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Migrating the Active Directory database to a new domain

Learn how Microsoft's Active Directory Migration Tool can help solve problems when migrating your Active Directory to Windows Server 2003.

I need to migrate the Active Directory database from one domain to a newly created one. The domains are in different forests, and I do not want to go with a domain rename. I need advice on the best migration tool to use from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003, because I keep receiving "network path cannot be found error 53" when using the ADMT tool from Microsoft.
The ADMT is one of the better ones (especially since it is free). Let's look at the issue of the error 53. This is usually an indication of an error in the name resolution. The best way to resolve that is to make the Domain Controllers in the new domain secondary DNS servers for the first domain's DNS zone and vice versa. So you end up with copies of both zones in the DNS of both domains. The next issue can be one of security. If there is a firewall or any packet filtering going on between the two domains, it could result in this type of problem. Check with the networking engineers and see if they can review the firewall or the network logs for issues or rejected packets. The error 53, is very generic and occurs are the networking level -- not the application level. Thus, if you don't resolve the root problem, no tool will work.

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This was first published in December 2004

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