Any possible trick to downgrade 2003 Server to 2000?

By acidosmosis ยท 21 replies
Jul 31, 2003
  1. Another employee (possibly a former employee) installed Windows 2003 Server on several machines in the office. These versions of 2003 Server are evaluation BETA versions. Installing a beta version of anything on our network (or any network for that matter) is a no-no and I don't have to tell you installing an evaluation copy on a network server is a no-no. It is a good thing that the server that now has 2003 is a internal network server and isn't THAT important although it is somewhat important because it houses lots of our documents that we write every day along with employees My Document's folders (but these can be backed up so it isn't that big of a problem). Not to mention I backup these files on my own about once a month.

    The deal is I need to install Windows 200 Server back on these computers and as I told the owner we are probably going to have to completely reinstall Windows 2000 from scratch because you can't really "downgrade". So I was wondering if anyone knows of some kind of trick that I can use to do this before I go formatting that Windows partition and reinstalling Windows 2000 then having to reinstall the network and re-setup everything.

    I would like to be able to keep the network settings without having to redo them but I dont think I am going to have any choice. Though if someone has any ideas please let me know.

    The guy that did this also "forgot" his admin password and went on vacation in Canada where he is from and is now stuck in Canada because of problems with his VISA so I am stuck fixing his screwups.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    forget uninstall and reinstall all machines simultaneously

    Oh man, that's a good question. You know, I could be eating my hat when someone DOES know a good trick, but I've never heard of that!

    My home server currently runs Windows 2003 Server (not a beta!) How I installed this, for several reasons, was that I installed Windows 2000 Advanced Server and then upgraded it to Windows 2003 Server. Beta or no, it would stand to reason that if I can remove Windows 2003 server, and go back to 2000, then so can you.

    I can find no such way to do that, although admittedly I could have looked a bit harder.


    Try to think about what's really going on here. How you will solve this situation (in your boss's eyes) is not how you uninstall 2003 server, or something, but in how quickly you fix the problem and get everything back to the happy zone again.

    When computers have problems, people generally get upset. I certainly do sometimes. And they want it fixed now.

    If you can't seem to find a way to do this, don't spend too long trying. Instead, amaze your boss by how quickly you reinstall all the effected servers. And the quickest way to do this is to reinstall all of them simultaneously.

    This makes YOU look better in your boss's eyes, and this OTHER GUY WORSE.

    Get it?
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Oh yeah, and having to reinstall everything only makes what your workmate did look even worse, weakening his position and strengthening yours.

    How you win at this job is by always making yourself look like Mr. Perfect all the time :evil:

    However, for extra dark force points, you make others look incompetant and stupid. Just do that carefully, subtly and quietly....

    Its evil I know but they don't call you the BASTARD OPERATOR FROM HELL for nothing...
  4. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I like the way you think Phantasm, I am along the same lines 100%. I told acid in the IRC channel that I didn't think it was possible, but to post just to be sure.

    You need to play your game up big time and show that you are up to the challenge and get it done. This should show the boss that you can step in and solve problems that aren't necessarily in your job title. Expand knowledge.

    Good luck with everything.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yeah, if there is anything you need to know, post here and ask.

    Go get 'em, tiger! ;)
  6. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    LOL, yea I know he wants me to wait till probably Saturday when he is here though, so I will have to wait till then.

    Formatting and re-installing everything should be of no challenge I mean if I couldn't do that I shouldnt have this job :p. Though the only thing I am really concerned about is that I'm not 100% sure how the Active Directory was setup and what this guy changed which might make resetting everything up a bit difficult. In any case I can do it and I'll get it working it just might be a headache.

    Oh well, we will see how it goes Saturday :p
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    OK... In that case....

    Install a fresh Windows 2000 server whilst the old servers are still up and running. run dcpromo and make the new one a domain controller. When that is fine, go into active directory sites and servers and replicate active directory.

    Then keep the new Windows 2000 server as domain controller and use the previous domain controller as something else, or do the same procedure again.

    This way, you will not have to recreate all of the accounts, etc.

    Think about what you are doing before you do it. Quickly read some Microsoft Knowledgebase article on this or something similar beforehand. Don't just rush in and reinstall... but when the time does come to reinstall do it quickly and well.
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Things you should be saying at your work:

    "I know exactly what the problem is, and I will be there right away to fix it. It only takes a moment."

