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Removing dead domain controller from AD

Posted on 2007-12-01
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Last Modified: 2010-11-05
Could someone perhaps enlighten me as to a quick and easy way to remove a dead DC from Active Directory?

Obviously the preferable strategy is to demote and remove it beforehand, but this is not possible as the box is utterly hosed. The other DC is moaning like a spoilt child, refusing to commit AD changes without the other DC, and whilst we have all but eradicated AD from our network, it is still required in the short term to support a couple of legacy applications (otherwise I'd just nuke the whole domain and crack open the champagne).

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Question by:alextoft
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Seize the FSMO roles (if necessary) http://www.petri.co.il/seizing_fsmo_roles.htm
Make sure at least one other machine is a global catalog server
then remove the failed DC following the procedure at http://www.petri.co.il/delete_failed_dcs_from_ad.htm
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by:alextoft
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Thanks, I'll have a go at that in the morning and report back.
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by:alextoft
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Spot on. All now working as prescribed. Many thanks.
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by:JBond2010
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The effects of leaving such remains inside the Active Directory may vary, but one thing is sure: Whenever you'll try to re-install the server with the same computername and try to promote it to become a Domain Controller, you will fail because the Dcpromo process will still find the old object and therefore will refuse to re-create the objects for the new-old server.

In the event that the NTDS Settings object is not removed correctly you can use the Ntdsutil.exe utility to manually remove the NTDS Settings object.

If you give the new domain controller the same name as the failed computer, then you need perform only the first procedure to clean up metadata, which removes the NTDS Settings object of the failed domain controller. If you will give the new domain controller a different name, then you need to perform all three procedures: clean up metadata, remove the failed server object from the site, and remove the computer object from the domain controllers container.

You will need the following tool: Ntdsutil.exe, Active Directory Sites and Services, Active Directory Users and Computers.

Also, make sure that you use an account that is a member of the Enterprise Admins universal group.

Caution: Using the Ntdsutil utility incorrectly may result in partial or complete loss of Active Directory functionality.

To clean up metadata

At the command line, type Ntdsutil and press ENTER.
C:\WINDOWS>ntdsutil
ntdsutil:At the Ntdsutil: prompt, type metadata cleanup and press Enter.
ntdsutil: metadata cleanup
metadata cleanup:At the metadata cleanup: prompt, type connections and press Enter.
metadata cleanup: connections
server connections:At the server connections: prompt, type connect to server <servername>, where <servername> is the domain controller (any functional domain controller in the same domain) from which you plan to clean up the metadata of the failed domain controller. Press Enter.
server connections: connect to server server100
Binding to server100 ...
Connected to server100 using credentials of locally logged on user.
server connections:Note: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 eliminates the need for the above step.

Type quit and press Enter to return you to the metadata cleanup: prompt.
server connections: q
metadata cleanup:Type select operation target and press Enter.
metadata cleanup: Select operation target
select operation target:Type list domains and press Enter. This lists all domains in the forest with a number associated with each.
select operation target: list domains
Found 1 domain(s)
0 - DC=dpetri,DC=net
select operation target:Type select domain <number>, where <number> is the number corresponding to the domain in which the failed server was located. Press Enter.
select operation target: Select domain 0
No current site
Domain - DC=dpetri,DC=net
No current server
No current Naming Context
select operation target:Type list sites and press Enter.
select operation target: List sites
Found 1 site(s)
0 - CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
select operation target:Type select site <number>, where <number> refers to the number of the site in which the domain controller was a member. Press Enter.
select operation target: Select site 0
Site - CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
Domain - DC=dpetri,DC=net
No current server
No current Naming Context
select operation target:Type list servers in site and press Enter. This will list all servers in that site with a corresponding number.
select operation target: List servers in site
Found 2 server(s)
0 - CN=SERVER200,CN=Servers,CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
1 - CN=SERVER100,CN=Servers,CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
select operation target:Type select server <number> and press Enter, where <number> refers to the domain controller to be removed.
select operation target: Select server 0
Site - CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
Domain - DC=dpetri,DC=net
Server - CN=SERVER200,CN=Servers,CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
 DSA object - CN=NTDS Settings,CN=SERVER200,CN=Servers,CN=Default-First-Site-Name,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=dpetri,DC=net
 DNS host name - server200.dpetri.net
 Computer object - CN=SERVER200,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=dpetri,DC=net
No current Naming Context
select operation target:Type quit and press Enter. The Metadata cleanup menu is displayed.
select operation target: q
metadata cleanup:Type remove selected server and press Enter.
You will receive a warning message. Read it, and if you agree, press Yes.


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