, or VPN through commercial ISP). Right now we're doing this via a script in the roaming user's W: (private) share, a different one for whatever location they want to print from. We can do it for the PCs based on their nodename (as long as somebody doesn't decide to move a machine without telling us), but the laptops are tougher. The user has to click the right one. Sometimes they get it right.

I'm in for an interesting month, I suspect :)

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