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To migrate Active Directory from Windows 2003 to Windows 2016 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Team,

    AD in my Organization is running on Windows 2003.

    Please let me know if we can directly upgrade from Windows 2003 to Windows 2016 OR do i have to follow any upgrade path.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Edited by K 2 Thursday, November 10, 2016 8:48 AM
    Thursday, November 10, 2016 8:48 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your post.

    Based on my research, currently there is no such a step by step guide to migrate Active Directory from Windows 2003 to Windows 2016. Actually, you could refer to the following article, I think most steps are the same.

    Step-By-Step: Active Directory Migration from Windows Server 2003 to Windows
    Server 2012 R2

    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/canitpro/2014/04/01/step-by-step-active-directory-migration-from-windows-server-2003-to-windows-server-2012-r2/

    Best Regards,

    Alvin Wang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Monday, November 14, 2016 12:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi

     For Server 2016 DC functional level needs to be server 2008 and higher.So first you should migrate from server 2003 to server 2008/2012 then migrate to Server 2016.

    Refer to this ; https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/identity/ad-ds/windows-server-2016-functional-levels


    This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties or guarantees,and confers no rights. Best regards Burak Uğur

    Monday, November 14, 2016 12:56 PM
  • Hi,

    You can deploy the first DC Under Windows 2016, with another domain controller that runs Windows Server 2003 in same domain. The domain and forest functional level  Windows Server 2003 is required to install the first DC un der 2016.



    But it recommended to remove DC 2003 because it not supported by Microsoft and raise the Domain and forest functional level to 2008 or higher and migrate FRS for sysvol replication to DFS-R.



    Monday, November 14, 2016 2:21 PM
  • Hi,

    Just checking in to see if the information provided was helpful. Please let us know if you would like further assistance.

    Best Regards,

    Alvin Wang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 3:35 AM
    Moderator
  • Which answer is true?

    Does Windows 2003 AD migrate to Windows 2016?

    I have an old Windows 2003 server as PDC and I bought a new HP server.

    Should I install Windows 2016 or 2012 on it?

    After AD migration the old 2003 server will be removed.

    Thanks


    I Gavio

    Sunday, April 9, 2017 7:01 AM
  • Which answer is true?

    Does Windows 2003 AD migrate to Windows 2016?

    I have an old Windows 2003 server as PDC and I bought a new HP server.

    Should I install Windows 2016 or 2012 on it?

    After AD migration the old 2003 server will be removed.

    Thanks


    I Gavio

    Hi,

    You can add a domain controller 2016 in the same domain as another domain controller 2003.

    To add new domain controller windows 2016 the FFL must be 2003 or higher.


    Please don't forget to mark the correct answer, to help others who have the same issue. Thameur BOURBITA MCSE | MCSA My Blog : http://bourbitathameur.blogspot.fr/

    Sunday, April 9, 2017 7:50 AM
  • Which answer is true?

    Does Windows 2003 AD migrate to Windows 2016?

    I have an old Windows 2003 server as PDC and I bought a new HP server.

    Should I install Windows 2016 or 2012 on it?

    After AD migration the old 2003 server will be removed.

    Thanks


    I Gavio

    Hi,

    You can add a domain controller 2016 in the same domain as another domain controller 2003.

    To add new domain controller windows 2016 the FFL must be 2003 or higher.


    Please don't forget to mark the correct answer, to help others who have the same issue. Thameur BOURBITA MCSE | MCSA My Blog : http://bourbitathameur.blogspot.fr/

    I'm not sure I understand the answer. Bottom line. We have 2003 domain forest level. We have several 2003 domain controllers. We want to add new Domain Controllers running Server 2016 and keep the forest level at 2003. Will that work just by installing a 2016 server on the domain and then following the normal promote to DC steps? Once the 2016 DC is online, will everything continue to function as normal in the 2003 forest level?

    Thanks in advance!

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:39 PM
  • This step by step YouTube video shows that it will work; I highly recommend it. Migration Windows Server 2003 AD To Windows Server 2016.

    Looks to be the same as the server 2012 migration but with a few extra warnings.

