In this article we are going to show you how to upgrade Windows Server 2003 R2 Active Directory to Windows Server 2012 R2. The migration procedure is very straight forward than the previous version of migration from Windows NT to Windows 2000 Server. It was really difficult to migrate Windows NT domain to Windows 2000 Server but now it is very easy to migrate from 2003 to 2008 and 2012.
In our case we have one Windows 2003 R2 Active Directory Domain and we will migrate it to Windows 2012 R2. Following steps can be applied to migrate Windows 2008 Active Directory to Windows 2012 R2.
- Actively serving Windows Server 2003 R2 Domain Controller
- Server 2003 Forest functional level
- An additional server or Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2012 R2
- Setup and install your Windows Server 2012 R2 machine
- Configure the new server's IP address to correspond to the target domain and ensure the existing Domain Controllers, where DNS is installed and configured, are visible by your new Windows Server 2012 R2 install.
Promote a new Server 2012 R2 as an additional domain controller.
Unlike previous versions of Windows Server the use of the dcpromo command has been dropped from Server 2012 R2. To promote a 2012 R2 server you must use the wizard provided by Server Manager.
Open ServerManager and Add Active Directory Domain Servicesand DNS roles as shown in image below.
Click on the notifications icon and select the option to promote the server to a domain controller under Post-deployment configuration.
Continue with the rest of the wizard to promote the server, and checking both DNS and Global Catalog options. Since the process itself is pretty much straightforward I won’t include screenshots for every step involved here.
Click [Add a domain controller to an existing domain] enter domain name under Domain box and Click Select to search domain.
Enter Username and Password to access iCracy.com
Enter DSRM password and Click Next
This wizard will perform forest preparation to update Schema, Click Next
This is prerequisites check and passed successfully. Click Install
Installation started. It will take several minutes to complete, longer than usually domain installation because its need to update forest schema first. Upon completion machine will be rebooted automatically.
Well, my additional domain is ready now. Lets perform remaining tasks to complete active directory migration.
From ServerManager > Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers > Right Click on domain and Click Operation Masters
As you can see our RID, PDC and Infrastructure master roles holds win2k3-r2 machine which is our Windows 2003 R2 forest domain. We need to transfer all three roles to win2k12-r2. Click [Change] to transfer RID master.
Click PDC > Click [Change]
Click Infrastructure > Click [Change]
Now you can see we have transferred all three roles to our Win2k12-r2 server.
Next step to transfer Domain Naming Operation Master: From ServerManager > Tools > Active Directory Domain and Trust > Right Click on domain and Click Operation Masters
Domain Naming Operation Master roles transferred completed. Click Close
Next step to transfer Schema Master Role: Now move to Win2k3-r2 server to perform this task.
Run > regsvr32.exe schmmgmt.dll
Open mmc to access Schema Management as show in image below. Right Click on Active Directory Schema > Click Change Domain Controller
Enter Win2k12-r2.iCracy.com and Click OK
Right Click Active Directory Schema > Click Operation Master
Schema Master Role transferred successfully. Click Close
Now we can demote our Windows 2003 R2 domain as we don’t need this anymore.
Active Directory Migration from Windows 2003 R2 to Windows 2012 R2 completed. Please DNS Information for client accordingly.
If you are performing such a migration in a production environment with multiple domain controllers then always remember to promote an additional server as a Server 2012 R2 domain controller, especially after transferring the FSMO roles to another.
This will then allow you to demote any older domain controllers that are no longer required, giving you the ability to then raise the Domain and Forest Functional levels.