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

Posted on 2014-11-19
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Last Modified: 2014-12-05
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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Question by:jkeegan123
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9 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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Alan Hardisty earned 2000 total points
ID: 40453203
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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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Don S.
ID: 40453263
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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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40453713
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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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:jkeegan123
ID: 40454004
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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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40454012
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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Author Comment

by:jkeegan123
ID: 40454015
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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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 40454448
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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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40454472
Very easy but not very legal :)
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40454797
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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