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Should I Demote Old SBS server

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Over the weekend I migrated Windows 2003 SBS to new equipment by following the Microsoft Migration document.  The last step in the document is to demote the old server.  This server has been taken off the network already and will not be used any longer.  I was hoping to leave the old server intact though instead of demoting it.  I know with SBS that you cannot have 2 domain controllers on the network.  Since the old server has been turned off and is no longer on the network, I am wondering if I can skip demoting it.  Or will the 7 day time limit kick in on the new server anyway and cause problems?
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Question by:ddawsonw
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tenaj-207 earned 2000 total points
ID: 24024105
You should demote the server, however the seven day time limit will not kick on since the old server is no longer actively on the network.

You should demote the server since the new server will retain settings and information about the old server and only by demoting it can you fully remove those settings.  However, before you do so I would leave the server off the network for at least a week and make sure that the new server is working properly.  On occasion you can have an issue with a role or setting not transferring correctly in which case you'll want to be able to reconnect the old server to the network and resolve the issue.  Therefore, after you wait a week or two reconnect the server to the network run dcpromo to demote it and then let it sit on the network for a day to make sure that the demotion of the old server replicated to the new server.  You should be able to confirm that it has been properly demoted by looking in Active Directory Users and Computers and confirming that there is only one DC in the Domain Controller OU.

By the way, congratulations on switching servers!
-Tenaj
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24024127
You are mistaken.  You CAN have 2 domain controllers - easily.  The restriction is you cannot have two SBS servers.  Big difference.

You should demote it for one very simple reason - you clean up AD - right now, AD thinks you have two DCs.  If you demote it, you'll only have one and there won't be garbage/bad data in the AD.
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by:ddawsonw
ID: 24025147
Thank you for both comments.  It sounds like I need to demote the old server for the purpose of cleaning up the AD on the new server.  I have been a little concerned about turning the old server back on.  But it sounds like this is the way to go.  Thanks.
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by:cscmworkshop
ID: 24026247
you can extend the 7 day grace period to 21 days if you want to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943494/en-us 

But you will need to demote it eventually or else the old server won't let you logon until you do so (Much like Windows Activation after 30 days).
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