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Delete domain from server and recreate domain

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi experts,

I have the following infrastructure:

- One single Windows Server 2008 R2 configured as a domain controller for example.local
- Three workstations, Windows 7 Pro, members of example.local
- Three user accounts in example.local

I somehow managed to completely mess up DNS and DNS integration into AD (Active Directory / AD DS). Server Manager's 'Best Practice Analyzer' lists dozens of cryptic errors in AD and DNS. Domain users (roaming profiles) are no longer able to login to the domain, etc.

Correcting all these errors would take ages, so I guess it would be more efficient to totally remove the domain example.local and the DNS role from the server and rebuild the domain from scratch. I don't mind losing the user accounts or anything else in example.com (FSMO etc.) All can be deleted and rebuilt.
My goal would be to recreate a domain with the same name 'example.local' afterwards.

My basic plan is:
1. take the workstations out of the domain example.com => members of 'workgroup'
2. delete the locally stored parts of the roaming user profiles on the workstations (Windows 7 Pro)
3. remove the domain from the server
4. create a new domain (with the same name example.com) on the server
5. create new computer and user accounts on the new example.com domain
6. join the workstations to the domain

Two questions:
a) Is my basic plan OK?
b) I ask you for advice on how to do steps 2 and 3 correctly to reach my goal. Which processes do I have to follow?

Thanks for considering my problem.
Daniel

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Question by:daniel-h
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Expert Comment

by:Krzysztof Pytko
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Are you sure that you want to do that that way? You will completely remove your existing domain. What about file server and resources permission? Could you describe a little bit more your domain infrastructure, please?
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by:Gavincr001
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If you only want to removed a failed DC you can use these steps.

http://www.petri.co.il/delete_failed_dcs_from_ad.htm

I wouldnt want to kill your domain entirely unless you in a LAB environment for yourself only.
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by:Gavincr001
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You could just format the server and build the new domain, then join the PC's to that new domain.
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by:daniel-h
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The files to be shared on the file server (about 12 GB of data) have just been copied over from an external USB harddisk to the file server. No problem to do that again. This is a new installation that only worked during the installation phase and after changing NIC and IP ranges on the server became corrupted.
Therefore I am not expecting any issues with permissions on the files / file server.
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by:daniel-h
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@ Gavincr001
I don't want to reformat the harddisk and do a new installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 if I don't have to do that. Windows is already activated. I just would like to remove the function of domain controller / domain from the server.

I know Petri's article on removing a failed DC. But right now I don't know whether dcpromo would or would not finish successfully. Before starting to remove the domain I would like to collect the expert's thoughts on how to proceed to remove the domain / DC role without forgetting anything vital, because afterwards I would like to recreate a new domain with the same name.
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Krzysztof Pytko earned 250 total points
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OK then, disjoin PCs from domain, run dcpromo on DC from command-line and demote DC. Select that it is the last one DC in a domain. Uninstall also DNS role. Reboot server and start DCPROMO again. After that configure everything as you wrote (ad, dns, gc). After that authorize DHCP server if you have it installed on W2K8 server to serve IPs again.
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by:sighar
sighar earned 250 total points
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Since this is the only DC, I see no problem in just running dcpromo and remove the domain. You cannot remove a failde DC if you only have one...
If I were you, I'd take a better look at the DNS errors, though. It sounds a bit to me like the SRV records are messed up, and fixing it shouldn't be too hard. But if you don't want to spend time on it, then your way seems OK to me.
Remove the roaming user profiles from where you stored them (usually under Users).
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by:daniel-h
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Thanks for your comments. According to your confirmations I followed my plan. After dcpromo I also deinstalled most server roles. The I reinstalled AD DS, did dcpromo (incl. DNS) and added DHCP afterwards. All is working as it should now. Took  me some time, but less than trying fo find a needle in the DNS haystack (there even must have been several needles hidden there...)

Cheers
Daniel
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