The below document walks you through how to upgrade a single Domain Controller in a small business environment from Microsoft Server 2008 R2 to Microsoft Server 2016.

  1. Join server 2016 to current domain.
  2. Add administrator account to remote access
  3. Install AD DS role on 2016 server
  4. Click the link to promote domain controller
  5. Add Administrator account to Schema Admins Group.
  6. Next after installed and reboot run the following command:
    netdom query fsmo
  7. Next, go to Domain Users and Computers and right click on the domain and select "Operations Masters".

    Click on all three tabs and click change to change operations masters.

  8. Next go to "Active Directory Domains and Trusts" and right click and select operations masters and click change to switch the role.

  9. Finally, to change Schema Master you have to run the following command and it must be "Run As Administrator":
    regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
  10. Next run mmc and add "Active Directory Schema" and right click "Active Directory Schema"

    Select operations master and click change
    *** I had to select the server 2016 by select "Change Active Directory Domain Controller".

  11. To Remove the Microsoft server 2008 R2 server as a global catalog do the following:
    • Open "Users and Computers"
    • Go to "Domain Controllers"
    • Now right click older server and click the "NTDS settings" button
    • Finally, uncheck "Global Catalog" 

  12. Finally, go to old server and run dcprome.exe.


  13. Set the local admin account for the old Domain Controller. And reboot the old Domain Controllers.

  14. Verify on Server 2016 everything is running correctly.
  15. Finally, we need Raise functional level of the domain. Right click on your domain name under "Active Directory Users and Computers" and select "Raise domain functional level…"

    Now you can raise the functional level to the desired level and click the "Raise" button.

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