Phantom Domain in Network Neighborhood

Posted on 2009-02-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have a "Phantom Domain" showing up in Network Neighborhood.

It is a carbon copy of our real Domain, but with a different domain name.

History:  We had separate small business servers at each office, and each office
had their own domain - LP410.Mycompany.local, FRED.Mycompany.local, DENVER.Mycompany.local,

We created vpn's to each office and then learned about the non-trust single domain restrictions
that small business server (Windows 2003 premium) has.

To clean this up, I created a new Windows 2003 server and created a single domain of
Mycompany.local.  I then went to each office and migrated everyone over to that domain.

Each domain controller at each site was reformatted and rebuilt to be part of the new domain.

Now after all this is done, in Network Neighborhood we still show the LP410 domain, and at
that site you can click on that domain and see all the machines in our AD.  It mirrors the Mycompany.local domain.

So, I'm trying to track down which machine is doing this.  I presume its one of our AD controllers -
and I have 1 at each site, except the tech site which has 2.

Does anyone have any idea how to clear out this phantom domain, or does it really even matter?

Question by:pootwaddle
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Do you have WINS set up?  You may have to clean out the WINS database.  Depending on how many WINS servers you have replicating with each other, it can be a real pain.

    Author Comment

    FYI:  Each AD server is a Domain Controller, DNS server and WINS server for our domain.
    Each should replicate to each of the others.
    LVL 57

    Expert Comment

    by:Mike Kline
    You can remote orphaned domains using ntdsutil
    How to remove orphaned domains from Active Directory
    Did you demote the old domain controllers before you reformated and rebuilt them?

    Author Comment

    I didn't because they were the sole DC of the domains that were going away.  Each client machine was removed to a workgroup and then turned off.  then the DC was turned off, removed from the network and the client machines rebooted and added to the new domain.

    Author Comment

    Also, I'm not finding the phantom domain in Active Directory so maybe it is cached in WINS?
    That's where I am going to look first.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    These kind of problems usually arrise when you have put in a static WINS entry to solve one issue but then when you want to get rid of it becomes a lot harder as the entry gets replicated all over the world (or wherever your servers are).

    Next question: why are you using wins if its a 2003 DC setup ? Any legacy servers still requiring wins ?

    Author Comment

    As of now there are no legacy servers.  All my DC's are 2003
    So you are saying I can stop the WINS madness? =)
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Before you turn your WINS off, you must verify in deed you don't have any legacy systems around that rely on NetBIOS names. You can verify your static mappings in your WINS and see if there's any entry there. If so, ping it and see if it's live. If not take note and remove it. When the static mappings is clean on all your WINS, simply stop the WINS services on all your WINS partners and wait for a good two weeks and no complain, just disable the services. You may even need to disable any machine being a browser list.

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