Considerations to make prior to demoting a DC

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?


jaesoulAsked:
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Mike KlineConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
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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NavdeepCommented:
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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jaesoulAuthor Commented:
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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NavdeepCommented:
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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Mike KlineCommented:
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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jaesoulAuthor Commented:
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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NavdeepCommented:
Yes, That's correct. there is no harm in trying :)
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jaesoulAuthor Commented:
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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Mike KlineCommented:
It is normal to be nervous...but once you get this first one done you wIll see....painless :)
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jaesoulAuthor Commented:
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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NavdeepCommented:
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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jaesoulAuthor Commented:
Thank you
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