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I have a Win2k3 domain right now and I would like to upgrade it into a SBS 2008 Domain. This is simply on a VM and not a real world thing. I would like to know what happens. I don't really have the hardware that's big enough to hold 2 server OS (especially a resource hog SBS 2008) and Windows XP client VM's to test the whole thing. I'm just running on my Mac.

I'd like to know what happens if I do a "bait and switch". WIll the client be "migrated" to the new server but without computer and user accounts, thus causing it not to be able to log-in? Will I lose data on the client machine due to this?

I've been looking for info on this but haven't found much. Maybe I'm just using the wrong search query...

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, you can't perform a "bait and switch". You'll need to do one of two things:

  1. Unjoin the client computers from the old domain and join them to the new domain and create user accounts in the new domain for your users. These will not map to your old user profiles but you should be able to copy the old profiles to the new profiles.

  2. Migrate to SBS2008. Microsoft has documentation for doing this. The guide can be used for migrating from W2K3 or SBS2003 to SBS2008. You'll need to ignore any tasks related to Exchange Server, SQL Server, or Sharepoint Server if you're migrating from W2K3 rather than SBS2003. You can do this with one permanent server but you'll need one temporary server to act as a "placeholder".

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As far as I'm aware, you cannot "upgrade" to an SBS 2008 domain. SBS 2008 expects to be the only domain controller on the network, and it expects to be starting a brand new domain.

So, if you're going to go down this path, you're going to have to un-join each computer from the old domain and then join it to the new domain.

The computer account will be re-created on the new domain once it re-joins, but no user accounts will come over. You should not lose any data however, but you might need to copy any profile-specific stuff from the old profile to the new one (\documents and settings\{username}.{domain} if the usernames are the same)

It's also worth noting that SBS 2008 is not a "blank" AD server as your title suggests. SBS 2008 is very fully loaded.

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You can migrate to SBS 2008; Joe has a link to the MS KB in his answer. You are correct that during normal operations SBS2008 expects to be the only DC (and will pitch a fit otherwise). – Chris S Jun 27 '11 at 13:03
SBS2K3 and SBS2K8 both allow for additional DC's but SBS must hold the FSMO roles. – joeqwerty Jun 27 '11 at 15:21
@Chris - looks like I mis-understood the OP. I interpreted "upgrade" differently. Oh well. – Mark Henderson Jun 27 '11 at 20:32
I was referring to a "bait-and-switch" method. I was simply trying to figure out what gets broken in such a case (in this case, it is on a bunch of VMs). – Jared Jul 1 '11 at 8:20

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