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Will a mix of Win2k DCs and NT4 BDCs cause problems?

I am currently planning an upgrade of an NT4 domain of a PDC (primary domain controller) and two BDCs (backup domain controllers) to Windows 2000. I intend to upgrade the PDC to 2000 first, add a brand new server and install 2000 on that. Then, at some point in the future, either upgrade the old BDCs to 2000 or replace them with new servers. Will this running in mixed mode with 2000 DCs and NT4 BDCs cause any problems, or will I have to change the BDCs to member servers/upgrade to 2000 at the same time? I need to keep the BDCs as they are, as we need to serve profiles from them to Win9x clients, but want newer 2000/XP clients to benefit from group policy.

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In mixed mode, some of the AD features will not be available. Also, replication will not work. Thus, if you are using logon scripts the NETLOGON share will no longer be kept in synch. Windows 2000 machines can still server profiles to Win9x clients. In addition, you can install the DSClient on the Win9x clients to allow them to use some of the AD features like Windows XP clients do.

This was first published in June 2003

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