Well, it’s been exactly a month since I last posted a blog here, and this post will detail some of the reasons why I was away. I normally write about two to three posts a week, but it’s been over four weeks since I last posted anything on this blog.

Besides posting great tutorials regularly on this blog, I do have other projects that take away some of my time. I also have a full time job, which takes away roughly eight hours everyday of my time. So, you see, I am a very busy man.

For the past four weeks, I have been helping a small health clinic migrate from a Windows 2000 domain as well as a Windows 2000 domain controller. The business is small, with no full-time IT staff. Everything is run a ¬†shoestring budget so they can’t afford to hire a full-time IT staff.

As you can imaging, the project wasn’t all fun. Moving from a Windows 2000 domain based to 2008 R2 servers and domain level was tricky at times. On day one, I found out that everything was running off that Windows 2000 domain controller.

DHCP, DNS and all the domain critical roles were running of that single machine, the Windows 2000 server.

The plan I outlined was to purchase two servers, not to expensive but good. Then migrate or move all those critical domain services and roles to the new servers by splitting the roles between the two new servers.

I also outlined a robust network infrastructure, wherein two network adapters that were attached to each server would be teamed and split between two network switches, (SwitchA and SwitchB). This will allow for redundancy and increased bandwidth.

So, two servers, four cables (teamed) split between two network switches. Maybe you see the picture.

Now to the fun part.

The first thing I did was introduced the Windows 2008 R2 server as a domain controller in the 2000 domain level. Then move the DHCP role from the 2000 domain controller to the Windows 2008 R2 server. Doing that wasn’t too difficult, but tricky as there’s no easy way to migrate a DHCP server from Windows 2000 to Windows 2008 R2 with all data intact.

After few days of verifying that the DHCP server was functioning OK on the new server, I disable DHCP on the old server began migrating all the domain roles to the new Windows 2008 R2 server. That too, wasn’t bad. It was pretty easy, since it was just a matter of switching domain roles from one DC to another. Below are the five roles that the primary domain controller will have.

  • Schema master
  • Domain naming master
  • RID master
  • PDC emulator
  • Infrastructure master

When the roles were fully transferred to the new Windows 2008 R2 server, I then demoted the Windows 2000 domain controller to a member server and turned off DNS services.

Print and file sharing services were still on the 2000 server but I know those services would still function even on a Windows 2000 member server. I began moving these services one at a time. For file sharing, I introduced Windows Distributed File-system and moved all the shared files and folders into their home home.

Then installed print services on the Windows 2008 R2 server and move all the shared printers to it. This one was the tough one as some of the printers had older drivers which don’t support 64-bit machines. I managed to get them to work.

Right around the same time, I stood up the server Windows 2008 R2 server as a domain controller and upgraded the domain and forest levels to Windows 2008 R2. Everything was working just fine.

With Windows Distributed Filesystems installed and replicating across both servers allows for redundancy. So if a file is deleted on one servers, the other will still have a copy of the deleted file.

Printer services were installed on both servers as well. The old Windows 2000 server was eventually removed disabled from the network.

Everything is functioning so smoothly, that I am able to return to regular posting starting today. That’s it and hope to see you back soon.