How can I create a new Active Directory domain in a new forest when upgrading to Windows 2003?

Expert Laura E. Hunter shows a reader how he can upgrade to Windows Server 2003 without creating a brand new forest and domain.

I have a simple Windows NT domain in one location with 60 user accounts configured as shown.
1- PDC (NT4.0 sp6a)
1- BDC (NT4.0 sp6a)
1- 2000 member server.

Here is my question: If I upgrade my PDC to a Windows 2003 server should I create it as a new domain in a new forest?...

My current domain name is welkernet.com and I am not sure if the new 2003 DC should have the same domain name or a different one.

You can perform an in-place upgrade from NT4 to Windows Server 2003 without needing to create a brand new forest and domain. I would recommend installing a new NT4 server and temporarily configuring it as your PDC so that you are performing the upgrade on a "clean" machine. See the upgrade center here for white papers and details on the NT4-2003 upgrade process.

This was first published in February 2006

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