    "That's no problem. You can have that right away."

    "I am not aware of such an issue, but I will research the problem."

    "Right, I'll be there right away to have a look."

    You will shortly discover that its great fun to be better at your job than everyone else. Its also good fun to make others look stupid, not up to the job, etc. It takes a while to be able to do this properly, but I am sure you will master it.

    In order to be a good sysadmin, people have to have faith in you. You spend a while (perhaps even couple of years) slowly building up people's faith in you.

    You want people to think that if there is a problem on the computer to be sorted, Acid is the man to ask.

    When your confidence grows, ask for more and more work. Try to take work away from people who are not good at the job, so that they have nothing useful to do. You are winning when some rival at your work is never busy at all. Then people start thinking maybe we should sack XYZ to pay you more.... Get it?
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Of course, doing this sort of thing myself is only just starting to pay off after 5 years in my job, however I am fighting against 20 odd years of certain useless lumps being around.

    You should have less of a problem.

    I think you can eliminate this other guy. Rather than discouraging him from doing this sort of thing again, I think you should leave him be. He is going to allow himself to become your first victim. He is foolhardy and stupid enough, I'll wager.

    The primary keys to your success in this will be:-

    1)Enthusiasm for the job, and computing (WHICH YOU HAVE.)

    2)Willingness to help and be helpful (WHICH I HOPE YOU HAVE.)

    3)Extensive knowledge about the area of computing which your job entails, that being Windows 2000 admin. (WHICH I KNOW YOU ARE GETTING.)

    4)Efficiency. You must learn to solve problems in seconds. However, as time goes on, you wil realise that there are in fact just a smallish number of common problems that go on (i.e. office components not installed, configuration glitches, IP conflicts, certain software needs reinstalled or needs to be installed with the user logged on rather than administrator, people needing to be granted admin rights to their own machines, etc, etc...)

    *SPEND your free time at work reading about how to do things, about the computing industry, and also trying and experimenting with things. Install Windows 2000 server on your office machine, maybe.

    Other people at work when they get free time will waste ALL of it talking about baseball, chatting, etc. Whilst its OK to do this some times, its NOT OK to do it the majority of the time. You should be spending your free time researching computing and expanding your knowledge base of information. The more you know, the more valuable you are. Never forget that.

    Also, its a VERY powerful thing right now if someone your age starts to become a workaholic a little. It really will get you noticed. Usually only more mature people do this. But if you do, and you are under 30, people realise that they have found a special and important person. You are a young guy (I am guessing not yet with the burden of wife and child) and so can afford to do this right now. Go for it. Put your all into it and squash everything in your path.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yeah.... Like there was a nasty, scary situation, but then we called Acid the answer man in and he sorted everything out. The carry on was over and we got back to slowly and greedily accumulating cash....! ;)

    Get it? The secret is not in how the problem was fixed, but in HOW QUICKLY it was fixed!

    A disaster like this is an opportunity to prove yourself and to show why you are paid.

    Its also an opportunity to show why some other people are perhaps not worth what they are getting.
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549


    Now I can see why you have Darth Vader as your avatar. :)

    Your observations (about getting noticed and valued in the workplace) are pretty good and I've certainly seen this kind of thing going on in various places where I have been employed in the past. These types of places are usually filled with miserable people, and no one is happy working in such an environment.

    I fully agree with your advice on improving oneself, by being efficient, always learning, and trying to be useful at work. However, I feel that your suggestions for making oneself look better, by making others look bad, are misguided.

    This is a very bad path to take will result in others not trusting you, and being unwilling to help you out in a crisis. It is also very bad for one's self esteem to make oneself look good at the expense of others. In my humble opinion, one should always be looking to help others out and to cover for them whenever reasonable (i.e. when they are genuinely trying their best, but not if they are useless and lazy).

    I personally feel that it is my duty to help educate others and support them whenever I can, and I should gain the respect of others and be appreciated for my efforts by being good at what I do, and not by looking good through making others look bad.

    You will never gain any respect from doing this and you will feel like a villain. You may very well gain career advancement, such is the way of this world, and the lack of intelligent managers that judge your usefullness, but I personally work in IT because I get immense satifaction in being good at what I do and by being able to help others improve their own skills. Once others know you are knowledgable, then they will come to you for assistance when they are stuck, and this in itself will make you look good, and will not be at the expense of others.

