Reinstalling Domain Controller with the Same Name – Disaster Recovery

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Normally after a failure of Domain Controller, when promoting new DC the DC is renamed, we will discuss the options in Dcpromo to re-create the DC with the same name.


You are a small IT shop with two Domain Controllers (Domain Controller with FSMO Roles & Additional Domain Controller for Disaster Recovery)

Your additional domain controller has a hardware failure (Hard disk crash) and you need to rebuild the server.


Since we are discussing a DR scenario in which the hard disk failed we have two options for recovery:

1.Reinstall Windows and restore the System State Backup
2.Reinstall Windows and promote the server to be a domain controller.

We will be discussing the second option in this article.

The common perception is that if you want to rebuild a failed DC you will need to clean the metadata in order to re-create the DC with the old name. So normally people rename the new DC which is not necessary. Also after renaming the DC the metadata is not cleaned up, this may lead to problem in the future.


So what is the solution that I recommend?

1.Replace the Hard disk
2.Re-install windows (don’t join the domain)
3.Promote the server as a Domain controller using the following command:
  “Dcpromo / AllowDomainControllerReinstall:yes”

Without this switch the Dcpromo process will fail with the error that the computer account already exists.

Below the description of the switch from Microsoft:

AllowDomainControllerReinstall: {Yes | <No> | NoAndNoPromptEither}

Specifies whether to continue installing this domain controller, despite the fact that another domain controller account with the same name is detected. Use Yes only if you are sure that the account is not currently used by another domain controller.The default is No.

Link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732887(WS.10).aspx

I hope you will find this article helpful.

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