This is the first time I'm doing such a job so, I will greatly appreciate any detail instructions/steps please.

As the title say, how do I transfer OR recreate(from a scratch) users, domain, active directory etc settings and configuration from Windows Server 2003 SBS to a new 2008 R2 Enterprise, please.

The setup: Standalone Endian firewall, Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server & eight desktops(mix of XP & Win 7). New Server, 2008 R2 is up n running and have been fully updated. 2008 R2 is installed on RAID-1 drive and data will be on RAID-6 drive, configured & managed by hardware RAID controller(Perc H700).


What you should do to "transfer settings" is join the 2008 R2 box to the existing domain. This is what Active Directory is designed to do. Here is a basic outline:

  • Set the 2008 R2 box to use the 2003 SBS as its DNS server
  • Add the Active Directory Domain Services role on 2008 R2
  • Run DCPROMO.exe on the 2003 SBS box and make sure you are adding it as an additional domain controller (DON'T INSTALL DNS YET)
  • A few reboots later your domain is now replicated across the 2008 and 2003 SBS boxes
  • Now install the DNS role (and DHCP if you need it) and make sure it is AD-integrated
  • Transfer the FSMO roles to the new domain controller

Do not retire the old 2003 SBS box unless you absolutely have to do so, as Active Directory is not meant to have a single point of failure. One reason to dump the 2003 SBS box would be that you need a specific feature from a 2008 R2-level forest or domain (highly unlikely, but the 2003 SBS can't do any higher level domain than 2003). A better alternative is to demote out the 2003 SBS box using DCPROMO.exe again, upgrade the OS, then rejoin it as a new "third" domain controller.

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  • Now the main reason to put a new server is to get rid off old one, as there were hard drive, network card etc failures and have no RAID at all. Now the question I was gonna ask after I'm done with server migration is, that at a second physical location we're going to put 2nd 2008 R2, so, how could I backup each other's (1st to 2nd and vice versa) data and may be settings/config too? – Jags FL Nov 30 '11 at 23:49
  • Ohh I totally forgot to mention that, along with Server 2008 R2, we're replacing all eight desktops too. All new desktops are going to be Windows 7 Professional. So would it be better to start from scratch? In that case where/what should I start with(on a new server)? – Jags FL Nov 30 '11 at 23:56

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