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Should we migrate to Windows 2000 before Windows 2003?

I have a NT 4.0 single domain with 1 PDC, 1 BDC, 10 W2k-w2k3 servers, and 80 users. The BDC has WINS, DHCP and DNS on it. I would like to move all these services on the BDC to a new server before I migrate to 2003. An in-place upgrade is not really feasible since the hardware may cause problems. Would it be better to migrate these services to Win 2000 server first? What is the best method? This is the only piece on my network that is tricky. Everything else is 2000 or greater already.

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Build a Windows 2000/2003 server first – then migrate the WINS, DHCP and DNS services on to that server. Once that is complete and working correctly, unplug the BDC from the network. Now, upgrade the PDC to Windows 2000/2003 and Active Directory. PRIOR to upgrading the PDC make sure that you have connectivity to your new DNS, otherwise you will run into problems during the upgrade. Once the upgrade completes you can promote the Windows 2000 server with the WINS/DNS services on it to a Domain Controller using the DCPROMO.exe.

This was first published in January 2004

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