I have a Windows 2000 Server Standard Edition server (that's right, standard) on a home network with three systems doing basic file/print sharing (and a few other services). Until recently the systems were running XP Home, but I now have them updated to either XP Pro or Vista Ultimate. I also have a Server 2000 Advanced product key + license that I acquired at the same time as the Standard license.

Now that every machine on the network will support being joined to a domain I would like to update the server to Advanced with Active Directory. Can I do this in place, or do I need to re-install from scratch? What do I need to know to get Active Directory set up?

  • ... windows 2000? – Darren Kopp May 17 '09 at 23:01
  • Yes, 2000. My 2000 licenses are legal, but I'm not in a position to pay for 2003 (or a computer that will run it). It's this or switch to a linux-based server. – Joel Coel May 17 '09 at 23:31

There is no advantage to running Windows 2000 Server Advanced unless you have a lot of cpus / cores or a lot of ram. Windows 2000 Server Standard will run Active Directory. My guess is your current install utilizes all your hardware fine.

Run dcpromo to install Active Directory.

I would also say that Active Directory is probably overkill on a 4 computer network.


Windows 2000 Professional is the desktop edition, not server. Are you talking about Windows 2000 Advanced Server? You can run dcpromo on the server to install AD and make it a domain controller.


I agree, AD is overkill for a home network, especially if you need to linger on Windows 2000 to do it. If you don't want to shell out, why not try out a Gnu/Linux distro? One with lots of users (eg Ubuntu or Fedora) is likely to have more documentation or help available out there for setting up any given use case.

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