Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am upgrading a domain controller/file server from win2003 standard to win2008 r2 standard. We are planing to have a file server and an AD controller. Our old hardware will be scrapped, we want to copy all AD users/computers to new machine and keep current domain name.

I never done this before. What are the best practices? Is it better if we get a contractor to do it for us? I guess best way to start is to build new servers, copy data, take old server down and put new server online. My gut says we would need to re-join all computers. Is that correct?

Any input appreciated.

share|improve this question

i would add your new server to the domain as a domain controller, you can run dcpromo. then you can verify dns and AD has replicated, once happy, flip the roles and transfer the fsmo over to the server 2008 unit. Dcpromo the old server so it is taken off the domain. You should though keep two DC's online as a best practice for redundancy. if you need more exact details i can provide them.

you will have to do domain prep and forest prep too to get it buttoned down properly.

how about the dhcp server? is that role on the first DC? or do you have a router or member server doing that?

share|improve this answer
dhpc and dns is on current dc too – nLL Jan 5 '11 at 14:44
This is exactly how to do it. Build the new server, promote it, move all roles to it, then demote/retire the old one. Then deal with the inevitable problems that occur because some statically configured things were only looking at the old one. – David Mackintosh Jan 6 '11 at 4:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.