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I have an old Windows NT domain in need to upgrade to Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory. There is one PDC and two BDCs. What should my next steps be?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

My approach would be:

  1. Make sure the PDC and BDCs are in sync
  2. Switch off the BDCs and disconnect them
  3. Upgrade the PDC to Windows 2000, giving the domain a FQDN (ie from FOO to
  4. Make sure that the domain members, ie other servers and desktops have converted properly
  5. Wipe the BDCs, install windows 2000/2003/2008 from scratch, add to the domain and then promote to DC
  6. Tranfer the FSMO roles away from the ex-PDC
  7. Demote the ex-PDC
  8. Take the ex-PDC out of the domain, rebuild it from scratch as Windows 2000/3/8
  9. Promote the ex-PDC back to being a DC
  10. Move the FSMO roles around until you're happy.

Note that if you're planning on doing a hardware upgrade at the same time, then there would be a few differences.

If anything goes wrong before step 5, you can bring up a BDC, promote to PDC and keep using your NT4 domain until you've fixed the problem.

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wow..first answer gets the accept! – craigmoliver Apr 30 '09 at 14:59
The only answer get the accept ;/ – Joel Coel Aug 22 '09 at 1:53
Don't think there is anything much else to add to this answer hence it being the only one! – Zypher Aug 25 '09 at 14:25
If someone wrote up a "how to" for the case where the AD DCs are going on new hardware from the old NT4 PDC/BDC then that would be worth marking up. – Richard Gadsden Aug 26 '09 at 14:53

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