Migration From Windows 2003 AD to 2016

Refer to the steps below on Migration From Windows 2003 AD to 2016

Components used

  1. Windows 2003R2 Server with Exchange 2003 SP2 (WIN2003 –
  2. Windows 2016 Server – (WIN2016 –
  3. Windows XP SP3 – (WINXP – DHCP)

Raise Default Forest & Domain Functional Level

Raise Default Domain Functional Level from Windows 2000 Native to 2003 in Active Directory User and Computers

Raise Default Forest Functional Level from Windows 2000 to 2003 in Active Directory Domains and Trusts

Windows 2016 Server as Addtional Domain Controller

  1. Setup a fresh Windows 2016 Server and join to existing AD Domain
  2. Configure it as addtional Domain Controller in existing 2003 AD
#Disable Windows Firewall
Set-NetFirewallProfile -Profile Domain,Public,Private -Enabled False

#Install AD Domain Services 
install-windowsfeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools

#Addtional Domain Controller
$Password = "[email protected][email protected]#$" | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force

Install-ADDSDomainController -DomainName “yongkw.com” `
-InstallDns:$true `
-NoRebootOnCompletion:$false `
-SafeModeAdministratorPassword $Password `

Verification on AD & SysVol Replication

Follow Firewall Ports Required for AD Replication- Verification on Both AD Domain Controllers to verify the AD & SysVol Replication is working fine between Windows 2003 & 2016 AD Domain Controllers

Transferring FSMO Roles to Windows 2016 Domain Controller

Login to Windows 2016 DC, and run the following PowerShell

#Verify the placement of existing FSMO Roles
Get-ADDomain | Select-Object InfrastructureMaster, RIDMaster, PDCEmulator
Get-ADForest | Select-Object DomainNamingMaster, SchemaMaster

#Move all FSMO Roles to Windows 2016 DC
Move-ADDirectoryServerOperationMasterRole -Identity “WIN2016” –OperationMasterRole DomainNamingMaster,PDCEmulator,RIDMaster,SchemaMaster,InfrastructureMaster

Update Directory Access in Exchange 2003

Open Exchange System Manager, and right click on Servers – Lab-WIN03 – Directory Access

Change the Configuration Domain Controller, Domain Controllers & Global Catalog Servers to the new Windows 2016 DC

Uncheck Automatically Discover Servers, and add WIN2016 manually

Decommissioning of Windows 2003 Domain Controller

  1. Remove Windows 2003 Domain Controller with dcpromo
  2. Change the DNS Server to point to Windows 2016 DC prior reboot the server

Verify Exchange 2003 is functioning

  1. Verify all Exchange related services are started
  2. Verify inbound & outbound Email is working fine

Migration of Windows 2003 to 2016 is completed successfully for now.

We will use the lab below to verify the steps required to migrate Exchange 2003 to Office 365 soon.


  1. Windows Server 2019 & Windows 10 1903 failed to join to Windows 2003 AD Domain as SMBv1 is disabled by default

  1. No Network Card Driver found in Windows XP running on VMware Workstation 15.5 Pro

Delete ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000" manually in .vmx file

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