Moving Domain Controller to another box.

Posted on 2006-05-01
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi experts,

We need to move a DC  from one box to another.
The DC2 has also DHCP and WINS servers running.
There is another , working DC (named DC1) on the network that is online , serving clients and replicating with DC2.
What is the best practice to perform the move without (m)any complications?

I plan to:

1.Promote the new box to a domain controller ( let's say DC3).
2.Stop DHCP service on DC2   ( DC1 is also a DHCP server  - it will serve the clients)
3.Stop the WINS on DC2
4.Transfer to DC1 any server roles that DC2 might have.
5.After replication is finished , demote DC2.

What am I missing? Any suggestions for a better plan/strategy?

What do I do about transfering the DHCP and WINS services?
How do I let the new DC3 know about address leases , reservations etc. that existed on DC2?

I appreciate your input.

Thank you.

Question by:RICuser
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    So why do you have two DHCP servers?  If DC1 will be the DHCP server and DC3 will be a backup, just don't authorize DHCP on DC3.  The best senario for this is to backup the DHCP database nightly on DC1, copy the backup to DC3.  In the event that DC1 fails or the DHCP on DC1 fails, simply login to DC3 make sure the DHCP service is not running, restore the DHCP database to the the same location on DC3, authorize the DHCP server and restart the DHCP service on DC3.

    Your plan seems solid enough.  You can even replicate all changes to DC1 move all roles and then dcpromo down DC2, remove it from the network, then add DC3 as DC2 to keep the naming scheme that you had in place.  Wins is easy enough to rebuild and depending on the size of your network you probably won't have a problem with just starting WINS and letting the database rebuild on its own.



    Author Comment

    Well, two DHCP is for redundancy. As per Microsoft , 80/20 should be the rule...And also for load balancing etc.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    Using this artical
    Backup the CA Configuration,
    Uninstall the CA,
    Do the Domain Rename,
    Install the CA,
    Restore the CA Configuration.

    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution


    I think you have a similar postRIC user so I'll just post my 2 cents here as well. has a lot of good information that should aide you with your demotion of domain controllers. I would be extra careful about making sure clients and services function correctly on your dc during the maintenance. Make sure all 5 fsmo roles and gc's are on dc1.

    There is a caveat to your redundant DHCP server tho. It's been a while since I last did this but I think only one DHCP server has ownership of a scope, therefore if you lost one dhcp server, your dhcsp reservations are no longer valid on that scope. Of course if you dont use dhcp reservations than it probably doesnt matter as much.

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