Best way to migrate domain controller off of old server to new server

New Contributor

Don't laugh. Have an old Small Business Server 2003 in our home office and want to sunset the machine. Before doing that I want to migrate the Domain Controller to a new Windows Server 2016 machine. I have done some research and I know I can add the new 2016 machine as a second domain controller but will it work with SBS 2003? And just wanted confirmation that if I am able to add the 2016 as a Domain Controller can I then remove the SBS 2003 box completely (obviously once everything else is migrated over) .

3 Replies
best response confirmed by EdwardV (New Contributor)

Yes, it will work.

The prerequisite before introducing the first 2016 domain controller: domain functional level needs to be 2003 or higher.


I'd use dcdiag / repadmin tools to verify health correcting all errors found before starting. Then stand up the new 2016, patch it fully, license it, join existing domain, add active directory domain services, promote it also making it a GC (recommended), transfer FSMO roles over (optional), transfer pdc emulator role (optional), use dcdiag / repadmin tools to again verify health, when all is good you can decommission / demote old one.




It worked. SBS domain was 100% clean when I ran dcdiag and repadmin. Had a little fun when an error popped up saying it could not continue due to a compatibility issue with the SBS domain controller being a 2000 version. Had to do a one way update in two locations and then it worked. This SBS box has been running basically non stop since 2009. Time for it to rest. Thanks!!

Glad to hear, you're welcome.