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How easy is it to reverse an NT4-to-Win2k migration?

We are a little nervous about upgrading our NT4 domain to Windows 2000 Active Directory. We understand the procedure of going from NT4 to 2000 Active Directory, but how easy is it to go back if the results are less than spectacular? Is it as easy as putting the old PDC back in the rack, plugging in the AC, attaching it to the network and turning it on?

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Well -- not quite that easy. You take a BDC offline and if the AD upgrade fails badly, you shut down all of the Windows 2000 AD machines and bring the BDC back online. You then promote the BDC to be the PDC and the NT4 domain is back. HOWEVER, any Windows 2000 server, XP workstation or Windows 2000 workstation that was rebooted after the Windows 2000 upgrade will have recognized that they were now in a Windows 2000 Active Directory domain and automatically altered the way they communicate with the domain controllers. When you drop back to Windows NT4 the Windows 2000/XP/2k workstations will NOT automatically drop back to using LANMAN communications. You will have to remove them from the domain manually, reboot and rejoin the NT4 domain.

This was first published in June 2003

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