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Brand new server, 2008 r2. I want it to eventually be my forest root. Should I go ahead and join it to the domain as just a member server and then do all the ? Should I run adprep before I join the domain? I'm only asking about member server at this point...before dcpromo. Thanks.

I want the server to be the forest root server. It will replace the current forest root server.

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You want the server to be your forest root? Can you clarify what you mean by that? –  Shane Madden Mar 12 '12 at 16:59
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@shane Madden am I not using the right terminology? –  johnny Mar 12 '12 at 17:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't understand what you mean by "I want it to be the forest root". The forest root domain is just that-- a domain-- and not a particular server. Perhaps you mean "I want it to be a domain controller in the forest root domain" with, perhaps, the added "I also want it to hold all the FSMO roles." In either case it is not necessary to join the computer to the domain before you run dcpromo. You can join the domain, if you like, but you don't have to, either. So long as the machine is configured with DNS server(s) that can resolve records for the domain you can run dcpromo straight-away after installing Windows.

adprep is only necessary if you're upgrading the schema of an existing domain to the Windows Server 2008 R2 level. If the schema needs upgraded then you'll need to run adprep against the existing domain first. dcpromo will fail if the schema needs upgraded (and will cause no harm in doing so).

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It is moving from windows 2000 to 2008. So I can join the 2008 server to the domain, right off, and then do all the "stuff" to upgrade the AD and the server? –  johnny Mar 12 '12 at 17:06
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@johnny: You can join the Windows Server 2008 R2 machine to the domain as a member server, use adprep to upgrade the AD schema, and then use dcpromo to promote the W2K8R2 server computer to a domain controller. –  Evan Anderson Mar 12 '12 at 17:08

I did this a week or two ago (except 2003 which has minor differences) below are links that helped me do this. I didn't demote the old DC though but i included a link for that

http://www.petri.co.il/prepare-for-server-2008-r2-domain-controller.htm

http://www.petri.co.il/installing-active-directory-windows-server-2008.htm

http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm

http://defaultreasoning.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/synchronize-time-with-external-ntp-server-on-windows-server-2008-r2/

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/238369 (scroll down to removing) It's essentailly just running dcpromo and following the prompts.

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Can you do them in steps over days? I mean if I do the first one with adprep, can I wait a week and do the others? Thanks for your answer, btw. –  johnny Mar 13 '12 at 20:47
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Yeah you can spread them out over a period of time. That's isn't a problem and it's what I did as well. I always like the dust to settle if possible before moving on to the next step of something new. –  PHLiGHT Mar 14 '12 at 11:57

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