How can I upgrade a NT 4 Domain to Active Directory?

Created 2001-03-15 by Rainer Gerhards.

Question: I have 1 PDC and 3 BDC. I would like to add a Windows 2000 Server and make it the PDC.  Everything I find only refers to Upgrading an NT 4 Box.  Can't you just add a new Win2k server and make it the PDC?


Unfortunately, you can not install Windows 2000 as a new PDC into the existing domain. You can, though, install a fresh Active Directory (separate domain), but this will not bring the old account information in - something you definitely will have.

My best experience to migration to AD is doing the following:

  • install the new machine as NT 4 BDC (YES!)
  • promote it to PDC
  • shut down former PDC
  • in-place upgrade the new PDC - be happy!

If something goes wrong, you simply turn off the new machine (now the PDC), turn on the old one and re-promote it to PDC (you can do that without the other PDC running). If you do that, be sure not to turn on the new machine in that network before it is reinstalled.

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