Confusion between Mixed and Native Modes adding a Server 2003

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Confusion between Mixed and Native Modes adding a Server 2003
Posted by:  SteveTheMusicMan (
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008


I just started a 6 month job at a company to do some Windows work for them.
The company has 4 Windows 2000 server machines with replicated Active
Directories. One 2000 server is the master AD and also is running Exchange
2000. My task is to bring up a new Windows 2003 server box and get AD on it.

I’m confused about the difference between Mixed and Native Modes with 2
different aspects.

As I said above there is an Active Directory instance on the exchange box
and 3 other Domain Controllers.

When I go into the Active Directory Users and Computers properties it says
“Mixed mode (supports both Windows 2000 and pre-Windows 2000 domain
controllers)”. However when I go into the actual Service Manager for exchange
on the same Exchange Server box the properties tell me the following: Native
Mode (no pre-Exchange 2000 servers).

I’m unsure what the difference is between the two modes in the two different
locations on the Exchange box. Does anyone have any clue of what I should do?

I want to bring all of them to Native Mode. Can I just upgrade all 4 of the
existing 2000 servers to Native mode in the AD properties? The reason I have
to do this is that I have to run the 2003 dcpromo.exe /forestprep on the old
Exchange AD to be able to promote the 2003 server to a Domain Controller.

I appreciate any help and direction you can give me.

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lewis