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Combine three different NT 4.0 domains into one Windows 2000 domain

I have to migrate and combine three different NT 4.0 domains into one big happy Win2k domain. If I were to upgrade the PDCs, BDCs and member servers of the respective domains, could I then use a migration utility to join them all into one domain rather than working with forests? The goal is to be only one network. If this is more work than necessary, what would be a better solution?

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You basically have two choices, consolidate after or consolidate before. It all depends on where you want to have the Win2k migration work come. If you consolidate first, then you will spend time up front moving a lot of stuff around prior to getting to the Win2k benefits. Consolidating a head of time might give you a better option when constructing a complex Win2k Active Directory infrastructure. It will also give you more planning time.

The other way is to migrate each of the domains to Win2k /AD and then join them together. This throws you into the migration early, which could be a problem if you have not done the right amount of planning. Generally, the consolidation of the domains will be much easier.

This was first published in June 2001

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