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Upgrading servers and workstations to Win2k in an NT4 domain and without AD

We have a network comprising of various desktops that run Win95/98/Me, and servers based on NT 4.0 and Linux. One of them is PDC, two are BDCs and two Linux servers are working as firewall/proxy and DNS. We have a VLAN-based network with all servers in one VLAN, and desktops in various other VLANs, depending upon the locations. These are interconnected through l2 and l3 switches. THE BDC is also running DHCP and WINS. Now we want to migrate to Win2000 but without AD. How should we proceed?

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I assume that you mean that you want to upgrade the servers and workstations to Windows 2000, but do not want to use Active Directory, preferring to stay with the Windows NT 4.0 Domain. You may upgrade each server EXCEPT any BDC or the PDC in the NT 4.0 domain. The Windows 2000 workstation will be happy to operate in the NT 4.0 Domain as well as the other workstations and servers. If you want to ditch the NT 4.0 domain altogether, you can reinstall the PDC and BDCs and standalone systems and operate with your network in a workgroup instead of a domain. In either case you will be missing out on some of the cooler features of AD -- but if your company is sufficiently small or does not leverage management systems for users and resources, it won't be a problem.

This was first published in June 2002

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