How to remove NT 4 BDC from 2003 Active Directory

lehan used Ask the Experts™
It’s amazing that someone still has an NT 4.0 server on their network ... its 2010!!

Anyways, a client of mine has an AD 2003 with two 2003 DCs and also two NT 4.0 BDCs. I am looking to remove the BDCs from the domain so I can raise the AD level to ‘Native’ from its current ‘Interim’ level. I need to raise it to be able to create a forest-level domain trust with another AD.

My question is; what is the most graceful way to remove the NT 4.0 BDCs? I recall that you cannot remove a NT PDC without upgrading to 2003 then demoting it, but is that true for a BDC as well? If I launch " srvmgr " console on the BDC, I can see an option to remove it from domain, would that work? Or can I just delete the computer account from AD users & computers MMC?

Hopefully there is still an NT guru out there that can help...I don't want to end up messing up AD! Thanks!
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®


Yeah I found this link but I want to make sure that someone tried this method and it works with no issues. The reason is I also found several article on the net claiming that there is no way to remove a BDC except for upgrading it to 2000 or 2003 then demoting it to memeber server, am I missing something?

1. Log on into the BDC (Backup Domain Controller) with account that is member in "Domain Admins" users group.
 2. Go to "Start" -> "Run" -> Write "Srvmgr" and press on "Enter" button.
 3. Remove the BDC (Backup Domain Controller) computer account from the domain.
LAN/WAN Systems Administrator
I have done this in the past with no issues.  Make sure you follow Section B as well which says to delete all DNS and WINS records for this machine too.

The key DNS records are the "Same as Parent Folder" A records in the domain forward lookup zone.  Delete the ones that point to the BDC's IP.
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!


Ok, great, that really helps.

To confirm:
1) follow instaruction on Section A, Option B to remove BDC from domain
2) follow instructions in Section B to cleanup DNS/WINS records
Also, since I have 2 BDCs, I am assuming I would run Srvmgr on each BDC and remove itself from the domain? what happens to the BDC at this point (not that I care much) but does it become inaccessible since I will be logged in as the domain admin acct?
Bradley FoxLAN/WAN Systems Administrator

I can't be certain what will happen as when I did it I immediately shut it down and pulled the hard drives to degauss (big magnet).


Quick update; I was able to remove both BDCs from AD using 'srvmgr' which I ran on each BDC. After deleting them from AD, I deleted them from WINS. There were no records for them in DNS.
Once removed from AD, I disconnected the network cable and was still able to access them using the domain admin acct!

Now I should be able to raise the domain and forest level to 'native'. Any tips, gotchas or best practices to watch for or is it straight forward?

Thanks for the help so far and I will accept your solution to give you the points shortly...

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial