Originally I had a desktop computer running Windows 2003 Server as a DC. I ran it in ‘2000-Mixed mode’ for Samba’s sake as I was told it was important to do so. I eventually used the VMware Converter to make the DC a VM to run on my IBM as a guest. Samba ran underneath it authenticating off of the guest DC. That was not the most ideal solution but it worked mostly well. Due to some recent drive troubles on the IBM I had to come up with another solution. It was the SATA drives, not the SCSI, starting to have problems.
Dell Server status at the time
I was trying to get everything working on the Dell as a VMware ESXi Server. Most of the things were working right but a storage solution for the data was not coming up properly due to the limited driver support of SATA controllers and of course my budget. I still needed to have a workable solution so I could try to keep my data safe.
New configuration for the Dell
Finally I got tired of the whole BS since, at the same time, I was trying to make sure my backups were good that I had pulled often enough from the IBM. I backed up the VMs and then installed Windows 2008.
Once I had it installed and updated I tried the SATA controllers that I had and had to use the Vista drivers as I could not find official 2008 drivers. When the controller would get saturated it would cause a weird memory error and that would make Windows do a blue screen. As soon as I removed the controller everything else worked fine.
Once I got the machine updated and removed the offending hardware things started to calm down. I attached it to my domain and then created the shares and all that. I copied the data to the server in the specific shares and altered my VB login script to point to the new server. Once I made sure things worked properly it was then time to make it a DC.
As I said earlier, it was running in ‘2000 Mixed mode’ so there was more work to do. I changed it to native and let things calm down. I then updated it to 2003 on both the forest and domain. Once I did that I ran the deploy script, from the 2008 Server DVD, on the schema master and that updated the schema. It took a good ten minutes or so since it was running as a guest and not doing too well due to the hard drive problems. Once it was updated I set the 2008 machine up as a DC. Once I made sure any possible errors were ironed out I then removed the old DC after a day of running. Once the old DC was removed I made sure no errors were popping up and then changed the Forest and Domain to 2008 mode.
After ironing out any lingering issues on the DC I went ahead and installed VMware 2.x Server and put two of my backed up VMs on the server. Once is a Linux Shell server with 512M of RAM. The other is a Windows XP Professional SP3 running 512M of RAM. They both seem to run fine as guests on the server and do not load it up too much.