What happens to application data when a Domain Controller is demoted

Posted on 2008-06-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-06-20
I have a home server that I set up as a DC. Wish I hadn't, but I didn't realise at the time what I was doing.

Anyway, now I'd like to demote the server. Fact is: I don't even need a domain controller. However, I'm not sure what all the consequences of demoting will be. I know I'll lose the GC, but what about existing applications on the server. What happens to them? Will I have to reinstall absolutely everything?
Question by:GessWurker
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 800 total points
ID: 21823142
Anything that relies on Active Directory will break.

Anything that doesn't will work just fine.

What problems are you having?
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Accepted Solution

tigermatt earned 1200 total points
ID: 21823165
You can demote it and still keep it as a server which is hosting user data and applications. The only exception I am aware of is Exchange - do NOT demote an Exchange Server whilst Exchange is installed.

But you can safely demote any DC and all applications will remain in tact. Don't forget any workstations joined to the domain won't work after the demotion!

Author Comment

ID: 21823329

The problem I encountered was that a particular application I must learn and develop with could not be installed on a domain controller. It required a "local" user account as a sql login and no such thing exists on my DC.


My domain controller is also a web server - I wonder what will happen to the IUSR account? Also, MS SQL 5000 is installed. Naturally, all the logins are of the domain variety. I wonder if I'll have to completely uninstall sql and start over?
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Author Comment

ID: 21823349
oh... and another thing. The server has my wife's graphic design business site on it, as well as some of my own humble pages. I'm afraid everything's gonna vanish if I demote the server.

Author Comment

ID: 21823410
oh... running IIS and Apache.  And when AD disappears, won't all the folder/share permissions disappear with it?

Author Comment

ID: 21823438
tigermatt: sorry I got your name wrong! no insult was intended!
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 21823621
>>> "sorry I got your name wrong! no insult was intended!"
No problem - I am always typing it in wrong, with "tigermast" and "tigermutt" too! I didn't notice it at all until you pointed it out, to be honest.

I think the IUSR account will just be migrated back to the local users and groups, but I've not done this myself for a while so I'm not exactly sure. I would definitely recommend you create yourself a good backup of the server before carrying out this procedure, just in case.


Author Comment

ID: 21834720
Hi guys:

I came up with an alternative solution. I installed VMWare and created a virtual server that's just a plain old member of the domain. No need for me to demote my server now.

I'll split the points.

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Expert Comment

ID: 21834783
Thanks very much!

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