Re: Documentation for simple NT4 to 2003

to go from NT4 to W2K3 AD you have 2 possibilities:
(1) upgrade NT4 domain to AD
(2) migrate contents NT4 domain to AD

The easiest way for you IMHO is to do (1)

I once wrote the following. Not all may apply to your situation or is
needed, but you can use it as you like. You'll get the idea. Hope it is a
start for you

How To Upgrade a Windows NT 4.0-Based PDC to a Windows Server 2003-Based
Domain Controller

Upgrading from Windows NT Server 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 white paper

If you want to keep the same domain and its name you could do an in-place
upgrade of the domain by:

* introducing two additional NT4 BDCs (fresh installed - desktops will be

* Introduce two fresh installed W2K3 member servers to the domain and
install and configure DNS (with DNS zones and DDNS), WINS (and DHCP if
needed) on it (these will be promoted to DC later on)

* Configure the NT4Emulator and NeutralizeNT4Emulator registry keys on the
w2k3 member servers. Reboot the server (see: &

* Point all servers the new DNS/WINS servers in their TCP/IP settings

* Promote on the fresh installed NT4 BDCs to a PDC and sync the domain

* Configure the NT4Emulator and NeutralizeNT4Emulator registry keys on the
new NT4 PDC. Reboot the server (see: &

* shutdown the other fresh installed NT4 BDC and keep that as a safe measure

* Upgrade the new NT4 PDC to a W2K3 DC and choose during the AD install for
Forest functional level Windows Server 2003 Interim

* promote both w2k3 member servers to DCs and after that make both DCs a GC

* Transfer the FSMO roles from the upgraded w2k3 DC to one of the fresh
installed W2K3 servers (now DCs)

* Configure the DNS zones to be AD integrated and configure secure DDNS

* Demote the upgraded w2k3 DC to a member server and remove from the domain

* If everything is OK remove the NT4 BDCs from the domain and cleanup
computer accounts

* If everything is OK remove the NT4Emulator and NeutralizeNT4Emulator
registry keys from the fresh installed w2k3 servers (now DCs). Reboot the
servers one by one. If you have w2k/wxp/w2k3 clients and/or servers these
will start using kerberos authentication as soon as these the w2k3 DCs.
These clients/servers were not able to see them because the w2k3 DCs were
emulating NT4 DC behavior to prevent upgrading the secure channel to
kerberos and stay with NTLM. If you would not have done this and you wanted
to revert back to the NT4 DCs and thus removing the W2K3 DCs, you needed to
re-add each w2k/wxp/w2k3 clients and/or servers to the domain

* If everything is OK increase the domain and forest functional level to
windows server 2003

REMARK: the use of the NT4Emulator registry on the DCs also prevents
W2K/WXP/W2K3 clients/servers to apply GPOs. That key is just a safe measure
so the first W2K3 DC is not overloaded. The other safe measure is to first
test everything using NTLM authentication and then switch to Kerberos by
removing the keys (NT4Emulator and NeutralizeNT4Emulator) from the DCs

There is more to it then this, so make sure you look at:

If you also have exchange, you need to take care of that to!



# Jorge de Almeida Pinto # MVP Windows Server - Directory Services

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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always test before implementing!

"BruceBrad" <BruceBrad@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I want to migrate a simple NT domain (one fileserver) to Windows 2003
active directory (one fileserver on new hardware), while providing
minimal disruption to users. Where should I start reading?

Most of the documentation I've found so far assumes that you want to
upgrade rather than move to new hardware (unfortunately my new hardware
doesn't have drivers for NT), or focusses on much more complicated
scenarios. (Also, much of the documentation previous posts on this
group have referred to has now been removed).