I have Server 2003 Standard (not R2!) running as the sole server on a network of XP clients, with the domain forest level at 2000.
We want to put a second server on the network running a trial of 2012 Essentials, but not have any clients use it for anything while we slowly set it up and test it during daytime hours. We may be rebooting a lot while we install and test software, and don't want it kicking clients off or otherwise causing problems. Am I correct in assuming that this will mean somehow preventing the 2012 box from being a domain controller? If so, how can I do that?
An outside IT company may be doing the initial install and I want to make sure it does smoothly. Is there anything special we need to do while installing to keep 2012 more or less as just another client for the moment? (Later, once we're satisfied that it's set up okay, we'd like to migrate everything to the 2012 box, I imagine after raising the DFL to 2003 native.)
(I realize this is similar to this question but I'm not using a beta nor SBS, so I want to make sure the answer applies to this specific situation.)