Feb 06 2010

Upgrading an Active Directory Domain from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2


If you have installed Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 in the domain see the following article first, Exchange requirements otherwise follow the steps below

– On the old server open DNS management console and check that you are running Active directory integrated zone (easier for replication, if you have more then one DNS server installed on a DC)

– run replmon from the run line or repadmin /showreps(only if more then one DC exist), dcdiag and netdiag from the command prompt on the old machine to check for errors, if you have some post the complete output from the command here or solve them first. For this tools you have to install the support\tools\suptools.msi from the 2000 installation disk.

– run adprep /forestprep and adprep /domainprep and adprep /domainprep /gpprep and adprep /rodcprep from the 2008 installation disk against the 2000 schema master(/forestprep) / infrastructure master(/domainprep/rodcprep), with an account that is member of the Schema/Enterprise/Domain admins, to upgrade the schema to the 2008 version (44) or 2008 R2 (47). On the Windows Server 2008 R2 disk are adprep32.exe (32bit) and adprep.exe (64bit) located, so make sure to use the correct version.

– In Windows server 2000 you have sometimes to enable the write access to the schema master (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/285172)

– you can check the schema version with “schupgr” or “dsquery * cn=schema,cn=configuration,dc=domainname,dc=local -scope base -attr objectVersion” without the quotes in a command prompt

– if the first installed DC in the domain should be removed or replaced with another one, doesn’t matter if new or same OS version, then make sure that you export the recovery agents EFS certificate private key from the DC BEFORE you demote/retire it. Details how to do this are listed in (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/241201) and (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755157(WS.10).aspx) if you do not save the it, you will not be able to encrypt data in case of problems.

– Install the new machine as a member server in your existing domain

– configure a fixed ip and set the preferred DNS server to the old DNS server only, if you think about disabling IPv6 as you are not using it or it was recommended to you, keep attention to the UPDATE. Follow (http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/paulbergson/archive/2009/03/19/disabling-ipv6-on-windows-2008.aspx) to disable it, if really required

UPDATE for IPv6 02.06.2011: Keep in mind that IPv6 will become the future protocol and you should get familiar with it. Also the recommendation from Microsoft is to let IPv6 enabled, as some new features/services or applications already require IPv6 to be enabled. Exchange 2010 and DirectAccess are some examples.

– run dcpromo and follow the wizard to add the 2008 server to an existing domain, make it also Global catalog and DNS server.

– for DNS give the server time for replication, at least 15 minutes. Because you use Active directory integrated zones it will automatically replicate the zones to the new server. Open DNS management console to check that they appear

– if the new machine is domain controller and DNS server run again replmon, dcdiag on both domain controllers. For using netdiag.exe on 2008, NOT 2008 R2, you have to download and install (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=96A35011-FD83-419D-939B-9A772EA2DF90&displaylang=en), ignore the compatibility warning, or extract netdiag.exe only

– Transfer, NOT seize the 5 FSMO roles to the new Domain controller (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801) applies also for 2008/2008R2), FSMO should always be on the newest OS DC

– after transfer of the PDCEmulator role, configure the NEW PDCEmulator to an external timesource and reconfigure the old PDCEmulator to use the domainhierarchie now. Therefore run on the NEW “w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:PEERS /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update” where PEERS will be filled with the ip address or server (time.windows.com) and on the OLD one modify the registry key value “Type” to “Nt5Ds” :  HKLM\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ W32Time\ Parameters\  as w32tm wan’t run with Windows 2000 and stop/start the time service on the old one.

– you can see in the event viewer (Directory service) that the roles are transferred, also give it some time

– reconfigure the DNS configuration on your NIC of the 2008 server, preferred DNS itself, secondary the old one

– if you use DHCP do not forget to reconfigure the scope settings to point to the new installed DNS server

Demoting the old DC(if needed)

– reconfigure your clients/servers that they not longer point to the old DC/DNS server on the NIC

– to be sure that everything runs fine, disconnect the old DC from the network and check with clients and servers the connectivity, logon and also with one client a restart to see that everything is ok

– then run dcpromo to demote the old DC, if it works fine the machine will move from the DC’s OU to the computers container, where you can delete it by hand. Can be that you got an error during demoting at the beginning, then uncheck the Global catalog on that DC and try again

– check the DNS management console, that all entries from the machine are disappeared or delete them by hand if the machine is off the network for ever

– also you have to start AD sites and services and delete the old servername under the site, this will not be done during demotion

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Upgrading an Active Directory Domain from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2”

  1.   Rameshon 28 Jan 2011 at 08:18

    This procedure will work perfectly….i want to clarify we can update this win 2000 server AD to Win 2008 directly….. Microsoft is telling that first we have to update the server from win 2000 to win 2003 then only can update the 2008 server is it?…

    Can u suggest me..plz


  2.   mweberon 28 Jan 2011 at 11:15

    Hello Ramesh,

    if you talk about an INPLACE-UPGRADE, then you have to upgrade first to Windows Server 2003, so the Microsoft statement is of course 🙂 correct.

    My article is about adding an ADDITIONAL Domain Controller to the existing domain.


  3.   ImmIon 22 Feb 2011 at 08:39

    Hello Imml,

    please understand that this blog is NOT for support questions. Therefore please use the following Microsoft Forum as the question belongs to Directory Services:


    Thank you for understanding.


  4.   Imran Pathanon 07 Mar 2011 at 12:02

    Hello Imran Pathan,

    please understand that this blog is NOT for support questions. Therefore please use the following Microsoft Forum if the question belongs to Directory Services:


    For Windows Server General questions please use:


    Thank you for understanding.


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