We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Server 2003 demote issue

I went through DCPROMO of our last server 2003 DC to make it a member server but now it's just stuck at "making network connections".
What I did:
-this existing network is Server 2008R2 network with a 2008R2 DC and server 2012R2 DC (2003 functional domain)
-these servers are now primary DNS servers in  DHCP settings
-all FSMO roles transferred successfully to 2008 DC
-remove 2003 server as GC
-exported from 2003 DC to 2008 DC
-it failed somewhere at NETLOGON finding 2008 DC
-DCPROMO wizard ended unsuccessfully
-checked NIC setting on this 2003DC and saw that it was pointing to itself as primary DNS  server; changed it to 2008 DC
-Ran DCPROMO again and this time it conmpleted successfully.
-rebooted and now stuck at "making network connections"
-checked AD sites and services and NTDS folder now gone from 2003 server as it should be
-AD users and computers shows it in Computers not Domain Controllers as it should
-Have rebooted in without LAN cable plugged in but just sits there for hrs
-booted in safe mode with networking but sits there with same msg

I'm at a loss. I need this server up as a member server.
Watch Question

Senior Solution Architect
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Top Expert 2015
On another domain controller run the following commands...

netdom query dc
netdom query fsmo
nslookup domain.com

If you do not see the 2003 server in the list you are probably safe. I would then check the domain controllers OU, and also the _msdcs.domain.com folder in DNS to make sure that it is not listed under any.

I would also use NTDSUtil to ensure/cleanup any other remnants from this domain controller if any.

Top Expert 2014

try to boot 2003 server in "Safe Mode", check the windows event,  then try to start server in "Safe mode with networking".


As I mentioned I already tried Safe Mode and get stuck at "making network connections".
I will try NTDSUtil to cleanup AD metadata.
I really need to be able to login back into this server. I'm onsite tomorrow AM. We want to to continue to use this server if possible as a member server as it hosts AUTOCAD and some user files. At the very least be able to access the drives and remove the user files. Its and HP Proliant server with 3 drives in RAID 5.
Top Expert 2014

Not sure but Please try to disable the NIC from the BIOS then try to boot.


Followed the last part, If the domain controller cannot start in normal mode
in the following link;


I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Celica1's comment #a40642819

for the following reason:

Other suggestions did not resolve my problem