- Build you new hardware (we will call it NEWDC) using Windows NT 4.0 SP5 or better. Build the NEWDC as a BDC in your existing domain.
- Take the old PDC and POWER IT OFF. Remove it from the network and leave it in a closet until you are happy with you new Active Directory.
- Promote NEWDC to be the PDC in the NT 4.0 Domain. (This can be done, since there is no PDC in the Domain.)
- Plan you DNS, DHCP Services, Active Directory Structure
- Upgrade NEWDC to Windows 2000 and Active Directory
- Upgrade the other DCs in the Domain to Windows 2000 as soon as you are satisfied that the NEWDC and the Active Directory are stable.
At this point, if the AD fails, or is not what you wanted, you can shut it off, pull the old PDC out and put it back in the network.
- If all is well, switch the AD to NATIVE MODE.
- You may now redeploy the old PDC after you format and rebuild it.
This was first published in March 2002