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I have a Windows NT 4 Server that is running as a Domain Controller and has Active Directory running on it. I want to make a Windows Server 2008 machine join the domain and also become a Domain Controller. I have a few questions:

  1. Can I do this?
  2. Can a NT 4 Server replicate with a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine?
  3. If not, what is the latest Server OS I can use?
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migrated from Sep 13 '12 at 20:06

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"...has Active Directory running on it"... I suspect the poster is trying to say they are using Active Directory Application Mode to provide some kind of integration with the NT4 box, but it's hard to tell. Hopefully we can get a clarification. – Avery Payne Sep 13 '12 at 20:18
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Since Windows 2000 Windows domains use Active Directory, whereas NT4 domains don't, so I doubt this is possible. Microsoft provided an upgrade path from NT4 to Server 2003. Once you have AD up and running on Windows Server 2003, you should be able to upgrade from there to Windows Server 2008 R2. This tutorial illustrates that latter upgrade.

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+1 for a more succinct answer. – user3914 Sep 12 '12 at 19:51

Anything before Windows 2000, where Active Directory was introduced, is not pretty.

Your best bet is to upgrade your PDC to Windows 2000, enable Active Directory, and then upgrade to Windows Server 2003 R2 (the R2 is important).

I've never attempted an NT 4 to 2003 upgrade, and I don't know if it's even possible.

[EDIT: Ansgar has a link in his answer which points at an upgrade path.]

At that point, you will upgrade your domain and forest to 2003 level. The 2008 R2 server will be able to interact with 2003 AD comfortably (but be sure you're using R2 of the 2003 server).

Though I've not considered it, it's more than likely that you can run your AD on 2000 level, but I'd go to 2003 because it's just better.

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Windows NT don't have active directory, you will need to upgrade your domain to windows 2000.

To do that:

1 - install another windows NT on a Virtual Machine.

2 - Promote the VM Windows NT to a BDC

3 - make sure that you have replicated it with your PDC

4 - Promote the VM Win-NT to PDC so you can try the migration process without break service or lose the service :)

5 - In the VM promoted PDC begin to install windows 2000 upgrading it from NT to W2k.

6 - Now we have a DC in windows 2k make sure everything is ok and that the users still have connectivity migrate all information from the old server to the VM.

7 - upgrade the old server to windows 2000 also.

8 - when finished migrate the PDC server and the Time server, GC etc from the VM to the new server.

9 - Migrate services from VM to physical machine.

10 - Upromote the VM Domain controller to stand alone server

11 - remove the VM from domain and disconnect.

13 - Upgrade to win 2k3 :)

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