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Log on to first DC (FSMO holder) had naming information could not be located, needs second DC to boot up

Posted on 2013-01-14
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Last Modified: 2013-08-17
We have two domain controllers (windows 2003 standard) on one site.  Recently we had a significant power outage and both server had a forced shut down.  On rebooting the first domain controller it hung on “Preparing Network Connections” for a long time but eventually got me to the point where I could log on.  However, when trying to access AD Users and Computers I got the following error.
“Naming information could not be located because: The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted.  Contact your system administrator to verify that the domain is properly configured and is currently online.”
It is not until the other DC has fully booted into Windows that AD instantly becomes available on the first DC.  Interestingly, once the first DC has found the domain, the second DC can be shut down without any effect.  Each DC looks to itself as the preferred DNS server and the other as its alternate.
We have found a Microsoft article that refers to changing a registry setting …..
“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NTDS\Parameters
Value name:  Repl Perform Initial Synchronizations
Value type:  REG_DWORD
Value data: 0”
But warns that …..
“This configuration change is not recommended for use in production environments or in any environment on an ongoing basis.”
Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this is happening and how we can set up so that either DC can function fully regardless of the condition of the other?  I am particularly concerned about how we would handle one of the DCs dying and leaving us with no working AD.
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Question by:vanderfield
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38776857
Which domain controller holds the fmso roles? Guessing #2, ensure that you don't keep the #2 DC offline too long or it will tombstone.
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Accepted Solution

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vanderfield earned 0 total points
ID: 38776864
ve3ofa,

it's the first DC (FSMO holder), additionally saw this article that explains this Initial Synchronization of FSMO Owners
 
When a DC that owns a FSMO role boots up, it must complete inbound replication with its known replication partners before it will operate as the FSMO master. Specifically, it must replicate the partition that contains the FSMO role the DC owns. For example, if a DC holds either or both of the forest wide operations masters (the Domain Naming or Schema master), then that DC must successfully replicate the Configuration partition of Active Directory. Similarly, if the DC holds one or more of the domain specific FSMO roles (RID, PDC, Infrastructure) then that DC must successfully replicate the domain partition at startup before it will function as that operations master. See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305476
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Author Closing Comment

by:vanderfield
ID: 39416452
the concerned DC would boot up properly along side it's replication partner locally
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