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Considerations to make prior to demoting a DC

Posted on 2011-02-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Everyone,

So I have a DC that is not replicating, apparent has not been replicating for a quite a long time. It resides at a branch site with only 3 DCs...

B/c of the time in which the DC has not been repliating, and the fact that we their are only 3 PCs on site, I thought I would simply do the following (let me know if I am wrong here):

1. Update DNS in the DHCP scope to have the PCs resolve using the other DNS servers located at other sites within the VPN (Note their are 4 other DCs in the evironment with DNS. Network is in a MESH.

2. Adjust the Sites and Services to login to another assigned DC.

3. Proceed to demote the crippled DC, so It is gone from the network for ever. Am I missing something?


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Question by:jaesoul
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 34944142
Make sure its not running certificate services - also have you tried to fis replication, its allways better to remove a DC gracefully if you can

Domain replication issues Troubleshooting
http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000301.htm

Pete
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Mike Kline earned 2000 total points
ID: 34944155
When you say a long time I'm guessing it is longer than the tombstone lifetime period (usually 60 or 180 days)  good blog on TSL here http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2006/07/23/1233.aspx

In that case what I'd do is on the dead DC

1.  Run dcpromo /forceremoval  
2.  Cleanup that dead DC from AD http://www.petri.co.il/delete_failed_dcs_from_ad.htm  - you do this from a "good dc"

3.   I'm assuming this box has no FSMO roles so you don't need to do anything there.  If it did hold FSMO roles then you would have to seize the roles.

4.  Once the cleanup has replicated you can join that box back to the domain and promote it to be a DC again.

Thanks

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Navdeep
ID: 34944216
Hi,

In order to successfully demote a DC, First of all identify the services its running for example DNS, DHCP,
migrate them to different DC if required.

Point 1 and 2 are correct

Point 3, You need to check if it's holding an fsmo roles  and if them transfer them over to another DC.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801

Once you do force removal of DC. You need to perform metadata clean up so that Server object from AD Sites and Service are removed.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736378%28WS.10%29.aspx

Hope this helps you.

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Author Comment

by:jaesoul
ID: 34944220
Thank you MK Line,

You mention to do a CleanUp after i have forced removal, i have a few questions:

1. why do I need to use the force removal switch? and not just dcpromo?
2. If the DCPROMO is successfull why do I need to do a Clean up?

Thank you for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Navdeep
ID: 34944246
Hi jaesoul,

The force removal switch is used because most likely you won't be able to remove the DC from the env since its not replicating. There may be other unforseen issues as well.

/forceremoval switch will forcibly remove the DC from the Domain/forest and after that you need to do metadata clean up. It's a requirement.

Regards,
v-2nas
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 34944251
Try first without the forceremoval but if it has not replicated in a very long time then that graceful demotion may not work so I just started there....but yeah if the normal demotion works then you won't need the cleanup.

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Author Comment

by:jaesoul
ID: 34944279
Thank you all.. so to clarify...

Should I try a DCpromo *without switch  if it hasnt been beyond 180 days (windows 2003). ?

If no go do the force removal with meta data clean up?

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Expert Comment

by:Navdeep
ID: 34944295
Yes, That's correct. there is no harm in trying :)
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Author Comment

by:jaesoul
ID: 34944355
Thank you...

I am going to embark on this journey this morning. I have to admit I am always a bit nervous with messing with AD removals etc... I do know for a FACT that this DC holds no vital roles accept for DC./DNS
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 34944389
It is normal to be nervous...but once you get this first one done you wIll see....painless :)
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Author Comment

by:jaesoul
ID: 34944646
Thank you ... I have just one last question before walking the plank.

We have an Exchange 2007 Server in  this environment... it is at the HQ.

Does this effect the way I should approach this process?

Thank you guys again,
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Navdeep
ID: 34944806
Hi,

As long as Exchange 2007 and your DC is in different site. It shudder be an issue. Exchange 2007 elects the DC based on Site, so same site DC will be picked up first. Anyways since you have multiple DC exchange will be able to see other DC's as well.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jaesoul
ID: 35329897
Thank you
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