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How to remove Active Directory from a Domain Controller when DCPROMO fails?

Posted on 2004-03-26
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Trying to dcpromo-down a Domain Controller, getting this error:

Active Directory Installation Failed
The operation failed because:
The Directory Service failed to replicate off changes made locally.
"The DSA operation is unable to proceed because of a DNS lookup failure."

Microsoft articles abound on fixing the DNS in a domain but my DNS IS NOT BROKEN!  I can ping every server by name from any server/workstation and all the srv records that should exist do exist.

This is some other problem.

Any idea what ACTUALLY is wrong?
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Question by:gateguard
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Author Comment

by:gateguard
ID: 10689728
Removed DNS from server then tried again:

Active Directory Installation Failed
The operation failed because:
The Directory Service failed to replicate off changes made locally.
"Logon Failure: The target account name is incorrect."
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4auHuk earned 500 total points
ID: 10689905
Hi gateguard,

Check this MSKB articles.

Using the DCPROMO /FORCEREMOVAL Command to Force the Demotion of Active Directory Domain Controllers:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;332199

HOW TO: Remove Data in Active Directory After an Unsuccessful Domain Controller Demotion:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;216498

Using Ntdsutil.exe to Seize or Transfer FSMO Roles to a Domain Controller:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;255504

There's also a quisk way to remove AD from server after failed demotion. Not tested it personally:

3222 » How do I remove Active Directory if the demotion failed?
http://www.jsifaq.com/SUBG/TIP3200/rh3222.htm

hth,
4auHuk

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Author Comment

by:gateguard
ID: 10706039
This computer is remote from me and I'm still waiting to hear whether or not they can log on to directory services restore mode (one of the steps above).  As soon as I determine that, I will use the HOW TO: Remove Data in Active Directory After an Unsuccessful Domain Controller Demotion.
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Expert Comment

by:4auHuk
ID: 10711101
To make it clear:

When demotion fails, you have two problems:
1. You still need to remove AD from server in question. You can do this forcebly, but then Active directory on other domain controllers will not be cleared from references to this server.
Hence,
2. You will need to remove references to this server from Active directory (other "live" domain controllers) manually.

"HOW TO: Remove Data in Active Directory After an Unsuccessful Domain Controller Demotion" article addresses second issue. You don't do what described in this article on server which you need to demote. You do this on other domain controllers.

What you need to do with server you trying to demote is described in first and last links mentioned above.

4auHuk
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by:4auHuk
ID: 10747307
Thanks :)
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