Upgrading 2003 Domain Controller to 2008

Upgrading 2003 Domain Controller to 2008

Windows Server 2003 support is ending July 14, 2015. So it is time to upgrade to the next version. We can’t do in-place upgrades of Windows 2k3 Domain Controllers, however we can introduce 2012 DCs into the environment and then remove the existing DCs when you’re ready.
Let us see how to upgrade Windows 2003 Domain Controller to Windows 2008 Domain Controller (in-place upgrade).

Prerequisites for upgrading to Windows Server 2008.

  • At least 512MB of RAM – preferably a lot more
  • At least a 2GHz processor
  • At least 40GB of Available Hard Disk space


  1. Insert 2008 DVD or mount the ISO. Select Install now.
  2. Navigate to D:\support\adprep.

  3. Make sure you do not have any Windows Server 2000 machines on your network. Now run adprep /forestprep .

  4. You will get a message Adprep successfully updated the forest-wide information.

  5. Now, run adprep /domainprep.

  6. The steps above need to be performed only once on your network. Once you run forestprep and domainprep on your network, all your Domain Controllers are now ready for the upgrade. All you need to do is wait for the Active Directory database to replicate to all your DCs and you are ready to go.
  7. Now, run setup.exe from the DVD. Click Install now.

  8. Select the operating system you want to install and click Next.

  9. Accept Licence terms.
  10. Click Upgrade in the next window.

  11. View the compatibility report and click Next.

  12. Windows upgrade will start and reboot the server many times.
  13. The Windows server 2003 is upgraded to Windows Server 2008 now.
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