We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


How easy is it to remove an Active Directory domain and re-install?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
HI, i have a test lab which currently has 5 very small domains, (2 - 3 machines each, just for testing software). I want to add a parent domain which could host MS Exchange and Windows Update server and Anti Virus etc. Once i've created the parent domain i would like to add the other 5 below it. I would prefer to delete the other domains one by one because they need updating (Im a software engineer and they were my first attempts at Systems work and the DNS is all over the place) So my plan would be to remove each machine from a domain and then somehow delete the domain so i can install a new one (New name, child of new parent domain and then add the machines back in) and then re setup the dns. Can anyone please let me know the easiest way to remove these domains
Watch Question

Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009
Just switch the machines in to a workgroup and reboot.
Then on the domain controllers run dcpromo which will either set them as a member server (if there are other domain controllers in the domain) or a workgroup member if they are the last DC in the domain.


Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Thanks for the quick reply, so once i've fun dc promo, will all the AD History be removed?
tigermattSite Reliability Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2011


Once you have run dcpromo on each of the servers, they will be demoted and will no longer act as Domain Controllers. Once all the servers are demoted, none of them will contain a trace of the Active Directory information from the old domains. You can then rejoin them to the new domain and rebuild the AD structure.

Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.