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Currently I have Windows Server 2000 as a PDC and am upgrading to Windows Server 2008. My main question is can the 2008 box be a BDC to the 2000 PDC?

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Active Directory has no PDC or BDC. Those were from the NT 3.x/4.x days. – Chris S Sep 29 '11 at 18:35
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is no PDC or BDC anymore and there hasn't been since NT4, the Domain Controllers are multi-master peers that collectively hold 5 FSMO roles in a single-forest domain. Your W2K box might hold the PDC Emulator Role, but that is entirely different than being a PDC.

You can promote a W2k8 server to a Domain Controller in a Windows 2000 Forest Functional Level domain, assuming that you're run the requisite adprep commands from the Server 2008 DVD mentioned in the Windows Server 2008 documentation. Despite the fact that you seem a bit confused about how AD works, there is no reason that this won't work. It's relatively straight-forward and painless.

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You want someone to read the documentation? Why would they do that? – Chris S Sep 29 '11 at 18:37
@ChrisS I know, tough world! – MDMarra Sep 29 '11 at 18:38
It is possible to do that, but some objects will be missing. There are some activities that occur only during the upgrade of the PDC emulator role. This includes special builtin groups and objects. See "New groups and new group memberships that are created after upgrading the PDC" in the following document: – Greg Askew Sep 29 '11 at 19:25
@GregAskew It may not be as feature complete as possible, but it's certainly do-able and supported by Microsoft. By the same token, there are many other features that would be missing by staying at a 2k FFL. – MDMarra Sep 29 '11 at 19:35
@Greg, to be technically correct the answer to the OP's Question is "No, it can't be a BDC because there is no such thing". Adding a 2008 DC to the domain will not break anything however. The Question did not ask about obtaining any of the features of 2008. – Chris S Sep 29 '11 at 19:53

You can but you will be stuck at the 2000 AD level until you remove the 2000 domain completely. There is no real problem with doing this, however. Unless you want a feature in the 2008 domain level.

See here for something similar about upgrading 2003 to 2008.

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These are not simple processes, but Microsoft does provide documentation on doing so:

Here is a comprensive guide called Upgrade Domain Controllers: Microsoft Support Quick Start for Adding Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controllers to Existing Domains

Also, Microsoft has a guide on doing an upgrade from 2000 to 2008 on their website.

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