Introduce a Member Server That Runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Updated: November 19, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

You can upgrade your Active Directory environment in the following ways:

  • Introduce newly installed domain controllers that run Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 into the forest, and then retire or upgrade all existing domain controllers.

  • Perform an in-place upgrade of all existing domain controllers.

    If you want to upgrade the operating system of a Windows 2000 domain controller to Windows Server 2008, you must first perform an in-place upgrade of a Windows 2000 operating system to a Windows Server 2003 operating system. Then, perform an in-place upgrade of this Windows Server 2003 operating system to a Windows Server 2008 operating system. A direct Windows 2000–to–Windows Server 2008 operating system upgrade is not supported.

    The information in this guide also applies to Windows Server 2008 R2. If you perform an in-place upgrade of the existing domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 in the forest to Windows Server 2008 R2, remember that Windows Server 2008 R2 is an x64-based operating system. If your server is running an x64-based version of Windows Server 2003, you can successfully perform an in-place upgrade of this computer's operating system to Windows Server 2008 R2. If your server is running an x86-based version of Windows Server 2003, you cannot upgrade this computer to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Use the following procedure to introduce a member server that runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 into your environment.

Membership in the local Administrator account, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

  1. Insert the operating system DVD into the DVD drive, and then select the option to install the operating system.

    As an alternative, you can use an unattended installation method.

  2. Use the NTFS file system to format the partitions.

    Enter the computer name, static IP address, and subnet mask that are specified by your design. Enter a strong administrator password.

  3. Enable Remote Desktop to enable administrators to log on remotely, if necessary.

    To enable Remote Desktop, in Server Manager, click Configure Remote Desktop, and then click Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure) or Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure).

You can introduce this member server to any domain in the forest. However, if your forest root domain is a dedicated root, introduce the member server into the forest root domain. Placing this member server into a dedicated root domain has the lowest impact on your environment because users generally do not log on to a dedicated forest root domain. Therefore, user authentications are minimal.

After you prepare your forest and domains for the upgrade (see Prepare Your Infrastructure for Upgrade), install AD DS on the new member server (see Install Active Directory Domain Services on the Member Server That Runs Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2).

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