Separate Certificate Services from Domain Controller on Windows Server 2012 R2

Posted on 2015-02-17
Last Modified: 2015-02-20
I have a domain controller that I had setup and added certificate services. Now, I would like to demote my current certificate services server from a domain controller, but the demote process errors out because it has certificate services. I assume this is because I set up an Enterprise CA and an Enterprise CA needs to be on a domain controller. Is this correct?
Question by:byt3
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 40616009
This is not correct

Enterprise CA can be installed on member server, domain controller is not required.
Also you can't uninstall \ demote DC server until you remove CA role

To do what you are trying to: There are TWO options:
1st: backup CA database and export below registry
Uninstall CA server role from server
Demote domain controller to member server followed by reboot
Again reinstall CA server role on same server and restore database and CA registry

2nd option:
backup CA database and export below registry
Uninstall CA server role from server
Rename Domain controller to some else name
Prepare new member server with same name as old DC\CA server name
Install AD certificate services on that new member server and restore CA backup and registry

Check below articles for step by step

Author Comment

ID: 40617200
Thank you for the clarification and the how-to. The how-to suggests creating new templates for certificates to re-issue, does that mean currently issued certificates and created templates won't be migrated to the new server?
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40618737
Already issued certificates cannot be migrated to new server, they are just part of certificate database as issued certs on source server and carry forwarded to new server when you restore database with same hostname and actual certificates with private key remains with users \ computers who requested it.
In fact no need to migrate them.

In case of templates, they also cannot be migrated as by default they are stored in AD and any custom templates you need to manually create again on target server

Author Comment

ID: 40619487
Here's another question: Am I correct in assuming that I can't demote the server, because the templates are stored in AD? And by putting the CA on a member server the templates will no longer be stored in AD?
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40619505
No this is not correct

No matter whenever you put AD integrated CA on member server \ domain controller, certificate templates are always stored in active directory for use of anybody

U can't demote DC while CA is installed because this is restriction imposed by Microsoft, because while CA is installed removing DC role will break CA completely, hence they have put this restrictions

Featured Post

Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

The following article is comprised of the pearls we have garnered deploying virtualization solutions since Virtual Server 2005 and subsequent 2008 RTM+ Hyper-V in standalone and clustered environments.
Recently, Microsoft released a best-practice guide for securing Active Directory. It's a whopping 300+ pages long. Those of us tasked with securing our company’s databases and systems would, ideally, have time to devote to learning the ins and outs…
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of transferring the five major, necessary Active Directory Roles, commonly referred to as the FSMO roles to another domain controller. Log onto the new domain controller with a user account t…
Microsoft Active Directory, the widely used IT infrastructure, is known for its high risk of credential theft. The best way to test your Active Directory’s vulnerabilities to pass-the-ticket, pass-the-hash, privilege escalation, and malware attacks …

636 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question