Active Directory: Active Directory Upgrade - High Level Steps

Active Directory: Active Directory Upgrade - High Level Steps

Here are the high level steps which you can use to upgrade the Active Directory.  


Steps :

1.  Upgrade the schema using correct version of OS – Adprep

     Reference -

Note - Windows Server 2008 R2 includes a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version of Adprep.exe. The 64-bit version runs by default. If you want  to run one of the Adprep.exe commands on a 32-bit computer, use the 32-bit version of Adprep.exe. It is called Adprep32.exe. In Windows 2008 R2, it is located in the \Support\Adprep folder.

You can ignore the following message. However, if you are planning to install RODC later, you need perform ADPREP/RODCPREP first. First Windows 2008 DC cannot be a Read Only Domain Controller (RODC). 


2.  Verify the schema version

Note - You can verify the schema version using dsquery * cn=schema,cn=configuration,dc=sivarajan,dc=com -scope base -attr objectVersion command. The following table lists the Active Directory Schema and the corresponding Object Version:

Active Directory Object Version
Windows 2000 13
Windows 2003 30
Windows 2003 R2 31
Windows 2008 44
Windows 2008 R2 47
Windows 8 Beta 52
Windows 2012 56
Windows 2012 R2 69

***ObjectVersion 39 - Please refer 

3.  Install a new server with correct version of OS and join this server to the existing domain.

4.  Perform DCPRMO on this server and select Additional Domain Controller for an existing Domain option.

     Beginning with Windows Server 2012, you can install AD DS using Windows PowerShell the Install-ADDSDomainController command.

     Reference - 

     Reference PowerShell -

     Note - If you are using Active Directory Integrated (ADI) DNS, it will get replicated as part of the Active Directory replication.  

5.  If you are planning to decommission the old servers, you need transfer FSMO roles, DHCP etc to the new server.

Note - You can identify the FSMO role DC information using Netdom /Query FSMO command.

   Reference FSMO

   DHCP -

6.  You can remove (demote) a domain controller using DCPROMO command and again, since WS2012 also possible with PowerShell.

    Reference -

    Reference PowerShell - 

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  • you forgot the comamnd adprep /domainprep /gpprep and adprep /rodcprep when you promote server 2008 or 2008 r2. For Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, the schema update it's automatically

  • Schema Isolation does not recomended from Microsoft for this but I have done Windows 2003 to Windows 2008/2008 R2 with Schema Isolation . Those are on productions & all is well now.

  • Very good info - to-the-point. I like the brevity, with still enough detail in the high-level overview - well done.

  • Straight to the point :) well done..

  • Balaji M Kundalam edited Revision 45. Comment: Removed a beta entry.

  • Hi Thanks for such a nice article. As said by all the article is really very effective and usefulness. This article has stated how to step up steeply the active directory. Well apart from this i would love to read how to configure an audit policy also for the same. During today at active directory the most occurring problem is for auditing also. If this is stated in a proper manner then most probably it would be a great help to all. At present third party tools are only the best source for this.

    And thanks again for this wonderful article.

  • Hi Santosh, Thanks for such a nice article and I appreciate your efforts. I would like to add one more link at Point 4.

  • hello, I did a german Translation, you can find it here:

  • Good Article

  • Guowen Su edited Revision 31. Comment: Corrected the netdom query to netdom /query

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