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Taking a "Secondary" backup domain controller off-site for a few weeks to a new building, can I rejoin it to the working domain later ?

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Our IT manager would like to take one of our file servers off site for a few weeks to our new building which is being wired and tested.  I can promote it with FSMO ( almost sure how to use that <gr> QUESTION is regarding what is best steps when we bring it back into the active domain.
Demote it first , or allow the existing two domain controllers to fight it out when it rejoins.
ALL WINDOWS 2003, running well
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Question by:azpete
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8 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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5g6tdcv4 earned 334 total points
ID: 36537076
If your AD is running correctly currently you "should" be able to take a DC offsite, and then bring it back online without issue as long as the time period does not exceed the tombstone period.
With that being said, it would be preferable to make a vm out of the machine and once you are done with it offsite just delete image so it could never come online in your existing envrironment
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36537095
> I can promote it with FSMO
Why would you put the FSMO roles on a DC you're going to pull off the local network?

> Demote it first ...
Why would you add the FSMO roles and then demote it?  Are you trying to completely destroy the domain?

DCs have a 60 day tombstone life - if they don't talk to the rest of the domain by then, then it's a problem.  Otherwise, it should be fine to temporarily move it off site.

(Any reason you can't connect a VPN so you can get it back online MUCH, MUCH more quickly?
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 36537225
You will need a machine with FSMO roles (or access to a machine that has the FSMO roles), on the remote site in order to add users/computers etc to the domain - However, you can't add the FSMO sieze the roles to the onto a machine and then add it back to the domain where another machine has the FSMO roles - you will wreck your network - so don't even try it.


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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36537271
> You will need a machine with FSMO roles (or access to a machine that has the
> FSMO roles), on the remote site in order to add users/computers etc to the domain -
Are you CERTAIN about this - isn't that what the RID master is for - allocating SIDs so that computers and users can be added to any DC regardless of FSMO placement?  The only time they should need access to the FSMO servers is if they run out of RIDs (relative IDs).
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Author Comment

by:azpete
ID: 36537908
Sorry, my original question exposed my lack of  experience with adding another windows 2003 domain controller.  In order to "make" one of our existing file-servers an additional domain controller I plan to run the command DCPROMO on it.  My mistake for using the term FSMO.
We simply want to be able to take it to the new site, plug it into the new switch and take over a notebook that already knows about our domain and login.No real work will be done. This will make our IT manager happy!
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:KCTS
KCTS earned 166 total points
ID: 36539225
Providing that the computer and user accounts exist then you won't need the FSMO roles on the new DC, however, you will need to make sure the new DC is both a global catalog and DNS server.

I can't see what you hope to achieve however, if you can log on to the domain in the current location , then you will be able to log on in another location it you move the hardware to the new location...
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Assisted Solution

by:5g6tdcv4
5g6tdcv4 earned 334 total points
ID: 36539292
Just make sure cached credentials are enabledand the user will be able to login without a dc present
I know you said this is a file server, are these files necessary for the singleuser?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:5g6tdcv4
ID: 36539304
In the end setting VPN for theuser is the easiest/safest way to go
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