• Upgrading to Equivalent Operating System
  • Table 1 Upgrading to an Equivalent Operating System
  • Verifying System Requirements and Hardware Compatibility
  • System Requirements
  • Published: March 2003




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    Running Service Pack 5 or Later Required Before Upgrading


    Computers running Windows NT Server 4.0 must be running Service Pack 5 or later before upgrading to Windows Server 2003. Once Service Pack 5 or later has been installed, you can upgrade directly to Windows Server 2003 without having to install Windows 2000. If you are doing a clean install, there is no need for installing the service pack.

    Upgrading to Equivalent Operating System


    A first step in choosing the best operating system is determining the nearest equivalent to what you are now running. Except for Web Edition, all Windows Server 2003 operating systems map directly to existing Windows 2000 operating systems, as shown in Table 1. The Web Edition, which is ideal for rack-mounted Web support deployments, is a completely new operating system, and so it does not have an equivalent in the Windows 2000 family of operating systems.

    Windows Server 2003 Family

    Windows 2000 Server Family

    Standard Edition

    Windows 2000 Server

    Enterprise Edition

    Windows 2000 Advanced Server

    Datacenter Edition

    Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

    Web Edition

    No Equivalent

    Table 1 Upgrading to an Equivalent Operating System


    Note that you can only upgrade to an equivalent or higher operating system. You can’t “downgrade” to a less powerful operating system, as some functionality might be lost in the process. This means you can’t move from Windows NT Server 4.0, Enterprise Edition (or other server products in the Windows NT Server 4.0 family), to Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, without removing the earlier operating system and performing a new installation.

    Also note that Datacenter Edition—which provides an integrated hardware, software, and service offering—is not available as an upgrade. It can be purchased through the Windows Datacenter Program and is delivered by Microsoft and qualified server vendors, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

    For more information, see Windows Server 2003 Support at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/support/ or the online Product Documentation for Windows Server 2003 at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/proddoc/.

    Verifying System Requirements and Hardware Compatibility


    Before upgrading to Windows Server 2003, you will want to make sure that the computer you will be upgrading meets the recommended system requirements and that all hardware components are compatible with the operating system. If you have consistently upgraded your hardware for your Windows NT Server 4.0 systems, this may not be an issue, but if your current servers are running on older computers, you may wish to consider installing Windows Server 2003 on new computers.

    System Requirements


    The most significant area of change is the recommended processor speed. While Windows 2000 required a 133 MHz or faster processor, Microsoft recommends a 550 MHz or faster processor for Standard Edition and Web Edition, and a 733 MHz or faster processor for Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition. Memory and disk space requirements are much the same.

    Requirement

    Standard Edition

    Enterprise Edition

    Datacenter Edition

    Web Edition

    Minimum CPU Speed

    133 MHz

    133 MHz for x86-based computers

    733 MHz for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers*



    400 MHz for x86-based computers

    733 MHz for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers*



    133 MHz

    Recommended CPU Speed

    550 MHz

    733 MHz

    733 MHz

    550 MHz

    Minimum RAM

    128 MB

    128 MB

    512 MB

    128 MB

    Recommended Minimum RAM

    256 MB

    256 MB

    1 GB

    256 MB

    Maximum RAM

    4 GB

    32 GB for x86-based computers

    64 GB for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers



    64 GB for x86-based computers

    512 GB for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers



    2 GB

    Multi-Processor Support

    4

    Up to 8

    Minimum 8 required

    Maximum 32 for 32-bit computers

    Maximum 64 for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers


    1 or 2

    Disk Space for Setup

    1.5 GB

    1.5 GB for x86-based computers

    2 GB for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers



    1.5 GB for x86-based computers

    2 GB for 64-bit, Itanium-based computers



    1.5 GB

    *Important: The 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, are only compatible with 64-bit Intel Itanium-based systems. They cannot be successfully installed on 32-bit systems.
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    Published: March 2003

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