Using REPLMON to restore Active Directory

Posted on 2007-08-02
Last Modified: 2008-05-31
I have two Windows Server 2003 domain controllers in my domain. I need to replace the hard drives in the Primary Domain Controller. If I install Windows on the new drive, add the Domain Controller server role, restart in Directory Services Mode, and run REPLMON to replicate Active Directory from the second DC, is that the best way to restore Active Directory to the new installation? Am I missing anything?
Question by:achalmers2004
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Before you begin you should make sure you have good backups then do do the following

    If the DC you need to replace HDDs on is still up you should transfer the FSMO roles first and demote the machine from a DC.  For info on how to transfer the FSMO roles see:

    If that DC is no longer online you'll need to seize the FSMO roles and perfrom a Metadata cleanup to remove the old DC.  See the following:

    Seizing FSMO roles

    Metadata Cleanup

    After transfering/siezing the FSMO roles and removing the old DC from AD reinstall Server 2003 on the new/repaired and promote it to a DC.  There is no need to run REPLMON.

    Author Comment

    If I'm reading this correctly, I won't be able to transfer FSMO roles because the original DC and the new DC at this location won't be online at the same time. Just to clarify, the second DC which is in another city will remain online throughout the process.

    So if I'm looking at seizing FSMO roles, I guess I don't understand what I'm seizing from, if the original DC is already offline.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    You are correct the FSMO roles will need to be siezed and a metadata cleanup will need to be performed to remove the offline DC form AD.  While most things in Active Directory are replicated and redundant there are certain types of tasks that a single DC has final authority on.  These are called Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO).  For an explaination of the FSMO roles see  While the original server may be offline Active Directory still says that server owns those roles.  For a domain to function well DCs holding these roles must be present and available.

    Seizing FSMO roles

    Metadata Cleanup

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Forced accept.

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