Planning and Upgrading File Systems and Disk Partitions
Often when Windows NT 4.0 Servers where installed without hardware fault-tolerant equipment such as RAID controllers, the Windows NT 4.0 disk manager was used to create volume sets, mirrored sets, stripe sets, and stripe sets with parity. Because the Windows Server 2003 operating system does not support Windows NT 4.0 disk manager configurations, you must modify software-based disk configurations before performing an in-place upgrade of a Windows NT Server to Windows Server 2003. Perform the following
If Windows NT 4.0 disk administrator was used to create a mirrored set for redundancy prior to upgrading to Windows Server 2003, the Windows NT 4.0 mirrored set must be broken to install Windows Server 2003 successfully.
Perform a Backup of Server Information and Data
Before performing any disk maintenance or disk reconfiguration, perform a backup of server information and data.
Volume Sets, Striped Sets, and Striped Sets with Parity
If you are performing an in-place upgrade of a server that has been configured using Windows NT 4.0 volume sets, stripe sets, or stripe sets with parity, the sets must be deleted and new fault-tolerant drive configurations will need to be configured before an upgrade to Windows Server 2003 can be completed successfully.
Don't Delete All the Data from the Volume
Performing the task of deleting a volume set, stripe set, or stripe set with parity will delete all the data from the volume.
Back up all server data prior to deleting any type of volume or stripe sets.
Because any upgrade from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 using volume sets, stripe sets, or stripe sets with parity requires a reconfiguration of hardware, you should build a new Windows NT 4.0 domain controller, promote this system to the domain's primary domain controller, and conduct the in-place upgrade on the new system.
Manually Synchronize All Domain Controllers in the Domain
When promoting a new Windows NT primary domain controller, it is good practice to manually synchronize all domain controllers in the domain.
Allow enough time for synchronization to occur and validate this by reviewing the domain controller's system event logs.
By adding this new domain controller to the source domain without unsupported volume and stripe set disk configurations, you can conduct the in-place upgrade without being required to take any domain controllers offline during the upgrade.
When the new domain controller is promoted to become a Windows NT 4.0 primary domain controller, the old server will become a backup domain controller and a copy of the Windows NT 4.0 SAM database and its information will
Avoiding Failures and Disruptions During Server Upgrades
Commonly overlooked server hardware and operating system service packs can cause unrecoverable failures and lengthy downtime when upgrading servers. Understanding the hardware being used for upgrading and installing the proper service
Planning for Failed Hardware
Whether upgrading existing server hardware to
With a detailed hardware inventory, you can plan and purchase spare components such as hard
Windows NT Upgrade Paths and Service Packs
When preparing a network for upgrade, you must plan to upgrade all Windows NT Server operating systems, taking into account the operating system version. With many organizations supporting various versions of the Windows NT 4.0 Server operating system, you must determine whether the existing installations of Windows NT 4.0 meet the minimum Microsoft requirements for upgrading as well as minimum Service Pack revisions required for an upgrade to Windows Server 2003.
Windows NT Upgrade Paths
Not all Windows NT 4.0 server operating system platforms can be upgraded to just any Windows 2003 Server family platform. To understand the different upgrade paths and options available, look at Table 14.2. This will assist you in planning the best approach to implement your design and design needs.
Table 14.2. Microsoft Supported Upgrade Paths
Meeting Windows NT Service Pack Requirements
The Windows NT 4.0 Server upgrade paths are only supported by Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5 or later. It is always best to install the latest service pack and allow time to evaluate the service pack installation by reviewing server logs and server performance before upgrading.
Conduct a detailed review of all servers being upgraded in the migration plan. Determine any required service pack installations needed and schedule a service pack upgrade for any existing Windows NT 4.0 servers not meeting the minimum requirements. As a good practice, allow these systems to run long enough to evaluate their performance and stability to ensure that they are not experiencing any issues prior to performing any upgrades to Windows Server 2003.
Installing a Clean Copy of Windows Server 2003
Whenever upgrading existing Windows NT Servers, Microsoft recommends installing a clean copy of Windows Server 2003 as a best practice whenever possible.
Further information about service packs requirements and server upgrade paths can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/whyupgrade/supportedpaths.mspx.