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Determine and Raising the Domain Functional Level (DFL) in Windows Server 2003 R2

It is always important to know the Domain Functional Level (DFL) of your Active Directory domain, especially when there are are different versions of Windows Server co-existing together. At times, during upgrades and migrations, you may still find the need of raising the DFL to newer Windows Server domain. This article describe the steps in determining the current DFL of your domain and also how can you can proceed forward in changing the DFL to raise its level. Note that raising the DFL give you access to more advance features on your domain.

The procedures below need to be performed on a Domain Controller in the domain. To determine the current DFL,

  • Go to Start, expand Administrative Tools.
  • Select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Right-click on your domain name and select Raise Domain Functional Level…
  • The Raise Domain Functional Level window appears displaying the Domain name and the Current Domain Functional Level.

You will notice that the Current DFL is Windows 2000 Mixed, which is the first and default DFL assigned when promoting a Windows Server 2003/ R2 Domain Controller. To raise the DFL,

  • Select the required DFL within the listbox and click on the Raise button. Notice the warning displayed mentioning that this process is irreversible. So you need to be careful before raising the DFL.

  • Once you press the Raise button, a warning window appears mentioning that this process is irreversible again. As specified above, this process is very critical and required proper decision making. Press OK to continue or Cancel to stop the process.

  • An informational window appears notifying that the DFL has been successfully raised and that this settings will be replicated to all other Domain Controllers in the domain. Press OK.

You will now notice that the Current DFL is changed. So that’s it, fairly simple. I surely hope that you will now be able to determine or raise the DFL as required.

We hope that our article has been and will be in good help to you.

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