rebuild of DNS and Active directory

Posted on 2007-07-29
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I need to rebuild a domain controller in a remote location.

We have two windows 2003 Server standard edition servers in our main site, these servers both have active directory, one of them is a dhcp server and the other is a dns server.

We also have a remte site that has a windows 2003 server standard edition, that is running dns, and active directory. Active directory was synchronizing properly between the sites up until about two months ago. At this time it looks like Active directory has to be resynchronized from scratch.

I think the problem is due to dns not working properly in the remote site.

I believe I must rebuild both dns and active directory on the server.

Can anyone tell me how to remove and reinstall DNS, and how to remove the active directory information and start resynchronizing it with the remote site.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Question by:Ekuskowski
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    Why are you not using Active Directory Integrated DNS - this would be the sensible solution and is the default.

    If you are using this and need to rebuild the server then remove active directory from the old machine with DCPROMO (you might just want to check it does not hold anf FSMO roles first, and if it does move them to another DC

    If it as using AD Integrated DNS then DNS will be removed form the server alog with AD, if not you will need to remove the DNS server Service Manually.

    To rebuild AD, just run DCPROMO again - this will promote the machine to be a DC and Active Directory will sync, If AD integrated DNS is being used then DNS will be insttalled and replicated automatically.

    Author Comment

    I gave this a try, and now I am, trying to run DCPromo to reinstall active directory but I keep receiving the following error:

    The wizard cannot gain access to the list of domains in the forest.

    This condition may be caused by a DNS lookup problem. For information about troubleshooting common dns lookup problems, please see the following Microsoft Web sit:
    The error is:
    The RPC server is unavailable

    I am able to ping the active directory domain controller at the remote site, it is also running the RPC Service. I'm stuck trying to get active directory and DNS back on my wondows 2003 server.

    Any additional help would be great

    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Are all the Domain Controllers on the same domain? Or is the remote DC on a child domain?
    Is there a firewall between your primary DC and the remote site?
    I would try removing the DNS zone from your remote site and adding it back in as a secondary site pulling records from the primary DNS server. This is only if all the DC's are on the same domain.

    Author Comment

    Yes they are all part of the same domain
    There is no firewall between the sites
    I removed DNS from the problem server.
    How do I add it back in as a secondary site? I thought I was going to add active directory back to the server which would also add DNS back onto the server, but I can't load Active directory, because I cant run DCPromo, because I receive the RPC error.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    You need to have a DNS server and that must pertain you your domain - without DNS Active Directory does not work!

    If you have another DNS server available make sure that the prefrred DNS server setting on the machines point to its IP address.

    make DNS Active Directory integrated as soon as possible - its better that way!

    Author Comment

    So I need to have a DNS server at the remote site, which I'm not sure how to configure ?
    Then I need to point my old server which I removed Active directory and DNS from to get DNS info from this new DNS server.

    Then I will be able to run DCPromo on the old server and it will be able to synchronize with my main/primary site. Will DNS and active directory now be integrated on the old/original server ?

    Thanks Again

    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Install DNS on the remote server if it isnt already.
    Then open the DNS management in administrative tools. right click on forward lookup zones and select new zone. Select secondary zone, type in the your domain name with the dns suffix (, on the Master DNS tab add the IP of the master DNS server (your other dns server)

    On your local DNS server (not the new DNS server we just created) go to forward lookup zones and right click on the zone name ( and select properties, then zone transfers, allow zone transfers should be on. if your server is already set to allow zone transfers to any server you are done, if "only to servers listed on the name serves tab" is selected add your new DNS server to the name server tab on this same properties tab, otherwise if "only to the follwing servers" is selected add the ip address of the new DNS server. this will allow your dns zone to be transferred to your new DNS server.

    I hope this helps.

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