The purpose of this article is to explain how to migrate your NT server to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 by performing a new installation of the latter rather than an upgrade. For stability reasons, it is highly advisable to perform a clean install Windows 2003 or Windows 2003 on a bare machine and not on a computer already fitted with a server operating system.
This problem arises because you can't add a Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 DC (domain controller) to a domain whose PDC (primary domain controller) is running under NT4.
In fact, the domain's PDC machine must be first migrated to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, in other words, the NT4 machine has to be upgraded to one of these systems. As with any upgrade, this operation is not risk free. Such migrations have been known to fail. In the event of such a failure, you will find yourself with a PDC in a very unstable state or even unusable, thus rendering the domain inaccessible.
To prevent this from happening, we suggest the following approach, as used by a good many of our customers. It is completely risk-free for your existing domain.
Here's the idea: we use a third machine to act temporarily as PDC of the existing domain, and this is the machine that will be migrated from NT4 to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003. Then if migration fails, we just have to put the regular PDC back into service to restore the domain to its current state.
The only requirement for this approach is to have a spare machine that you can reformat with no worries and which has sufficient memory. There's no need to use a purpose-built server machine; a simple everyday workstation will do the job. A test machine such as a Pentium III-500 MHz (or higher) with 256 to 384 MB of RAM (or more) is perfectly adequate.
Your existing server: SRV-COMPANY
Migration server: SRV-MIGRATION
01- Find a test machine with sufficient memory (256 to 384 MB of RAM).
02- Stick a "SRV-MIGRATION" label on it.
03- Delete all the partitions from its hard disk(s). Microsoft's DELPART.EXE can be used for this. It's a free utility program found in the Windows NT 3.1 Technical Resource Kit.
The tool takes up approximately 120KB. You can download it from one of the following addresses:
04- Install Windows NT4 Server on the PC you labeled SRV-MIGRATION, specifying it as a BDC (back up domain controller) for your domain.
05- Install Service Pack 6a on SRV-MIGRATION.
06- Using the Server Manager utility present in "Administration Tools", make SRV-MIGRATION your domain's new PDC (select SRV-MIGRATION then the "Computer" menu then "Promote to Domain Controller".)
07- Once this synchronization is done, shut down SRV-COMPANY completely.
08- Now upgrade SRV-MIGRATION to Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 by inserting the required CD-ROM.
09- Install the latest Service Pack on this machine.
10- Check your Event Logs. Nothing unusual should show up (no red icon).
At this stage, your domain is now managed by a Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 "server".
Because of the method you have used, the domain is still your original one. Your machines can therefore still access all existing resources on your network except for those running on SRV-COMPANY, which has been temporarily stopped.
Now the whole content of SRV-COMPANY needs to be migrated to SRV-MIGRATION and stored on back-up tapes (DAT, DLT, etc.)
11- Power up SRV-COMPANY.
12- Using the Server Manager, carry out a full synchronization of the domain and check the Event Logs on your two servers roughly 5 to 10 minutes later. There must be no error messages.
13- Perform TWO COMPLETE back-ups of SRV-COMPANY's hard disk(s), including data, using your usual back-up solution.
14- Install IDEAL Migration on SRV-MIGRATION and enter your registration key.
15- Use the Migration Wizard included with IM (left window) to export the 4 following items:
* Shared folders
* Security settings on files and directories
* Printer ports
16- For convenience in the steps that follow, manually compile a list of all printer monitors used (LPR ports, HP JetDirect ports, etc.) as well as the printer drivers used.
You are now ready to remove SRV-COMPANY completely from your domain and to do a full re-install on it.
17- Delete all the partitions from SRV-COMPANY's hard disk (see step 3 above).
18- Using "Active Directory Users and Computers" on SRV-MIGRATION, delete the computer account for SRV-COMPANY.
19- Install Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 onto SRV-COMPANY, specifying it as a member server of your domain (never specify it as an additional controller). Enter SRV-MIGRATION's IP address as the DNS server.
09- Install the latest Service Pack on SRV-COMPANY.
21- Check the event logs on both your servers. There must be no error messages.
22- Run "DCPROMO" on SRV-COMPANY to promote it to a Domain Controller on your existing domain.
23- Install the "DNS server" service on SRV-COMPANY and add the corresponding DNS zone to your domain as well as the reverse zone. Since the information is stored in Active Directory by default, it will appear straight away.
24- Modify the network configuration of SRV-COMPANY so that it refers to its own IP address and only this address as DNS server.
25- Reboot SRV-COMPANY and check the Event Logs. There must be no error messages.
That's it. SRV-COMPANY is now a Domain Controller.
It's time to re-create its various shares.
26- Create the various partitions you require on SRV-COMPANY (Data, Users, etc.)
27- Run IDEAL Migration on SRV-MIGRATION. Select "Migration Wizard" in the left window, then click on "Folder Migration" in the right window. Uncheck "Export shared folders", check "Import shared folders", indicate SRV-COMPANY, then select "None" in the "Translation" section.
28- Check out SRV-COMPANY to make sure your various "old" shares are indeed present and have the correct permissions.
29- If you use any special print monitors under NT4 and are intending to re-use them under Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, please install them manually from the adequate medium (Windows CD-ROM, Maker's CD-ROM, Web site, etc.)
30- Install ALL required printer drivers, i.e., all those used under NT4. The easiest way is to install a printer for each corresponding model on the server's LPT1 port, prefixing each one with "IM" or "TEST" or whatever you decide, so as to be able to remove it more easily when the migration is over.
31- Still working in the IM Migration Wizard on SRV-MIGRATION, import "Printer Ports" then "Printers". To do so, proceed as in step 27.
32- Stop the "Print Spooler" service on SRV-COMPANY, then start it up again.
33- Remove all printers whose name begins with "IM" or "TEST" or whatever prefix you used. (See step 30.)
Now all shares, printer ports, and printers are restored to their "previous" state. All that's left to do now is to restore data and access permissions.
34- Take your back-up software and restore all required data to SRV-COMPANY, along with associated access permissions.
35- If your backup software won't let you restore permissions to restored files and folders, re-apply these permissions using the IM Migration Wizard. To do so, proceed as in step 27.
That's it. SRV-COMPANY is now fully working.
The last operation involves removing the temporary server SRV-MIGRATION from the domain.
36- Run "DCPROMO" on SRV-MIGRATION and demote it to a member server of your domain. This has the effect of transferring all the FSMO roles to SRV-COMPANY, making it your domain's primary server.
37- As a precautionary measure, save the contents of "\Program Files\Pointdev\IDEAL Migration" in a safe place (a shared folder on SRV-COMPANY, on a CD-R or CD-RW, on DAT, etc.)
38- Shut down the SRV-MIGRATION computer.
39- Using "Active Directory Users and Computers" on SRV-COMPANY, delete the SRV-MIGRATION computer account.
40- Check the Events Logs on SRV-COMPANY. There must be no error messages.
You're ready to go!