Upgrading from Windows 2003 R2 to Windows 2016 Server

Install a copy of windows 2008 Server

The first thing you will want to do is set the I.P. Address of the network to something static.

From the inital configuration tasks, make sure the time zone is correct, change the name of the server to something helpful like w2k8dcp, download and install updated, and enable remote desktop. This is especially useful if you are running your server inside a V.M. (and you really should).

Next, goto add features, and select desktop experience. Accept to install any required services (ink and handwriting services) wait for the installation to finish. You will notice that the features you just installed require you to restart your server. Go ahead and do so. Note that this reboot will take a few minutes depending on your hardware, and the server will reboot twice in order to finish the installation.

From the Windows 2008 Installer  DVD copy support\adprep.exe to the windows 2003 server.  Open an elevated command prompt and navigate to the folder where you copied adprep.exe, and run the command “adprep /forestprep”. Note for 32 bit systems, you need to copy adprep32.exe

  C:\tmp>adprep /forestprep

The screen will fill up with a lot of ……….. while the command executes, when it finishes, if all goes well it will report “Adprep successfully updated the forest-wide information.

Next execute “adprep /domainprep”

c:\tmp>adprep /domainprep

If you receive the error “Adprep detected that the domain is not in native mode, Adprep has not stopped without making changes” you need to “raise the domain and funtion level”

Finally run “adprep /domainprep /gpprep

c:\tmp>adprep /domainprep /gpprep

Open “Server Manager” and click on change system properties

Enter a Computer description, and click on the change button

Enter a computer name, select “Member of Domain:” and type in your domain name in the sapce provided.

Click the OK button, and enter the Administartor credentials in the appropriate fields, and if all goes well you should be greeted with a “Welcome to yourdomain.com domain”

You will be asked to restart the windows.

Next we need to promote our server to domain controller. Hit Start -> run and type “dcpromo”

Select “Use advanced mode installation” and click next

You will then see a warning about new higher security defaults which might affect some older systems. Read carefully in case you have any legacy system that will be impacted by the new security protocols. Then click next.

In Choose a deplyment configuration, select “Existing forest” and “Add a domain controller to an existing domain

In the next screen, make sure that the domain forest is correct, and under alternate credentials enter a username and password for the domain who is part of the enterprise admins group.

Click next and select the domain for the additional domain controller.

You will receive a prompt telling you that “You will not be able to install a read-only domain controller in this domain because “adprep /rodprep” was not run yet. If you wish to install a read-only d.c. go ahead and run the command on the Windows 2003 server, if not, click the “yes” button to accept the prompt and continue.

In Select a site, leave everything as is and click next

The wizard will now examine the DNS configuration. This may take a while so just relax.

Finally in Additional Domain Controller Options, make sure DNS server and Global catalog are selected, and click next

In the next screen “Install fom Media”, select Replicate data over the network from an existing domain controller

In the next screen select the current DNS server (or let the wizard choose an appropriate domain controller). next

Leave the location of Database, Log Files, and Sysvol untouched and click next

Assign a password to the “Directory Service Restore Mode” you will need this password when the brown stuff hits the fan and you need to restore your directory services. Do not forget this password !

You are now at the summary screen. Check that the summary screen shows what you want your new server to do, and click next.

The new configuration of your active directory will now take place. Depending on the size of the domain.


When the process finishes, you will be asked to restart the server. Open “Active Directory Users and Computers, and you should see all your users and computers replicated from your 2003 server. A look at DNS Manager should also show the replicated DNS entries.

Install windows 2016 Server

Give it a static ip, and a descriptive computer name (W2K16DCP)

Enable RDP


Since we have already done all the preparations on the windows 2003 server, adding the 2016 server will be even more straightforward.

From Server Manager, click on Configure this local server

Check your timzeone, remote management is enabled, remote desktop is enabled, that Ethernet 0 has a static ip, and that windows updates are enabled.

Reboot if asked to

Next check if you can ping you current DC by Name, if not check your network settings, especially the DNS section.

From the server manager dahsboard, choose Add roles and features, and select “Role-Based or feature based installation”. Next

From server selection, select your current server and click Next

From Select server roles select “Active Directory Domain Services”

Leave the features on the next screen as they are, and click Next, and wait for the installation to finish

Go back to server manager, and you will see an exclamation mark in a yellow triangle just to the left of the manage / tools / view / help menu. Click on it, and from the drop down that appears, click on “Promote this server to a domain controller”


From the next screen, select “Add a domain controller to an existing domain”, Specify yourdoman in Domain:, and type in yourdomain’s enterprise administrator credentials (by clicking on the Change button”. The account name must be in the format yourdomain.com\administrator and the password

In the next screen, supply a DSRM password, which you need to keep safe for a very rainy day. You will need this password.

In the next screen, select Update DNS delegation, and click next.

Choose the Root DNS Server in the replicate from : drop down

In the paths screen, leave everything as is and click next.

Click next in the Preparation Options Screen

Review all your options in the Review Options screen

In the prerequisites Check Screen, make sure the last line reads “All prerequisite checks passed successfully, Click ‘Install’ to begin installation.

This will take a few minutes, so you can now sit back and relax. You might see a few warnings cropping up on the screen during the installation. Review them to see if any of them are critical and require your attention.

The server will most likely reboot once the migration finishes. When it comes up again, it will be a DC in your domain



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