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How do I add a brand-new server to my network environment as the PDC?

In my network environment, I have seven NT 4.0 servers (one PDC and six BDC). The PDC is the one we use as our printer server. Ultimately, I'd like to add a brand-new Server 2003 and make it the PDC. What is the easiest/most efficient way of doing this? I was thinking of adding the 2003 box as a BDC, allowing it to replicate users names and policies, demoting the old PDC (4.0 Box) to a BDC, then promoting the 2003 box to PDC. I've had no luck finding information. Everyone seems to be upgrading their 4.0 boxes to 2003. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Sorry Ken, this isn't possible. A Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 machine cannot be made a BDC in an NT 4.0 domain. In order to make this work you would have to upgrade the NT 4.0 PDC to Windows 2003, add the new Windows 2003 server into the domain, transfer the FSMO roles to the new Windows 2003 machine, run DCPROMO on the previous PDC, remove the old PDC from the domain, upgrade all the NT 4.0 BDCs to Windows 2003, then raise the operational level of the AD to Windows 2003 Native. And don't forget about dealing with Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 if you have it!

This was first published in June 2005

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