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Advice about demoting a domain server

Posted on 2014-11-11
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Last Modified: 2014-11-21
Since our SBS2003 domain only serves two users anymore, costs a lot of power all year and demands quite a lot of attention we want to sacrifice it and downgrade to a workgroup. So far I have:
- Switched the dhcp from the server to my router
- Changed from Exchange 2003 to Office 365
- Transferred my files to a file server

I suppose the next step would be DCpromo, but I cannot oversee its ramifications.
- does dcpromo - demote in practice mean that all the profiles on my server will be accessible to anyone later? (They are non-roaming).

After DC promo there is no domain left to login to, so I'll have to login on the local machine. Are the locallt stored domain profile files still accessible afther demoting the server. Is there software that migrates the domain profile to a local profile?
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Question by:TheoRichel
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Expert Comment

by:Andy M
ID: 40434862
You will need to setup local accounts on the computers before removing them from the domain (once done you won't be able to access any domain accounts on there) then transfer any data from the domain profiles over to the local accounts.

We generally do this using Windows Easy Transfer wizard - it can backup all the files/settings from the domain account and then restore them to the local account without the use of different software (there are other third party alternatives out there).
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 40434884
Thanks!
So DCPROMO does not remove the security from the files, it just throws away, the key?

And the version of the Easy Transfer Wizard that is in Windows 7 is the one to use?
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 40437058
Well I ran the Easy Transfer Wizard on my Win7 computer and then tried to run it on the server, but it was refused because of incomatibility. I suppose this has to do with the fact that my Win 7 Machine is 64 bit. and the server is 64 Is there a way around it?
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 40437079
Sorry for the typos. I meant of course incomPatibility and my server is 32 bit.
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40437211
Once you DCpromo an SBS server the next step is turn it off.  You can't use it for anything thing, unless you have a license for another server OS to install cleanly.  So before you do that...all data must be removed from the SBS server.   create local administrator accounts on each work station.  run Windows Easy Transfer on each work station before disjoining from the domain. Save the data to a new folder on the c: drive of the workstation   DO NOT SAVE TO MY DOCUMENTS
Disjoin from the domain.  Login with the new local administrator account. Run Windows Easy Transfer again to restore the information from that new folder on the workstation.  Then run DCpromo on the SBS server and then shut it down
But I recommend that you don't DCPromo.  Just turn it off after the workstations have been removed from the domain
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Author Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 40437615
Cris: Easy Transfer gives a compatibility problem with my SBS2003 server, probably because it is 32 bit and the W7 machine where it comes from is 32 bit.

So I tried this: http://www.shofkom.com/2009/03/14/how-to-convert-your-domain-profile-to-a-local-profile/ 

But after copmpleting this it doesnt let me access the new profile at all. I have tried to take ownership of that new profile folder, but to no avail.
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Accepted Solution

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TheoRichel earned 0 total points
ID: 40445798
Well the solution is: Profile Wizard, a free tool from Forensit. I migrated my profile in 10 minutes.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40445808
I thought I made it very clear.  Windows Easy Transfer is to be run on each workstation.  Not on the server
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Author Closing Comment

by:TheoRichel
ID: 40456947
It solved my problem immediately
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