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Transferring roles to another server

If we need to transfer roles such as operations master, rid master etc from one server to another, can it be done while users are on the network and what would be the steps?  Thanksl
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LAN/WAN Systems Administrator
All roles can be transferred during business hours but I always advise against on hours changes to Active Directory.

To transfer RID Master, PDC Emulator, and Infrastructure Master:

Open AD Users and Computes
RC, change domain controller and Connect to the ADC you want to transfer the roles to
RC Again and select Operations Masters
Select the Tab for the role you want to work with and click change (If change is grayed out then the role is already being handled by the ADC you are connected to)

To Transfer Schema Master
Open elevated command prompt and enter the below command to register schema management
regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
start, run, mmc
File, Add/Remove Snap in
AD Schema (Add), OK
RC, Change domain controller, select the ADC you want to move the roll to
RC Operations Masters
Change Button
Bradley FoxLAN/WAN Systems Administrator

Also, The Infrastructure master should NOT be on a Global Catalog unless absolutely necessary.
Krzysztof PytkoSenior Active Directory Engineer
Top Expert 2012
If you're interested, you may wish to follow an article on my blog for that at


When you transfer PDC Emulator Master then you need to advertise new time server in your forest

[...]- after transfer of the PDCEmulator role, configure the NEW PDCEmulator to an external timesource and reconfigure the old PDCEmulator to use the domainhierarchie now. Therefore run on the NEW "w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:PEERS /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update" where PEERS will be filled with the ip address or server(time.windows.com) and on the OLD one run "w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /reliable:no /update" and stop/start the time service on the old one. All commands run in an elevated command prompt without the quotes. [...]

it's an extract from MVP blog at

Others have posted steps above but YES you can do it during business hours. I've done it many many many times on Windows 2003 & Windows 2008 domain controllers. You should be fine.


Thanks for all the good advice.  I just transferred the rid, pdc and operations master and was really quick.  Will do the schema next.  

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