    • Proposed as answer by al_mitee Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:34 PM
    Monday, June 5, 2017 3:23 PM
  • Thanks. It does in fact work, with the warnings you mentioned. I have successfully added three 2016 domain controllers into a 2003 environment with no issue.
    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:26 PM
  • I'm curious if you also have demoted any of the 2003 DC after doing the migration.  That's the part that has the potential to have more problems IMO.
    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:29 PM
  • Yes. I demoted three of the five 2003 domain controllers. No problems there either. Dcpromo worked without a hitch. I even assigned the demoted DCs names and IPs to the 2016 DCs. The last piece will be to move the FSMO role from the first of the last two remaining 2003 DC and then demote those last two 2003 DCs. 
    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:36 PM
  •  We have several 2003 domain controllers. 

    No, it would not work. The 2003 DCs need to be gone as first step.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-ds/windows-server-2016-functional-levels

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.


    Monday, June 5, 2017 4:58 PM
  • ? It does work. I've done it. That's what the few previous posts were referring to.
    Monday, June 5, 2017 7:57 PM
  • ? It does work. I've done it. That's what the few previous posts were referring to.

    If you don't mind running a domain in an unsupported environment then may be Ok for you but the official response is it is not supported to do so. You may have to call in to product support if you want the specific details of why it should not be done.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Monday, June 5, 2017 8:04 PM
  • It's not about wanting to run a domain in an unsupported environment. Show of hands, how many IT guys were in charge of keeping a network on 2003? If anything, IT has been waiting for the green light to migrate to a new server for years (like I have).

    Bottom line, it does work, because I did it today and the migration was flawless. To say otherwise because it's not supported is simply wrong and arrogant.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:16 PM
  • Bottom line, it does work, because I did it today and the migration was flawless. To say otherwise because it's not supported is simply wrong and arrogant.

    Was not disputing your claim. Just pointing out the facts. An unsupported move.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:21 PM
  • Amen.
    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:33 PM
  • The question for this post was whether it WOULD WORK, not whether it WAS SUPPORTED. Not supporting something, in a lot of cases, is a company's lazy way to deal with issues and is a complete cop out IMHO.

    Like the user said above, which was the exact same situation I was in, some environments could not be migrated until now for various reasons. 2016 DCs introduced into a 2003 environment work fine. 



    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:43 PM
  • The question for this post was whether it WOULD WORK, not whether it WAS SUPPORTED. Not supporting something, in a lot of cases, is a company's lazy way to deal with issues and is a complete cop out IMHO.

    Like the user said above, which was the exact same situation I was in, some environments could not be migrated until now for various reasons. 2016 DCs introduced into a 2003 environment work fine. 



    In response to the original question; it should not be done that way (with existing 2003 DCs) as not a supported move. Nothing will stop you from trying so proceed at your own risk.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:48 PM
  • Hi,

    FYI..Even below article also confirm that Windows 2003 DFL and FFL are supported, its not mentioning anywhere as not supported scenario.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-ds/windows-server-2016-functional-levels

    For customers who need additional time to evaluate moving their DFL & FFL from 2003, the 2003 DFL and FFL will continue to be supported with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 provided all domain controllers in the domain and forest are either on Windows Server 2008, 2012 or 2016."

    The Windows Server 2003 domain and forest functional levels continue to be supported, but organizations should raise the functional level to Windows Server 2008 (or higher if possible) to ensure SYSVOL replication compatibility and support in the future. In addition, there are many other benefits and features available at the higher functional levels higher. See the following resources for more information:


    Regards:Mahesh

    Monday, July 17, 2017 8:07 AM
  • Burak, if i am installing a new MS 2016 file server to replace the existing MS 2003 file server, will i have to migrate from the 2003 to 2008 or 2012?

    Lavonda Smith

    Monday, November 13, 2017 2:33 PM
  • Burak, if i am installing a new MS 2016 file server to replace the existing MS 2003 file server, will i have to migrate from the 2003 to 2008 or 2012?

    Lavonda Smith

    Since a new topic better to start a new thread (question)

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Monday, November 13, 2017 2:38 PM
  • Yes you can install 2016 as ADC by raising forest functional level . Only its not supported from Microsoft you can transfer all roles and raise the domain functional level to 2008 to avoid replication issues .
    Sunday, December 3, 2017 7:33 AM
  • Have you managed to demote ALL the 2003 domain controllers, leaving your 2016 DCs running at 2003 DFL?
    Sunday, December 31, 2017 4:09 PM
  • Correct,I agree with you.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2019 12:06 PM
  • Hi,

    You may refer this below link to do all your migration process from Win-2K3 to Win-2K16.

    Go to - wintips(dot)org

    how-to-migrate-active-directory-server-2003-to-active-directory-server-2016-step-by-step

    Thursday, July 25, 2019 6:34 PM