SBS 2003 Server - Can I demote an SBS 2003 server and leave it up as a Windows SBS 2003 server?

Hello,

Assuming that there is a surviving domain controller for the domain post demotion (we have additional domain controllers already), Is it possible to demote a Windows SBS 2003 Domain Controller and have the SBS 2003 server stay on the network serving files and printers?  No EXCHANGE, RWW, or other SBS functions are used.

Thanks!
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jkeegan123Asked:
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Unfortunately no!  You would have to buy a new server license for the old SBS server and rebuild the server as running SBS as anything other than a Domain Controller without the FSMO roles is against the license agreement.

Sorry

Alan
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Don S.Commented:
Nope, it won't let you do that.  Not to mention Server 2003 (which SBS2003) is based on is extinct in 6 months so the question is why would you want to do that?
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
As the Experts above have stated, this will be in breach of Microsoft's licensing terms. The moment you transfer the FSMO roles to another DC, the SBS server will start shutting itself down after 7 days. There is a hotfix which will extend this grace period to 21 days, but the server will still shut itself down after this grace period.

There are ways to prevent the server from shutting itself down after this grace period but as I mentioned previously this will be in breach of Microsoft's licensing terms.
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jkeegan123Author Commented:
There is a specific situation where a company was acquired and needs to retain access to the files on an SBS server for reference purposes, but there is nowhere to migrate the files to.  It would be nice to demote and join another domain with it, but if it's going to do the reboot thing, that's no help....
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
In that case your only real option is to reinstall Windows on the host, however you'll need to provide your own license for it.
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jkeegan123Author Commented:
Of course ..... such a pain since the data is on one large partition....would be so easy to demote and join.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
It would be very easy - but unfortunately not in compliance with the T's and C's of the SBS license agreement.
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VB ITSSpecialist ConsultantCommented:
Very easy but not very legal :)
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
No it's not easy And it's not legal.  As stated the server would shutdown frequently after 7 days from the demotion.  Why can't you just copy the data to an external hard drive and then attach that to the other domain and you will still have access
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