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How to know the which domain contraoller is the primary domain controller.

life_j asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
We have parent and child  domain with windows 2003 servers.How can I know  which is the primary domain controller on the parent and the child domain.Secondly does the child domain needs to have all the 5 FSMO roles.Also I want to know if there is a comand line utility from which I can find which role is performed by which server.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234790 will show you how to check.  You'll find info on NTDSUTIL in that KB which is the command line util.

Then, this is a good overview so you can plan your AD correctly:


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Top Expert 2006
Hi life_j,

if you havent ever moved to FSMO roles around then the first Domain Controller in each Domain will be the "primary" Domain controller as a rule of thumb..... otherwise Jeff's Links will help you find out

windows Server OS's dont have a "primary" DC as such though, if youhave multiple DC's in a domain then automitic Load balancing will control where abouts a user logs on to and if a multiple site Domain is in place then Sites and Services subnet config will help to control which DC is used

Top Expert 2005
There are 2 Forest-wide FSMO roles and 3 domain-wide FSMO roles.  The root DC of the Forest will hold the Schema and the Domain Naming Masters - they ONLY exist in the forest root.

The other 3 roles will exist in EACH domain - including the root:

PDC Emulator
RID Master
Infrastructure Master

The ONLY time that the Infrastructure Master must not be co-located on a Global Catalog server is when there is more than one (1) domain in the Forest.

Hope this helps.


Thanks guys

How can I add a subnets in the sites and services.
Top Expert 2005

Open Active Directory Sites and Services.
Right click on Subnet and select New>Subnet.
File in the network address and the subnet mask.
In the lower pane, select the site it will be associated with.
Click OK.
quickest way to figure out the "PDC":

NLTEST /dclist:domainname

where domainname is the name of the domain (netbios name not FQDN), you'll get a list of all the DC's in that domain.


NLTEST /dcname:domainname

will get you the PDC emulator for that domain


Thanks Everyone
I split the points to every one.
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