NT4 Upgrade Functional Overview
When you upgrade to Windows Server 2003 from NT4, you can expect Setup to do the following:
Retain the computer's Security ID (SID) and domain membership.
Convert user profiles to Windows Server 2003 format. The profile location remains at \Winnt\Profiles, as opposed to the new location in Windows Server 2003 of \Documents and Settings. Any new profiles created after an upgrade also go in \Winnt\Profiles.
Retain application and driver settings in the Registry if they are compatible with Windows Server 2003.
Remove Registry entries for applications or drivers that are deemed incompatible by the upgrade compatibility checker.
Retain the contents of the SAM and LSA databases on standalone and member servers and desktops. This keeps the local user and group membership intact along with any security settings assigned to those accounts.
For NT primary domain controllers (PDCs), migrate the contents of the Security Account Manager (SAM) and Security databases into Active Directory. Upgraded backup domain controllers ignore their copy of the SAM and replicate the contents of Active Directory from the upgraded PDC.
Retain the existing NFTS file security settings and Registry security settings. This means that an upgraded server may lack additional access safeguards normally applied to a new Windows Server 2003.
Retain the current File Allocation Tables (FAT) partitions, if any. If you prefer, you can convert to NTFS during the upgrade. Unlike previous versions, Windows Server 2003 retains the cluster size assigned to the FAT partition during conversion if the cluster size is equal to or smaller than 4096 bytes.
Convert any existing NTFS partitions to NTFS 3.1 (compared to version 3.0 in Windows 2000 and version 1.2 in NT4). Existing disk utilities such as defragmentation utilities, imaging utilities, and disk management utilities must be upgraded to versions that are compatible with Windows Server 2003.
Upgrade network drivers to new Network Device Interface Specifications (NDIS) 5.1 drivers, if available, while retaining current IP and IPX addresses, transport driver settings, drive mappings, printer captures, and remote access configurations. If newer drivers are not available, Setup will prompt for drivers and install without a network if drivers are not provided.
Upgrade services such as DNS, DHCP, WINS, Internet Explorer (IE), IIS, Services for Macintosh (SFM), Certificate Services, and so forth. The upgrades retain existing configuration settings unless those settings are incompatible with Windows Server 2003 features. Management interfaces are upgraded to MMC consoles.
Windows 2000 Upgrade Overview
When you upgrade to Windows Server 2003 from Windows 2000, you can expect Setup to do the following:
Retain the same user profiles and profile locations while updating the shell to the new look and feel of Windows Server 2003. The shell has only a few changes from its predecessor.
Retain the same Registry settings for applications and drivers as long as they are compatible.
Retain the Logical Disk Manager (LDM) database entries for all dynamic disks.
Retain the NTFS file permissions and Registry permissions assigned by Windows 2000. These settings are somewhat different than the default settings in Windows Server 2003. See Chapter 15, "Managing File Systems," for details.
Upgrade any existing NTFS 3.0 partitions to NTFS 3.1. The record structure changes a little in NTFS 3.1, making it incompatible with disk and imaging utilities designed for Windows 2000.
Upgrade Internet Explorer to IE 6.0 along with upgrades to the various media services that interact with IE.
Upgrade IIS to version 6.0. The primary advantage of the new version is major rework of the underlying services, with improved security and process separation.
Migrate the network interfaces to NDIS version 5.1. This version supports more robust device management, uses memory more efficiently, and has support for IEEE 802.11b wireless adapters.
Windows Server 2003, Standard and Enterprise Editions do not support upgrading from Windows 9x, Windows ME, or any version of NT Professional (NT4, NT3.51, or NT3.50). The server upgrade paths are as follows.
Upgrading from NT 3.1, NT 3.50, and NT 3.51 requires a two-step process. First, upgrade to NT4, and then you can upgrade to Windows Server 2003.
You can upgrade directly to Windows Server 2003 from any of the following NT4 server versions (all NT4 upgrades require Service Pack 6a):
This version can be upgraded to Server 2003, Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition. It cannot be upgraded to Web Edition.
NT4 Server, Enterprise Edition.
You must upgrade to Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition to retain full functionality.
NT4 Server, Terminal Services Edition.
If you are running Citrix MetaFrame, you cannot upgrade directly to Windows Server 2003. You must de-install MetaFrame, upgrade, and then install a current version of MetaFrame. Get more information at the Citrix web site, www.citrix.com.
NT4 Small Business Server.
You can upgrade to Small Business Server Edition of Windows Server 2003 when it becomes available and retain existing services along with the 50-user limit or upgrade to a full version of Windows Server 2003 and BackOffice.
All features in the NT4 Option Pack are incorporated into the core Windows Server 2003 product. The same is true for NT4 Routing and Remote Access Services (RRAS), although the features are implemented differently and dial-up connection management changes significantly. See Chapter 20, "Managing Remote Access and Internet Routing," for details.
The installation prerequisites and checklists in Chapter 1 for clean installs are equally valid for upgrades. If you have incompatible hardware or applications that are not certified to run under Windows Server 2003, you can expect to have problems. Do a thorough inventory of hardware and check the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) before upgrading. This is especially true for older machines that were built before the Advanced Configuration and Power Instrumentation (ACPI) specifications were standardized at version 2.
It should go without saying that you should get a reliable backup of a server prior to upgrading it. Any number of scenarios can lead to data loss. If you have backups on tape but have not attempted a full restore lately, you should do so before you upgrade. At the very least, recover a file or folder from the latest tape just as a test.
If you use a third-party backup utility or agent, make sure it is compatible with Windows Server 2003. You may want to restore data to the server after you upgrade.
