Tech Tips / Windows 2000 Server / Installation and Configuration

Migration from NT to Windows 2000, part 1

Migration from Windows NT 4 to Windows 2000 can be a very risky process, especially in large, business-critical environments where you can't afford a failed migration or a few days of downtime. The best way to prepare for real migration is to perform a test migration in a lab.

You have two options: Either you perform a so-called in-place migration, where you just upgrade existing Windows NT 4 domain controllers to Windows 2000, or you do a complete migration with new domain controllers and a clean environment.

Let's explore the in-place solution first. You can do in-place migration when you have existing domain controllers capable of running Windows 2000, and you want to migrate a whole domain. To do a test migration, you just take a Backup Domain Controller (BDC) off the real network and put it in the lab. You also want to add additional servers to represent the real-life environment.

You then promote the BDC to Primary Domain Controller (PDC) and upgrade it to Windows 2000. You can upgrade other member servers to Windows 2000 later. What's more important is that all original functionality is preserved after you upgrade to Windows 2000. This includes users' logons, file sharing, printing, and other services.

During this test upgrade, you'll get experience and knowledge of any issues that are waiting for you during real migration. After you thoroughly perform migration in a lab environment, you'll be ready to go into the wild!

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