Our existing environment includes server A (NT4 PDC), server B (NT4 BDC), server C (NT4 BDC), server D (Win2k member) and server E (Win2k member). We have just purchased a new server F (no OS installed). We want to replace server A with server E and send server A to our remote site. What is the best approach to make server F a DC and server A a BDC?
Your previous answers suggest "... being partial to having a new domain with a pure Windows 2000 machine and not an upgrade) is to upgrade the existing PDC to Windows 2000. Then take the new machine and promote it to a Windows 2000 DC. You will then have to move all of the FSMOs (Flexible Single Master Operations) from the old PDC to this new server. Then you can get rid of the old PDC and all of your users and accounts will be there."
Your initial question doesn't say upgrade -- just that you want to add a new server. If that is all, then simply install server F with Windows NT 4.0 as a BDC. Then use server manager to promote it as the PDC. Server A will be a BDC now, and you may send it to the remote location. If you now want to upgrade to Active Directory and want Server F to be the primary server, then you should install the machine with Windows 2000. Upgrade Server A to be an AD Domain Controller. Run DCPROMO on Server F, then move the FSMO roles to server F. Pack up Server A and ship it out to the remote location.
This was first published in October 2003