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When deleting a computer that was a member server, get "object is a container and contains other objects..." message

Posted on 2006-11-21
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Here's the situation:
We recently purchased a new server to replace two old servers on our network.  The new server successfully took over all new roles, DNS holdings, exchange, etc... (this is over the course of a couple of weeks).  The old servers were then demoted, then removed from the domain, and finally the drives were wiped after we confirmed everything was working fine.  Just to be clear, we aren't having any problems, no event log errors, nadda.  Everything is working great.

HOWEVER, the computer object of the old servers did not get removed from Active Directory!  Instead, the computer object was simply disabled.  I'd like to delet this object, but when I go to delete it, I get this message: "Object <old server name> is a container and contains other objects.  Are you sure you want to delete object <old server name> and objects it contains?  This operation could take a long time if <old server name> contains a large number of objects."

It lets me delete it, but I just want to make sure I'm not going to hose something if I do.  What could it possibly contain?  How do I find out?  Is it safe to delete it?
I've searched around and found nothing on this particular case so far, but I could've missed it ;)

Thanks for the help!
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Question by:OriginalFisofo
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theruck earned 125 total points
ID: 17990439
if you are sure everything works fine and the servers are offline you can delete it without any doubts. it is just a harmless record now. anyway i think you should try to delete it this way: http://www.petri.co.il/delete_failed_dcs_from_ad.htm
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by:OriginalFisofo
ID: 17990535
Fair enough... I looked at that article and confirmed that the old server is indeed not listed anywhere else.

However, I'm still curious before I delete this thing, why is it giving me this message, any explanation?  I don't like doing things I don't understand ;)
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by:theruck
ID: 17990650
i think it gives you the message just to be sure you were informed before deleting such an important object from AD
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 17990781
basically it doesnt know what its looking at....you have deleted the physical machine and all it has left is a reference with no data behind it.....its prompting you and warning you of all possible outcomes based on what it does and doesnt know about the object...delete it, its all good
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by:OriginalFisofo
ID: 17990791
Thanks guys, sounds good.
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 17990869
No split?
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