When you perform the upgrade, Setup will scan the system looking for potentially incompatible software and drivers. You can get a head start on this check by running the readiness scan from the command line as follows:
You can also run the readiness scan by inserting the CD, waiting for the Autorun window to open, then selecting Perform Additional Tasks | Check System Compatibility.
The scan does the following:
Contacts Microsoft's Update web site to check for any updates to the compatibility database
Scans the system looking for incompatible applications or drivers
Displays the results with an option to save the results to a file
The readiness scan may not catch all incompatible applications. Don't assume that applications that run fine under NT4 will also work under Windows Server 2003. Contact the vendor and do thorough in-house testing. See the "Application Compatibility Checks" topic a little later in this chapter for ways to run older applications on Windows Server 2003.
You should have at least 1GB of free space in the operating system partition to upgrade. Add another 400MB to store temporary files if you are upgrading across the network.
Setup determines the necessary free space using entries in a Setup Information File (SIF) called Txtsetup.sif located in the \I386 directory on the product CD. The entries are under the [DiskSpaceRequirements] section. The space requirements differ depending on the cluster size in use on the system partition.
Defragment the System Partition
Whether you use NTFS or FAT in your current system partition, it's a good idea to thoroughly defragment before you upgrade. Setup adds quite a few temporary files to the system partition along with swapping just about every file. This tends to promote fragmentation even in the best of circumstances.
If you keep your paging file in the system partition, consider moving it to another drive, if one is available. This helps avoid fragmentation of the system partition.
If you currently run FAT in your system partition and you intend on converting to NTFS, you may want to wait until after the upgrade. This permits you to do the conversion in a controlled evolution. You can also help prevent Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation by using a new feature in the CONVERT utility that uses a temporary space on another drive to hold data during the conversion. See Chapter 15 for details.
Remove NT4 RAID Configurations
Unlike Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 does not support classic NT fault tolerant disk arrays. (These arrays are also called FT disk sets or sometimes Ftdisk sets, based on the name of the NT4 driver that controls software-based disk arrays.)
If your NT4 system partition is currently on a mirrored drive, you'll need to break the mirror prior to upgrading. Setup will refuse to start if the system partition is mirrored. After upgrading, you can convert the drives to dynamic disks and mirror them again.
If you have other FT disk sets such as stripe sets, stripe sets with parity, and volume sets, you must back up the data and delete the set before upgrading. You cannot convert the disks in the set to dynamic disks after upgrading. Make sure your backup utility is Windows Server 2003 compliant, or you will not be able to restore the data.
If your Windows 2000 system partition is mirrored, you must first break the mirror prior to upgrading. You can re-mirror after the upgrade. The Logical Disk Manager (LDM) database on the drive is preserved. You do not need to revert back to a basic disk (which requires deleting all volumes.)
Remove UPS Serial Line Connections
The Plug-and-Play (PnP) Manager in Windows Server 2003 attempts to enumerate all devices on all buses during the upgrade. If it encounters a UPS device at the end of a serial line connection, it gets very confused. This can cause Setup to hang for hours. Remove the connection from the serial port before upgrading. You do not need to de-install the UPS service. It will be upgraded.
De-Install Virus Scanners
Setup makes extensive changes to the system files along with changes to the partition boot sector. Virus scanners interpret this as an attack and will interfere.
It's a good idea to de-install a virus scanner rather than simply disable it. This ensures that the scanner does not activate and cause system problems following the completion of the upgrade. If the virus scanning application is Windows Server 2003-compatible, you can reinstall it after Setup has completed.
Windows Server 2003 makes extensive changes to the Registry. If you have incompatible Registry entries, they may cause the upgrade to fail or cause erratic performance following the upgrade.
You may want to run a Registry cleanup tool to clear out unused entries prior to upgrading. You can use a commercial Registry cleaner or Microsoft's free utility, Regclean 4.1a, available from www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=18924.
You can compact the Registry hives following Regclean by using tools from Executive Software or the Registry Defragmentation utility at www.sysinternals.com.
Drive Letter Assignments
When you upgrade a system, Setup attempts to retain the existing drive letters. It uses two sources of information depending on the disk type:
Drive letters for partitions on basic disks are stored in a Registry key located at HKLM |System |Mounted Devices. This includes letters assigned to logical drives in extended partitions. When you upgrade, critical elements from the existing Registry are dumped into a flat file called Migrate.inf, which becomes a script for Windows Server 2003 Setup. The drive list is one of those elements.
Dynamic disks are managed by the Logical Disk Manager (LDM) service. This service keeps a database at the end of each dynamic disk that describes the disk configurations (mirrored, striped, RAID 5, and so forth) on all dynamic disks in the machine. This database contains the drive letters assigned to each volume. Setup can read the LDM database and will retain the assigned drive letters.
Microsoft responds to urgent compatibility issues and new forms of Internet attacks by issuing hotfixes. Often the hotfix is out within hours of the problem identification. This leaves very little time for regression testing, either to the base OS or any applications.
It's possible that a hotfix might be released that causes problems for upgrades to Windows Server 2003. Check Microsoft's web site and Technet to find out if there are any issues with a particular hotfix prior to upgrading. Following the upgrade, you can use Windows Update to automatically download and prepare hotfixes for installation.
Prepare for Possible Service Interruptions
If you are upgrading a server that runs a large number of network support services, you might want to build a temporary server to host at least some of those services until you get a satisfactory upgrade. A minor upgrade glitch might render the server unavailable for a considerable period of time.
Moving these services can require some work because they involve changing IP addresses at the clients, so you may want to configure a standby server with the same name and running the same services but keep it off the wire unless you need it. If you have to use this standby server, you must delete the old server from the domain and join the new server to get a new computer account.