Will be putting a new Windows 2008 R2 Server into a single domain network with two domain controllers, both running Windows 2000 Server. The functional level of the domain is mixed mode/2000.

Until a second 2008 DC can be purchased, I'd like to leave the current Win2k operational master DC as a backup DC as the other member servers running 2003 have either accounting/SQL or Exchange on them. Eventually all the w2k servers will be decommissioned, but until then, I need another DC for redundancy.

Following the standard process for adding a new DC, can I leave the old operational master DC (or the other backup DC) running after I transfer the FSMO roles to the new server? Will this cause any issues?


First make sure that all of your DCS have 2000 sp4, then raise the domain functional level to windows 2000 native. Also ensure that the forest functional level is 2000. After that you can add the 2008 domain controller (you will need to run adprep/forest prep etc). You can then transfer the roles to the new server, if you so desire. There is no need to move the operational roles at all unless they are all on one server. For guidance on role placement see Planning Operations Master Role Placement and FSMO placement and optimization on Active Directory domain controllers. You will not have issues with a mixed domain controller environment as long as you do not change the domain functional level.

However- you should verify that any applications are supported with 2008 domain controllers. Up until the beginning of february exchange 2003 was not supported with 2008 domain controllers (see this updated chart for current support)

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  • Seems like Exchange SP2 will work with 2008 R2 DCs, but not Exchange SP3. Kind of odd. – gravyface Mar 13 '10 at 21:52
  • it's better than it was as prior to february there was no 2008 support for 2003 – Jim B Mar 14 '10 at 1:29
  • Was that fixed in Windows 2008 R2? – gravyface Mar 14 '10 at 1:46
  • no it's the decision of the exchange team – Jim B Mar 14 '10 at 14:51

I'm not sure if you can spread from 2000 to 2008 but you can have 2000/2003 and 2003/2008.

You'll have to update the schema on the 2000 machines to match newer features.

Take a look at adprep/forestprep.

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  • Yes, I understand that, but at the point where you transfer the FSMO roles, the old DC is still there and (I'm assuming) still functioning as a domain controller until you dcpromo and remove Active Directory. Need confirmation though before we proceed. – gravyface Mar 9 '10 at 13:34

You can update a windows 2000 schema to windows 2008, without the need to demote existing windows 2000 servers. However you will not be able to take full advantage of the 2008 schema until the forest functional level is raised.

An In-place upgrade should be fine.

(sourced from: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754209(WS.10).aspx)

I like to recommend you participate in the MS AS Risk Assessment Program prior to a schema upgrade - it's good way to get a health check on your existing AD environment prior to doing something "big".

Hope this helps

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  • You cannot do an inplace upgrade unless the version of exchange you are running supports the upgrade – Jim B Mar 11 '10 at 14:48

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