Migrating from win 2000 AD to 2003 AD

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This is the typical scenario of my company. One corporate office with 18 satellite offices. The network here is basically comprising of Windows NT server PDC's (service pack 6) and BDC's and windows 2000 DC's. The huge problem I inherited from the past Network Admin is that he has NT and AD running in NATIVE Mode. The Network is in two domains, one AD and the other NT. About eight satellite offices has AD and the rest are win 2000 servers authenticating via the wan link to the corporate NT PDC. We still have legacy systems out there and the only way users are able to access resources b/w the two domains is by established trust relationship. We have a huge DNS issue here becuase the DNS server isn't configured currently and the native mode issue with NT. Now we want to fix the problem. Bear in mind that the servers in the satellite offices running AD are DC's and working ok. But now we need to correct all the mess and move up to Win2003 AD. We still have Exchange 5.5 running on win NT. Please tell me how do we proceed... What should we expect and how can we overcome this Native mode road block in this upgrade. Just a head up, the management has ruled out any possiblity of restructuring/rebuilding AD from scratch. Thanks for your kind assistance.

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Good News and bad news. You have three interlocking problems. 1 – migrate from NT4 to 2k3. Lots of help available (Brien Posey, Mark Minasi both have multiple articles). Bad part is doing the prep work. Lay out your forest, domain(s), backups strategy, AND verify capability of the servers to be migrated. Hardware in servers running NT4 may NOT work under 2K3! BE SURE it will work. 2 – AD migration is either simple or very awful based on one question. Do you intend to migrate the Exhange server at the same time? If you have any choice do Exchange AFTER the AD migration. 3 – AD depends on DNS and DNS in MS is tied to the AD. Know every IP address or least the range of addresses. Hopefully you have already deprecated WINS and NetBIOS. Any service(s) depending on NetBios names to ‘find’ servers, printers is a probable break point.
While the migration services provided by outside vendors look expensive at first glance, a consultant’s help planning the AD structure can save a lot of hours (overtime).
I wish the best for this undertaking. Happy Thanksgiving and no you won’t be done by Christmas.

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  • Mpkn3rd
    You did not mention anything about Exchange, are we to assume that it will be updated as well? I also was curious as to why management will not allow a complete restructure? I see no simple way around this especially if you have legacy programs that require NT yet. I think we would also like a better overall picture of the entire network. It is hard to deteremine possible solutions with the given information. One reason I mention this as I have no idea as to how it is even working if your DNS server is not up and running correctly.
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