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Will WINS, DNS and DHCP port over to Win2k after PDC upgrade?

My network has 11 BDCs. I want to upgrade the network to Win2k. If I first upgrade my PDC running WINS, DNS and DHCP to Win2000 Server with AD:

  1. Do these services all "port over" to Win2k format?
  2. Can the BDCs (all running WINS and DHCP) be upgraded to Win2k with AD?

What pitfalls can I expect?

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When you convert the Windows 2000 machine, the PDC Emulation role is assigned to this machine. The NT 4.0 will see this first Windows 2000 machine as a Windows NT PDC. The other machines will basically be forwarding authentication and change requests to this machine -- so it is in your best interest to upgrade the BDCs as soon as possible.

Note that while you only have this one Windows 2000 DC, you have a single point of failure. If that Windows 2000 DC goes down, all of the other Windows NT 4.0 BDCs will stop functioning correctly. So, it is in your best interest to upgrade at least one other BDC immediately after the PDC. Also, note that File Replication will stop working. You can use Resource Kit tools to replicate your NETLOGON share -- but it is a manual process. Finally, if you have any NT 4.0 system policies in place you will need to convert those over to a group policy.

As a final note, any Windows 2000/2003 servers, Windows 2000 workstations or Windows XP workstations will automatically detect that they are now in an Active Directory. They will convert themselves over to using Kerberos and LDAP as opposed to NTLM authentication methods. If you have to drop back to NT 4.0, or the Windows 2000 DC fails before you have another one in place, these machines will have to be removed from the domain manually and then added back in.

This was first published in September 2003

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