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My old Svr2003 domain controller is also my DNS and DHCP server (small domain, < 50 users)

Here's what I've done thus far:

  1. Added new Svr2008 to the domain.
  2. Prepped domain with adprep (forest and domain)
  3. Promoted Svr2008 to Domain Controller and installed AD DS.
  4. Transferred all FSMO roles to new Svr2008 and made Svr2008 a Global Catalog Server as well.
  5. Confirmed Replication between two domain controllers.

I want to transfer DHCP and DNS to my new Svr2008, decommission Svr2003, and switch the IP address of Svr2008 to match decommissioned Svr2003 (so I don't have to reassign DNS via DHCP). I've also already exported my DHCP to a txt file using netsh dhcp server export _filename_ command and it is ready to be imported when the new DHCP server role is running on the new Svr2008.

My questions is should I do DNS or DHCP first?

I want to make sure I do this in the right order and properly.


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's no problem with both DC's being GC's in a single domain forest, so go ahead and make the new server a GC as a first step. If your AD DNS is AD integrated then no "transfer" of DNS is required, the AD DNS zones will be replicated to the new server as part of the AD replication process. The only thing you'll need to manually transfer is DHCP. You can do this beforehand and authorize the new DHCP server but leave the scope deactivated until you're ready to make the switch. I would recommend that you not give the new server the same ip address as the old server as that's likely to make things flaky because of the DNS records tied to the old ip address of the W2K3 DC. Update your DHCP scope to assign the new server as the primary DNS server for the DHCP clients and manually set it for statically assigned hosts. Once you've done that you can turn off DHCP on the old server and activate the DHCP scope on the new server. After verifying that everything works you can DCPROMO the old server to demote it.

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If you transfer the DHCP database beforehand, the lease information will be out of date by the time the scope is activated. If the OP is intent on a cut-over instead of a split-scope migration, you should do the export and import right before the cut over. – MDMarra Feb 19 '11 at 17:25
@joequerty - thanks for this info. I went to add the new Svr2008 as a global catalog server along with the old Svr2003 and I got the warning that: This Active Directory Domain Controller is serving as the infrastructure master role for this domain. The infrastructure master role should not be placed on an AD DC that is also a global catalog server unless all AD DCs in the domain are global... Are you Sure you want to make this AD DC a Global catalog? I'm assuming this is fine since Svr2003 is also global catalog, but what will happen when I decommission Svr2003? Should be fine right? – drpcken Feb 19 '11 at 17:37
Yes, you'll be fine. That warning is meant for a DC that is in a multi domain forest but isn't applicable in a single domain forest. Both DC's can be GC's with no problem. In addition, you don't need to manually transfer the FSMO roles before demoting the old server, the DCPROMO process will transfer those roles as part of the demotion. – joeqwerty Feb 19 '11 at 17:57
Pretty much. Add the DNS role and the DNS zones should be replicated to the new server as part of the AD replication process. Just make sure that on the W2K3 server that the DNS zones are configured to replicate to all DC's in the domain. – joeqwerty Feb 19 '11 at 19:17
as a side note, wait until all dns zones replicate until changing the primary DNS server to itself. – pablo Feb 19 '11 at 19:40

Migrate DNS first and DHCP second. When you move DHCP you will have to authorize your new 2008 box as well. Be careful when migrating DNS, nearly every service relies on it so before moving on to DHCP make sure dns is 100%.

Make the 2008 box a GC as well.

Make sure to run DCDIAG, and if you are running exchange wont hurt to run a BPA as well.

BPA is Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer, currently at version 2.8

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I AM Running Exchange 2007 on the domain. Should I run BPA on the new Svr2008 or the Exchange server (or both)? THANKS! I was about to do DHCP first when I thought I should get a second opinion on the steps. – drpcken Feb 19 '11 at 16:48
Run BPA from your admin workstation against the exchange server and new domain controller. – pablo Feb 19 '11 at 16:52
i should note that leaving DNS active on the old server wont hurt and you can decommission this when you decom the server. – pablo Feb 19 '11 at 17:13

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