U-Tools: Unique Tools for Windows System Administrators
U-Move Help

Preparing a Test Lab

Before proceeding further, we recommend that you create a test lab where you can clone the old DC and new DC using a pair of virtual machines (VMs) that are isolated inside a virtual network.

Do a dry-run of the upgrade procedure in your test lab. Make sure that the virtual network in your test lab has no access to your production network.

This will allow you to become familiar with the upgrade process. It will let you catch any potential problems or issues early, and it will help you minimize the actual downtime on your production network.

Cloning your DCs for testing

Run U-Move on the old and new DCs to create a snapshot of Active Directory on each DC. This is always safe.

Run U-Move to load the AD snapshots into the VMs in your test lab. Follow the directions for a domain restore.

U-Move will load all of the AD data into your test VMs. The loaded data includes all hidden or undocumented AD objects and all external settings that affect AD, including the domain name, IP address, DNS server database, DHCP database, Certificate Services, and COM+ settings.

Always Choose Test (not Planned or Emergency)

When U-Move prompts you for the method for loading AD, always select Test (not Planned or Emergency). By choosing Test, U-Move will notify the DC that it does not need to pause for a successful initial replication during the first boot. The purpose of the delay is to make sure that the restored copy AD is indeed the most recent one. If you select Planned or Emergency, the DC might stall for up to an hour while it waits to replicate with a 'good' DC (one that was not itself also re-loaded). By selecting Test the DCs will boot much faster.

For more information

See Test Copy and Creating a Test Forest.