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Removing Certificate Services

Posted on 2004-08-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
We currently have 2 Windows 2000 Domain controllers and a member server which runs Certificate Services (Enterprise Root CA).  

The certificate server is old and will be decommissioned.  We will eventually put a new server in place and use that for issuing certificates.  The only reason I think this Certificate server exists currently is for EFS, and there doesn't seem to be many users, if any at all who actually encrypt files.  My question is can I safely uninstall Certificate services from this server.

I realise we wouldn't have a valid recovery agent but that wouldn't be an issue if there aren't any users encrypting files.  The thing is both our Domain controllers have acquired a certificate from the certificate server and what I want to know is will uninstalling certificate services bring any detremental effects on the Domain controllers.  What process / procedure do I need to follow to uninstall certificate services?

I cannot find anything in Group policy to suggest certificates are being used except as a recovery agent.

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Question by:p_tippett
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Dave_Dietz earned 250 total points
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I don't believe that removing Certificate Services will cause any problem.

What I would suggest is backing up the CA Certificate and Private Key then set the service to disabled and stop it.

Watch for problems.

If there are none you shouldn't need to worry.

If you do finsd down the road that there is a problem you can install Certificate services and use the backed up Cert and Private Key for the CA so that it is effetively the original CA.

Dave Dietz
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by:p_tippett
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OK, but would you recommend revoking the DC certificates after backing up the CA Certificate and Private key (but before stopping the service)?

My theory is if I revoke the certificates and remove the EFS agent in the GPO then stop the service and then monitor I believe if there is no Cert server the DC's cannot obtain a certificate - does that sound reasonable?  Then I should be in a position to remove Cert services.  Presumably I wouldn't have any problems then installing Cert services on a different server in a few months???
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