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SBS 2003 and demoting BDC

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

We have an issue where we have a SBS 2003 server and a Server 2003 Standard acting as a BDC.
Th issue is that the BDC is not replicating what is actually on the SBS (PDC)
We dont actually need a BDC so we are looking to demote this server.

Are there any implications of doing this that would affect the SBS server? Are there any best practises to following when demoting.

The BDC is currently a Terminal, DNS, SQL and application server.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

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Question by:Sensata
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chuck-williams earned 172 total points
ID: 34953206
I have performed a test Swing migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 which requires an temporary domain controller on Windows Server Standard. I was able to demote the domain controller from the finished SBS 2008 domain with no problem. I have had a few environments with additional domain controllers in SBS 2003 but have never had to demote the additional domain controllers from SBS 2003 but I am sure it would work as it does in a standard domain environment and in SBS 2008. But it sounds like that server is having issues communicating with the SBS server. Any issues you run to the demotion should not be SBS related just a problem with the secondary domain controller communicating. Worse comes to worse you can use this article to manually remove the domain controller from Active Directory:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498

Note: Remember to fully back up both servers before performing the demotion or especially performing anything in the above article.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34953337
You would force the demotion as a DC and then perform a metadata cleanup on the SBS server.  After which, I would run DCDIAG and the SBS BPA to ensure SBS is functioning optimally.  Then rejoin the second server as a member server to the domain.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34953341
And PERFORM A FULL BACKUP OF BOTH SYSTEMS BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS!
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 164 total points
ID: 34956221
Unfortunately in Windows 2000 and beyond there *is* no such thing as a PDC and BDC. Thus, it is entirely possible that, if your SBS DC is the one with issues, by demoting your other DC you are pulling the rug out from under your entire network.

I'd use netdiag, dcdiag, and the SBS BPA to fix any replication issues you have. Then if you want to demote your second DC, you can do so (no harm there) but you'll know you are doing it when SBS is fully prepared and able to take full responsibility for AD.

Doing so before that time is *very* risky, so as leew says, have backups.

-Cliff
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 164 total points
ID: 34956981
Good point - in my experiences of late, the First DC has always been fine and the additional DCs have been problematic so my response was working under that assumption... I would still think that it's LIKELY the SBS server's AD is fine (perhaps some misconfiguration of DNS but otherwise likely fine).  That doesn't mean that you shouldn't run DCDIAG, NETDIAG and SBS BPA as Cliff suggests to get a better handle on where you problem is.   I was also under the impression the DCs haven't communicated properly for 60+ days in which case, it's likely you have no choice but to force demote and rejoin to the domain as a workstation AND to do the metadata cleanup.

But again (to sound redundant) BACKUP, and perform some diags to get a better understanding of what, exactly is wrong.
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by:Sensata
ID: 34959317
Thanks people.
I will be definetly be doing full backups of both servers before i touch anything.

From looking at the event viewer it does not look like they have been replicating since 2008. Way before we took on the support for these servers.I dont believe that there are any issues with the AD on the SBS server.
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Expert Comment

by:Ady Foot
ID: 35455597
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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