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Can we move our BDC to Windows 2000 and demote our NT4 PDC to an NT4 BDC?

We going from NT to Windows 2000 and I need your expertise. I have a PDC (primary domain controller) and BDC (backup domain controller) that need to be converted. We are planning on doing the BDC first then leave the PDC in NT for now but demote it to a BDC. Is this the proper thing to do?

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You will need to promote the BDC to PDC first. Then upgrade to Windows 2000. You will also want to consider getting another machine and building it up as a BDC prior to performing any Windows 2000 upgrade. This can be a workstation on which you have installed Windows NT server. Then take that server offline and perform the upgrades to the regular machines. This gives you a quick way to back out if necessary.

Note that if you have to back out, any Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstations/servers will need to rejoin the NT domain to properly authenticate. Windows NT, Windows 98, etc. won't know the difference.

This was first published in February 2003

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