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Document the Existing Hardware Configuration

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Review and document the existing hardware configuration of each domain controller that you plan to upgrade to Windows Server 2003. Use this information to identify the domain controllers in your environment that you can upgrade to Windows Server 2003 and the domain controllers that do not meet the hardware requirements for Windows Server 2003. Retain at least one domain controller that does not meet Windows Server 2003 hardware requirements to serve as a rollback server in the event that you must roll back your deployment.

If the PDC does not meet the hardware requirements, you can transfer the PDC role to a backup domain controller (BDC) that does meet the hardware requirements and upgrade it. If none of your Windows NT 4.0 domain controllers meet Windows Server 2003 hardware requirements, install a Windows NT 4.0 BDC on a computer that does meet the hardware requirements for a domain controller that is running Windows Server 2003 and transfer the PDC role to it.

You can also add a Windows Server 2003–based member server to a Windows NT 4.0 domain at any time before you upgrade to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory because Windows Server 2003–based member servers can operate within a Windows NT 4.0 environment. You can install Active Directory on the member server after you upgrade the PDC.

For more information about the hardware requirements of domain controllers in a Windows Server 2003 domain, see "Planning Domain Controller Capacity" in this book. To determine whether your hardware configuration is compatible with Windows Server 2003, see the Windows Server Catalog link on the Web Resources page at

For a worksheet to assist you in documenting your existing domain controller hardware configuration, see "Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Configuration" (DSSUPNT_2.doc) or "Windows NT 4.0 Domain Controller Documentation" (DSSUPNT_5.xls) on the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD (or see "Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Configuration" or "Windows NT 4.0 Domain Controller Documentation" on the Web at

Example: Documenting the Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Configuration

Figure 8.5 shows an example of a Hardware Configuration worksheet for the Windows NT 4.0–based domain controllers in the EAST domain for Trey Research.

Figure 8.5   Example of a Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Configuration Worksheet

Windows NT 4.0 Hardware Configuration Worksheet

Domain controllers BOS-EAST-DC02 and WDC-EAST-DC02 do not meet the minimum memory requirements for a Windows Server 2003–based domain controller. Therefore, Trey Research has determined that BOS-EAST-DC02 will be used as the Windows NT 4.0 rollback server if a problem occurs during the in-place upgrade process and WDC-EAST-DC02 will be assigned as a member server in the Windows Server 2003 forest. All other Windows NT 4.0–based domain controllers are capable of supporting Windows Server 2003 Active Directory.

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