    If you want to get on and advance your career, then change jobs, and move on to other opportunities. Just don't do the dirty on others, we all mess up once in a while, and none of us is perfect. Remember that and you will be much happier in the long run.
  12. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    i love it

    nic, phant doesn't want to be happy............hehe........he want's to eat............hehe.........oh, oh........look he's growing a fin :D when i was coaching, phanty was just the kind of kid i was looking for...........hungry, with a killer instinct.......wrestling is by no means took a certain kind of individual to excell........unfortunately, people like us usually get the scraps..............because, we are inherently, nice guys............we have a wrestler and coach, i've been able to participate, see the struggle, and, understand the pain and suffering requred to's quite a dicotomy in perspective......and, each will think they are is appealing from different fronts, .........which ultimately decides our take is this: i believe in karma (what goes around comes around).....and, a higher power (manifest destiny)............what's good is good....................and, what's bad is good (we just don't know why, until at some point in the future, where it manifests itself to you)'s all good :grinthumb
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I think perhaps I have placed too much importance perhaps on competing with others. I don't mean in real life, I mean in this post. Of course you should work with others and teach other people, etc. But the fact of the matter is that there are some people at work who are parasites, passengers, etc, or people who are not up to the task. A lot of these people deserve no mercy in my opinion. For they would show me none.

    Again, perhaps I have over emphysised this. Don't think for one moment that I go around work all day long trying to make myself look good and others bad. The bad ones do that for themselves, however I would point out that healthy competition is good for working life. This sort of thing goes on a lot in the higher echlons of business, etc.

    You don't need to tell me that. Are you forgetting how much time I spend here every day helping others, never asking anything for myself? But you help the deserving, not the undeserving....

    I quite agree. I practice this every day, I assure you. However, some people will try to take advantage of you because of this, and to deny that is naive.

    Team work is important, but at one stage team work can stop being team work and start to become one person taking advantage of another. If you are good at your job, people who aren't as good will try to take advantage of that sometimes. If this happens, don't let them.

    I think perhaps I have exaggerated a little. However, if you think I don't want to share and help people, you are wrong. I do it every day here and I do it in real life as well.
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    What I am saying is that if someone makes themselves look bad, that can be an opportunity for you to take control and show that you are better. That you are the solution. There is certainly no inclination on my part to proactively sabotage the success of others... If you have read my post that way then I am sorry, that's not what I meant.

    If you clear up someone else's mess, and do it well, then you will gain more responsibilities and be trusted more.

    Again, I think you have misunderstood me. Perhaps I did not explain it very well.
  15. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    In fact, I would suggest that riches or success are a by-product of the desire to be the best at your job, and to help people.

    But don't go around blindly helping everyone. Some people do not deserve it.

    I see it all the time at work. Someone sends an e-mail to everyone in the department like this:-

    Hi. I want to have a web page talk to a database, but I don't have the time to spend on the learning curve required. Its important that my project can do this. Can anyone help?

    This may mean one of two things:

    1)Exactly what it says. If you know how, and are able, you can work on this project with someone, get joint credit, show that you are useful.

    2)The person wants you to do the work for them, and then they will take credit.

    I see 2) going on a lot. I also see 1) as well, please believe that. But 2) does go on. You are foolish and stupid if you don't accept that. A lot, it goes on where people who are crap at their chosen field try to use smarter, more talented (and often younger) people to make themselves look good.

    Don't let someone do this to you. Don't blindly help everyone, or you will become everyone's *****. You will be working for other people and making them look good. And they may even be stabbing you in the back in the process. I am not saying this is ALL that goes on. Its not. But it does go on, and if you don't accept that then you deny what is real.

    I don't mean sit and think up little schemes to mess others up! I mean when they mess up, learn to play that situation if you think that that person is someone that you are carrying. And people who are good at their jobs DO carry others.

    Don't go out your way to invent bad things to happen to people, but if they mess up, think carefully about how you are going to pick up the pieces, and remember that no one really looks after you in the workplace accept yourself.
  16. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    JSR, no offence man, but you do know I ignore most of what you say? For one I don't understand what you say and it is hard on my eyes to read :p


    Thanks for the encouragement. I've have been reading that material that you suggested. It has been a little slow the past week because I have been working real hard on a re-design of our webpage, but I am also learning while doing this too.

