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Windows Server 2008 Thread, server migration 2003-2008, advice needed in Technical; Greetings, We are looking at migrating to 2008 Server this summer in order to run Windows 7 with full functionality. ...
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    server migration 2003-2008, advice needed

    Greetings,

    We are looking at migrating to 2008 Server this summer in order to run Windows 7 with full functionality. Its the first time i have personally done something like this and I need some advice please.

    I have 2 x 2003 server standard domain controllers, call them DC01 & DC02 It seems that all the FSMO roles are on DC01. DNS is installed on both servers while DHCP is installed on DC01. I want to keep DC01 as the main domain controller as its the higher spec server of the two.

    My main questions are..
    1. Is Server 2003 upgradeable to 2008 or will it need a re-install.

    2. Assuming it is upgradeable it is possible to do it in-situ without having to move roles, demote, remove, upgrade, promote. Are there any pit falls and what is the procedure for a process like this?

    3. If it isnt possible to upgrade and a reinstall is in order, whats the procedure for moving roles, demoting and re promoting. Will i still keep policies and all the other settings we currently have.

    4. Is it possible to have a back up of the server in case this goes horribly wrong?

    Many thanks for any help you can give!
    James

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    The answer is maybe ... assuming that the 2003 server is x32 - then you can upgrade to a x32 version of 2008. But it won't allow upgrades to x64 (which means 2008R2 is out of the equation). So if you want x64 (R2) - its a rebuild I'm afraid.

    I have upgraded serveral 2003 servers to 2008 (x32) - quite old hardware actually and it worked (surprised me somewhat!).

    There is a 2008 server upgrade advisor available on the MS site - actually its a lot more complex than just a server upgrade advisor - it will also scan your entire network and checkout your stations as well. It then generates reports that tell you what you need - like what drivers you might need to get your hands on. It is a bit involved installing it as it uses sql express to create a database - but if you are planning to go the whole hog with 2008 and W7 - its probably worth doing.

    Its here ...

    Download details: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

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    jjohnsoncantell (16th February 2011)

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    zag
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    Why not just use a workstation as a new DC?

    Then transfer the master role to that temporarily.

    Wipe the old DC01 and do a re-install, promote it.

    Then just transfer the roles back.

    This is the recommended Microsoft way I think.

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    jjohnsoncantell (16th February 2011)

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    If you wanted to go 64bit what about installing 2008 R2 64bit fresh install onto DC2 and migrate all the data to DC2. Install 2008 R2 64bit fresh install onto DC1 and migrate all the data back.

    Although this is more complex you might want to consider this for two reasons. Firstly everything is going 64bit and if your doing a server update you might as well future prof it. If the upgrade fails potential corrupting the OS you have no access to your data and would need to do a full restore. If something goes down while doing a migration you can normally get things working again.

    What are other edugeekers thought on this?

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Will have a look at that toolkit and see what it picks up.

    Sounds like the best route is to as you say, take out dc02/use a desktop and build that up with 2008 using that as a go between.

    Wont i get any problems with wiping the domain controllers, rebuilding them then adding them in as effectively new controllers? Can use the same names? Ive heard scare stories over the years of servers that werent removed properly then they had been reused and the domain still thought they were dcs when bought back as members. Is there a prodedure for downgrading a DC before removing it?

    Cheers guys.
    JAmes

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    zag
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    yes just use dcpromo to demote it, i've done it loads of times.

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    brill will give that a try... when i set up the new server to take charge will i still have to set up dhcp & dns or will that come across when i promote it to DC?

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    I did it the demote dc02 method and fresh install, worked ok but you must transfer all the roles to dc01 before demotion. I also had dns on both servers and when DC02 came online dns server 2003 would not talk to dns server 08, was not a complete disaster as things still seemed to work but it was worrying, I did not go into in any great depth as I was planning to flatten the the remaining 2003 anyway by reverse methods. Just a heads up on a possible problem going this route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjohnsoncantell View Post
    brill will give that a try... when i set up the new server to take charge will i still have to set up dhcp & dns or will that come across when i promote it to DC?
    Yes you will have to set it up again.

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    hi guys,

    I started off a test domain with a 2k3 DC and a few clients. I then built up a 2k8 server seperately. I raised the schema to 2k8 level which i found a doc for on the net, really helpful one with screenshots too. Told me all the tests with the support tools to make sure there wouldnt be any problems. Bought in the 2008 server, added the domain controller role. Took the fmso roles and demoted the 2k3 server. Then added a new dns server which already had the zones from the old dc. Then logged on with a client no problem

    I know i hadnt done that quite right as i wasnt sure where the dns part should have been done.

    I also ran the MAP toolkit on my network and it turns out 4 of my 8 servers arent upto 2k8r2. Not a problem really as one is being ditched anyways. However the 3 remaining servers that arent R2 compatable are the 2 DCs and our NAS box. Doh!

    What gains will i have with 2k8R2 over 2K8 vanilla? Or is it really not a problem if im not virtuallising ?

    Thanks for all your help guys, its made this so much easier and i know there are people i can talk to who have done this before which is a huge relief

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    2K8 is the Vista version, if you like. 2K8 R2 is Windows 7. The gains - 64bit only, so support for more RAM (though there is 2008 x64, it's a bit pointless now). Lots of optimisations and enhancements, I tend to find it nicer to use too.

    If the servers won't run it, not to worry. For Windows 7 you'd be best at least having one 2K8 R2 DC, but you can use 2008 on the 32bit servers fine.

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    I raised the schema to 2k8 level which i found a doc for on the net, really helpful one with screenshots too.
    Can you point me to this please. Just about to do the same thing.

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    Should i be ok with running 2003 std servers in the mix as it looks like most of my servers dont have 2008 drivers too after checking a little more. One of those is our nas box which is running 2003 storage server and one of which is running isa 2004..

    The link to the walkthrough is.

    http://www.pbbergs.com/windows/artic..._from_2003_to_ 2008.htm

    the only thing i would be aware of in that document is that the schema level on the 2008r2 disc i have it 47 not 44 as stated in the instructions and the revision is 5 instead of 2. You may come across the same thing. Could someone confirm this is the correct level please?

    One more thing, if you are running 32 bit server currently then you will need to run adprep32 as opposed to adprep in the instructions.

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    I have some ten year old Dell 2550s running Server 2008, and running it nicely. They also don't have supported drivers, but 2K8 contains 99% of what you'll need, and the 2K3 drivers will do the rest. You can run 2K3 servers in the mix too, but you won't be able to raise the domain functional level above 2K3 if they're DCs.

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    both the dcs are 2k3 at the mo but theyre being rebuilt to 2k8 so that i can run windows 7 clients with the full features... Thinking about it, will i loose any functionality on the windows 7 clients if im running 2008 std as opposed to 2008R2 on the dcs? Im guessing i wont since 7 is essentially vista anyways but i want to be sure.



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