SBS 2003Windows Small Business Server 2003 - SBS 2003 - Replace or Upgrade

We recommend upgrading to Windows Server 2012. That may require an upgrade of your hardware.

If your hardware is not upgradable , then you need a new server. Adding a new server to your domain will require a domain transfer or a rebuilt domain. Depending upon the complexities of your domain one route may have more appeal than the other.



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Single Server Domain vs. Multiple Server Domain

If this is a single server domain you may want to re-create the domain rather than jump through all the hoops of transferring the domain to the new server. While re-creating a domain is not a trivial task the transfer of the domain to a new server can be even more daunting.

If you have multiple servers then you may transfer the roles to other servers and remove the old SBS 2003 server.


Transfer Domain Preparation


If you prefer to transfer your domain then you need an Active Directory system state backup handy in case you lose the domain in the process. This is especially important if you do a forced removal.

adprep.exe won't run on SBS 2003 but it's not required.

Transfer Domain

Join the new 2012 server to the existing domain and raise the functional level of domain & forest. Then use DCPROMO to transfer roles from the SBS 2003 server to the new Server 2012.


Search Engine OptimizationEnd of Life


The end of life of SBS 2003 was determined by its individual component product’s respective support lifecycles. *


Products Released

Extended Support End Date

Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition       4/8/2014
Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 1/14/2014
Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 Standard Edition 10/14/2014
SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition 4/12/2016
Windows Server 2003/2003 R2, Standard Edition (32-bit x86) 7/14/2015
Windows Server Update Services 3.0 7/11/2017



* Microsoft Product Lifecycle