    As far as the domain controller and active directory. I'll have to explain this a little better:

    We have 4 computers which are essential to our operations, these being the SQL server, MAIL server, WEB server, and DOMAIN CONTROLLER.

    The Active Directory is maintained on the domain controller (your probably already know that though).

    These computers are on Windows 2000, while one is on Windows 2003 (the WEB server, but we have one 2003 license so we have decided to keep 2003 on that machine).

    The computers which are the problem are our internal network computers which are elsewhere in the building. We have four more computers, the RECEPTIONIST computer, CHRIS (mine) computer, VINCENT (other techie's computer) and THESTATION (which is where we have our Shared Folders and where everyones My Documents are stored).

    Sorry, I think I didn't explain what I meant well, but Windows 2003 Beta Evaluation was installed on VINCENT's computer, and THESTATION. So basically I will need to reinstall Windows 2000 on VINCENT's computer and THESTATION.

    Also I need to reset the admin password on my PC so what we are probably going to do is just start off with a fresh copy of Windows 2000 (we all know it does a lot of good to have a fresh installation after a while and it has been two years so I figure it is slightly overdue).

    So I won't have to re-setup Active Directory or Domains, although I will have to setup those computers so that they can access Active Directory as far as logging in under the domain that we use.

    Hope that makes more sense :) This task would obviously be MUCH easier than setting up Active Directory all over again and the Domain Controller.
  17. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    no offense taken

    we we're just going off on a tangent in the midst of giving you a pep's obviously easy for me to get sidetracked ;-B
  18. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I have something that can recover the password if you PM me, so that you will not have to reformat.

    Should just be a matter of adding the machines back to the domain again. If one of these machines has data on it, you will have to back it up. When you reinstall it, if its to keep data for everyone on there, try to have that data on a seperate partition from the OS, so that if this happens again, you don't have to struggle with data needing backed up and restored, etc.
  19. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    That sounds more reasonable to me. I agree that you should not let yourself be taken advantage of, for the benefit of others. If others do not have the skills for a particular job, then it should be highlighted, so that it can be addressed.

    Others should not take credit for your work, and you should not consistently be doing work for them and not getting the credit for it.

    Helping others out of tricky situations is fine if they give you credit. If they take credit themselves then by all means highlight the fact that it was you that fixed the problem. People like this don't deserve to be helped.

    In some ways I've been lucky in my IT career, in that those I have worked with have always been fair minded and give credit where credit is due. I think I worked with intelligent and talented individuals that didn't need to make themselves look good at others expense. We all look good in our own individual areas of expertise. It was a very jolly and fun place to work, while it lasted, then we were all made redundant. :)

    PS: Its also a fact that some people simply don't know when they are stepping on other's toes, and this will need to be pointed out, so that they at least have an opportunity to put things right. Always give other's the benefit of the doubt, until you know otherwise.
  20. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    That's exactly what to do. You do get free time in lots of IT jobs. So use that time well. Other people will spend time talking about crap, taking it easy, reading crappy newspapers, etc. Forget about all of that, and concentrate on becoming a computer expert.
  21. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    I am usually browsing Tech Spot in my free time at work or looking up something else to do with computers if it is for parts or just general information about something. The owner doesn't really like it, but when there isn't anything to do you don't really have a choice. Most business have those people that say "find something to do" but obviously sometimes there isnt anything to do and when your the employee that usually does something that isn't asked of you to help the company out and all you get is flack (like me) then you won't ever do these things to help out again unless you are specifically asked to do it. One reason I am doing this website is because I want to be able to say "I did this" on my resume. When I have free time at home I might as well do something productive with it that can go on my resume even though it is free work that would normally cost this company over a thousand dollars. In turn for what I am doing I am getting something to show for on my resume when otherwise I would be sitting at home doing something else which in the long run wouldnt help me.

    For a sneak peek of what I've done so far with this website take a look at these links.

    Logo Redesign (Photoshop) 100% from scratch. These reflect the changes from the original design in the image below this one per the owner's suggestions. This logo is pretty much 98% finished. I just have some touching up to do especially on the lines around the globe.


    Website Redesign Draft (also done 100% in Photoshop)
    This was the first basic design that I came up with. I have
    worked with some ideas from other employees and the owner and made lots of modifications. The logo above being one of them.

  22. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Very patriotic. Also very professional looking. Interesting that you chose to put menus down the righthand side.
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