Feb 222008


A Windows 2000 server domain controller running on old hardware has to be replaced with a new hardware running Windows 2003 Server as the Domain Controller. This tutorial will explain how to migrate win server 2000 to win server 2003 includes Domain Controller, DNS, DHCP, File server, Rename new win server 2003 same as your old win server 2000.

In this tutorial we are assuming that you are using same domain name as on your new win server 2003

Make sure to have the latest backup of the existing server.

1. Make Sure SP4 on the existing Windows 2000 domain controller

2. Run ADPREP to prepare the forest and domain for windows 2003

  • Put the Windows 2003 Server installation CD, into the CD drive of the windows 2000 server.
  • Go to Start -> Run and type cmd and click on OK button.
  • At the command prompt type x:\i386\adprep /forestprep where x is the drive letter of the CD drive. Make sure the command exits with a success message. Reboot is not necessary.
  • From the command prompt type x:\i386\adprep /domainprep where x is the drive letter of the CD drive on the server. Make sure the command exits with a success message. Reboot is not necessary.

Note: In case of any errors, you may look at the log files residing under %systemroot%\system32\debug\adprep\log\ folder.

Important Note :- If you want to upgrade win server 2000 to win server 2003 R2 insert the Windows Server 2003 R2 installation disk 2 to run the forestprep and domainprep otherwise you see the following error

The Active Directory Installation Wizard cannot continue because the forest is not prepared for installing Windows Server 2003. Use the Adprep command-line tool to prepare both the forest and the domain. For more information about using the Adprep, see Active Directory Help.

The version of the Active Directory schema of the source forest is not compatible with the version of Active Directory on this computer.

3. On the new server hardware, install Windows 2003 Server and join it to the existing domain (i.e win 2000 domain). Also, install the DNS server (need not configure). Make sure you also install all the available service packs.

Install DNS Server on win 2003 Server

Open Windows Components Wizard from the following

Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.

Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

In Components, select the Networking Services check box, and then click Details.

InSubcomponents of Networking Services, select the Domain Name System (DNS) check box, click OK, and then click Next.

If Windows asks for a CD-ROM, do as it requests. When it is done, click Finish and you’ll have your very own DNS server.

4. On win 2003 server Run DC Promo and make this server as the additional domain controller to the existing domain:

  • Go to Start -> Run and type dcpromo and click on OK button.
  • On the Active Directory Installation Wizard screen, follow the wizard and make this server as an additional domain controller for the existing domain.
  • Reboot the Server.

5. Wait for replication to happen. This may take around 30 minutes or longer, depending on the amount of data that has to be replicated from the SYSVOL folder of Win2000 server. You can use REPLMON.EXE, to monitor the replication status, which is available from the support tools package in your win 2003 server CD, or you can even check the event log on the Win server 2003 for the file replication service (FRS) status.

6. Check the DNS on the new Win server 2003.

  • Check if all the details have been replicated
  • Check if the forwarders are setup correctly
  • Check if the event log is clear of errors

Check how to Transfer FSMO Roles from win 2000 to win 2003 in Part 2

Check how to Migrate File Server,DHCP server in Part3

Check how to disconnect old server, Raise the domain level functionality to native Windows 2003,Rename your new windows server 2003 in Part4 (Final Part)

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  9 Responses to “Step By Step Guide for Migrating Windows 2000 server to Windows 2003 Server (Part1)”

  1. Really good

  2. When will the user accounts be migrated? Is it during the replication from win 2000 to 2003 server or do we have to do it seperately?
    Pl advice.
    Thank you

  3. yes it does automatically you don’t have to do anything manually

  4. when we upgrade 2000 to 2003 domain .can we store all the active directry users and compouters automatically in 2003 domain. if we have ADC

  5. What if you want to migrate to 64 bit 2003, with exchange 2007? Will this still work with 64 bit 2003?

  6. This is a great article. Thank you for posting it.
    I do have question. How would this work with a server 2008. I’m planning on migrating my present 2000 server to 2008. Brand new machine. I need to move AD, DC, DNS and DHCP.
    Can a “how to” article be posted for that as well.
    Thank you.

  7. Just what I needed to upgrade to W2K3. I also agree with Arek. please d othe same step-by-step guide or how to for migrating from 2000 server to 2008. I have the same scenario: Brand new machine and need to move AD, DC, DNS and DHCP.

  8. Great tutorial. Everything worked out great. i ran into a problem running adprep /forestprep. It was giving me a schema error or something because an old BDC wasn’t online anymore. i had to remove that old BDP using ntdsutil and after that everything was easy.

    i wish you guys had a tutorial for upgrading Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 server. :)

  9. Has anyone know of or have a step by step for win2000 to win2008 ?

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