Upgrading and changing servers

20 pts.
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Server upgrades
Windows 2000 Server
I inherited a badly designed system when I joined my current company. The previous I.T guy set up a windows 2000 server (PDC) with active directory on a old pentium 3 server with no raid system no BDC. Now the drive is causing problems and I need to replace the drive/or the whole server. As part of the new setup I also want to upgrade the server to windows 2003. This is what I was thinking I should do but never having done this I hope some one can give me some advice.
  1. Create a BDC and then promote it to PDC taking the old server offline
  2. Update windows 2000 to 2003 Server
The other option I have is
  1. Backup the old server and restore to a new server.
  2. Update Windows 2000 to 2003 Server
Which option would you take and what should I look out for?

Answer Wiki

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I would definitely get the hardware issues fixed first. If you don’t trust the hardware that it is on replace it and get it up to snuff first. then you can do the upgrade to 2003 after the HW issues are fixed. BDC/PDC roles went away in windows 2000 server. you would need to check to see if any FSMO roles. To find this out check this article:

How to view and transfer FSMO roles in the graphical user interface

if this server only acts as as a DC you can transfer the roles and theoretically down the server. but if this server has other roles, (file/print services, etc.) you would need to move these as well. if there are file shares it would be easier to look into DFS (distributed file service) so that the drive mappings are only a link in the dfs and you can replicate or move the files anywhere without the users knowing the difference.

You need to get a 2nd domain controller online as soon as possible. With AD, there is no PDC/BDC, domain controllers are all at the same level.
Build a new server, DCPROMO it to a DC. You may need to extend the schema of your AD, the DCPROMO will let you know if you need to do an ADPREP. Then transfer all the FSMO roles to it from the old server. I would then build a 2nd server if resources are available and DCPROMO it as well. Once everything settles out, you can DCPROMO the old server and repurpose it if it still addresses some need in your workplace. But PIIIs have limited value when looking at entry level server class machines on the market.

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  • Jerry Lees
    One thing you might try as soon as you can is to add a second disk to the server if you can and create a software mirror in windows. Normally, I wouldn't recommend a software mirror, but in the event of a failure atleast you will have an up to date copy of the system to get you up an running again. Installation will require you to convert the disk to dynamic disks and if the disk itself is failing, I would not recommend doing this before getting another server online. In the event of a failure you will likely need to adjust the boot.ini either by hand or with the recovery console (make sure it's installed) and adjust the ARP Path of the disk your going to boot from.
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