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Prerequisites for migrating to Active Directory

James Michael Stewart, Contributor

Many companies are electing to move up to Windows 2000 to take advantage of the power and flexibility that Active Directory offers. However, there are several stumbling blocks in the way that make migrating from legacy systems difficult.

First and foremost, the hardware supporting older OSes is often not powerful enough to support Windows 2000 Professional or Server. Thus, an investment in hardware to upgrade all systems to the minimum (or preferably the recommended) system requirements is an essential first step in the migration.

The next step in the migration is upgrading the OSes to Windows 2000. One clear delineation of upgrade capabilities is that a Microsoft client OS can only be upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional (a client OS) and a Microsoft server OS can only be upgraded to Windows 2000 Server (a server OS).

Another issue is that only Windows NT 3.51 Server and Windows NT 4.0 Server can be directly upgraded to Windows 2000 Server. Any other server OS, such as Windows NT 3.1 Server, must be first upgraded to Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0 before being upgraded to Windows 2000 Server. Windows 95, 98, NT 3.51 Workstation, and NT 4.0 Workstation can be upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional. Any other client OS, such as Windows NT 3.1 Workstation or Windows 3.x, must be upgraded to Windows 98 or Windows NT Workstation before being upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional.


James Michael Stewart is a researcher and writer for

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Lanwrights, Inc.


This was first published in April 2002

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