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Additional Domain Controller role

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Presently I am having a Windows 2003 R2 Domain Controller and 1 new installed Addition Domain Controller. how i can transfer the Domain Controller role to addtional domain controller  if  my domain controller faile.  
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Question by:Arnaw1
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From the command line promote the new machine to a domain controller with the DCPROMO command from the command line
Select Additional Domain Controller in an existing Domain

Assuming that you are using Active Directory Integrated DNS on the first Domain Controller, Just install DNS on the new DC (from the control panel->Windows Components->Networking Services->DNS, or Configure my server wizard), DNS will then replicate to the new domain controller along with Active Directory.

To make the new machine a global catalog server, go to Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand, Sites, Default first site and Servers. Right click on the new server and select properties and tick the Global Catalog checkbox. (Global catalog is essential for logon as it needs to be queried to establish Universal Group Membership)

If you do this and configure the clients on the remote site to use their local DC as preferred DNS server then this will allow clients to log on without any WAN communication

If you are using DHCP you should spread this across the domain controllers, In a simple single domain this is easiest done by Setting up DHCP on the second Domain controller and using a scope on the same network that does not overlap with the existing scope on the other Domain Controller. Dont forget to set the default gateway (router) and DNS Servers. Talking of which all the clients (and the domain controllers themselves) need to have their Preferred DNS server set to one domain controller, and the Alternate DNS to the other, that way if one of the DNS Servers fails, the clients will automatically use the other,

Both Domain Controllers by this point will have Active Directory, Global Catalog, DNS and DHCP. and the domain could function for a while at least should any one of them fail. However for a fully robust system you need to be aware that the first domain controller that existed will by default hold what are called FSMO Roles. There are five of these roles that are held on a single server and are essential for the functioning of the network. If the second Domain Controller fails, then no problem as the FSMO roles are on the first Domain Controller. However if you intent to function with the second Domain Controller only, then the roles need to be moved to the Second Domain Controller. Ideally if this is a planned event you should cleanly transfer the FSMO roles, if it is an unplanned emergency the FSMO roles can be seized (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255504)
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you can use ntdsutil to transfer the roles in case ur DC fails. but if your dc fails and you tranfer the role by ceasing your roles you should NEVER bring back ur failed dc back to network. You need to remove the network cable and do a dcpromo after you bring it up. Then add the machine back to domain and promote it back to a dc.
see the links below:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255504
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801

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