Active Directory Migration from Server 2008 to Server 2019

In this blog, we will migrate Active Directory ( Server 2008 ) to Active Directory ( Server 2019). Before starting the actual migration, we will first setup windows server 2019 and join in the domain as domain computer.

Install Server 2019 , rename it and set the static IP.

Old ServerNew Server
NameSRV2008AD1 (not real name)SRV2019AD1 (not real name)
DNS Server192.168.11.128192.168.11.128

We have now a old domain controller ( Server 2008 ) and a fresh installed Windows server 2019, which will be later promoted to a new Domain controller.

DC 2008 & new Server 2019

Raise the forest functional & domain functional level if needed. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts

Active Directory Domains & Trusts

Since our forest & domain functional level are already at the highest possible levels, we will check now which server has installed FSMO roles. In our case, there is only one DC server, so we will see only a single server entry. If you have more than one Domain Controller, you may see multiple Servers there.

Type netdom query fsmo command to check

FSMO Roles

Now it is time to install, configure & promote new windows server 2019.

Open Server Manager and install Active Directory Domain Services

Active Directory Domain Services

Time to promote new server 2019 to a domain controller. After this we will have two domain controllers; one old 2008 Server and a new 2019 Server.

Promote to a domain Controller

Click Next. Type the directory services restore mode (DSRM) password and click Next. If you have multiple Sites, choose the right one. In my case, I have only default-site, so no need to change anything. Leave others as it is.

Domain Controller Options

Click Next. Since we want to replicate the old server 2008 configurations to the new server 2019, we will choose to replicate from "Any Domain Controller" option.

Additional Options

Once the DNS Server role is installed, it may take some time to replicate all the settings from old 2008 server to the new 2019 server.

Now have a look at Active Diretory Users and Computers . We can see that new 2019 Server also listed as the domain controller. That means, we have now fully functional 2 domain controllers, replicating with each others.

Active Directory Users & Computers

Time to transfer the flexible single master operations (FSMO) role. As we have previously seen, all FSMO roles are currently with the old 2008 Server DC.

On the new 2019 Server, open Active Directory Users and Computers, right-click domain ...-tech.local and click Operations Masters... .

Changing Operational Masters
Changing Operational Masters

Now if you check FSMO roles, you will see that some roles are already transfered to the new server.

FSMO Roles

The remaining 2 roles, Schema Master & Domain Naming Master are still pointing to the old server. So, time to move them to the new 2019 Server.

We will start with Domain Naming Master role.

Right-click Active Directory Domains and Trusts and then select Operations Master.

Changing Domain Naming Master Role to new 2019 Server

Now open Powershell as administrator ( Server 2019 ) and register Active Directory Schema snap-in using regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll

Register Schema Management

Now open Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and Cick Add/Remove Snap-in...

Active Directory Schema

Right Click Active Directory Schema and select Change Active Directory Domain Controller.

Change Active Directory Domain Controller
Change Domain Controller to the new 2019 Server

Click ok for any warning.

Now back to console, right-click Active Directory Schema ( Server 2019 ) and select Operations Master.

Changing Schema Master role to new 2019 Server

We have now moved all five FSMO roles to the new server. To verify, open cmd/PowerShell in any domain controller ( in 2008 or 2019 doesn't matter ) and type netdom query fsmo .

Checking FSMO roles

Now change the preferred DNS Server in both servers with the IP address of Server 2019. That means, we will point all our DNS request to the new server 2019.

IP Configuration

If we now see in the domain controller list, we will still see two domain controllers ; both with global catalogs. So, we will remove the old 2008 Server from global catalog type.

Remove Global Catalog from old 2008 Server
Removing Global Catalog from old Server 2008

Now time to remove old Domain Controller 2008.

Run dcpromo command.

UNCHECK this option
Type Administrator account password
Removing Active Directory Domain Services

Now if you check domain controller, there will be only one Domain Controller ; the old 2008 server will be now moved to domain computer list.

Domain Controller

In Server Manager click Roles and click Remove Roles.

Remove Active Directory Domain Services & DNS Server

Finally remove 2008 Server from domain & join workgroup.

It is now possible to raise the forest functional & domain functional level if needed. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts

Raise forest functional level
Domain Functional Level


Anup Chhetri

IT system administrator

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