Windows Server Migration 2003 to 2016

MIGRATION 2003 TO 2016.jpg


This article will give you the guidance to perform server migration from Windows server 2003 to Windows Server 2016. To make things easier entire tutorial is divided into 5 steps.

  1. Prepare Server 2003 for Migration
  2. Install Active Directory and promote (Server 2016)
  3. Confirm Replication & DNS in Server 2003 and 2016
  4. Transfer FSMO roles to the new server (Server 2016)
  5. Uninstall Old DC (Server 2003)

01. Prepare Server 2003 for Migration

In the Server 2003, Raise domain and forest functional levels to Windows Server 2003

Server 2003 AD-2017-02-01-10-17-43.png
Raise Domain Functional Level
Server 2003 AD-2017-02-01-10-22-32.png
Raise Forest Functional Level

02. Install Active Directory and promote (Server 2016)

Configure appropriate network settings. (Keep in mind that after server migration DNS server will be changed)

Join Server 2016 to the existing domain

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-01-11-03-01.png

Install Active Directory



Select Active Directory Domain Services and DNS server





After Installation completes Select Promote This Server to a Domain Controller


Keep the default Selection Add a domain controller to existing domain..

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-01-19-02-32.png

Type DSRM password






Click Install and Wait for a bit until installation completes and restarts


03. Confirm Replication & DNS in Server 2003 and 2016

Replicate using Active Directory Sites and Services

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-01-19-53-34.png
AD Sites and Services in Server 2016
AD Sites and Services in Server 2003

Check DNS

Server 2016 DNS
Server 2003 DNS

04. Transfer FSMO roles to the new server (Server 2016)

There are 5 FSMO roles which you have to Transfer From server 2003 to the new server 2016. You can do that either using powershell commands or GUI.

  • Schema master
  • Domain naming master
  • RID master
  • PDC emulator
  • Infrastructure master

Type Netdom Query FSMO powershell command in the new server 2016 to check the current FSMO roles and their owner

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-01-19-38-39.png

Transfer the RID master, PDC emulator and Infrastructure Master Roles

Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers

In the MMC right click on the domain name and select operations masters

Change all three of them

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-01-58-12.png

Transfer domain naming master role

Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Domains and Trusts

In the MMC, right click on Active Directory Domains and Trusts > Operations Master…

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-06-15.png

Transfer schema master role

Type run command regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll and Press OK in the next window

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-12-07.png

Type run command mmc

File > Add/Remove Snap-in…

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-14-25.png

Add Active Directory Schema and Press OK

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-16-59.png

Right click Active Directory Schema and click Change Active Directory Domain Controller

Select New Server 2016 from the list and Press OK



Right click Active Directory Schema > Operation Master and Press Change

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-24-21.png

Confirm that all the 5 FSMO roles have been moved to the new 2016 DC using Netdom Query FSMO command

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-02-30-34.png

05. Uninstall Old DC (Server 2003)

Now it is time to get rid of the old DC.

Type DCPromo in the RUN


Keep the default (do not tick Delete the domain because this server is the last domain controller in the domain)


Type Password


Click Next..



Click Finish to End the Removal process


Restart the Server


Notice that In the Server 2016, old Server is moved From Domain Controllers to Computers

Server 2016 migration-2017-02-02-10-06-37.png
Active Directory Users and Computers

5 thoughts on “Windows Server Migration 2003 to 2016

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