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DCpromo down a server and adding it back

Posted on 2016-09-26
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I am in the process of converting our servers to VmWare and don't want to risk migrating my Domain controllers.  I have several things pointed to the DNS of the IP of my DC'S.   I was wondering if it is okay to DCpromo down an existing DC, migrate it and then DCpromo the same machine back to a domain controller.  I would transfer all of the roles off before the process of bringing it down.    The server is 2008 R2.
Thank you.
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Question by:danskoit
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Shouldnt be a problem at all.  Just expect those servers pointing to it to encounter dns resolution issues until the DC is back up and running.  If you want to avoid that, you can demote the DC but leave DNS in place so it will act as a caching server for clients.  Any client that is pointing to it directly via IP for LDAP is going to have authentication issues while it is offline (some third party apps can use IP addresses for a DC in their LDAP configuration - you should know where these are and update them accordingly)

Make sure after you demote the domain controller that all the DNS records for it are gone.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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That is one method of doing it.

Why not create a new VM, and transfer the roles.
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by:danskoit
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I can minimize the DNS server downtime this way.    If I remove it as a DC but keep the DNS role I don't have to reconfigure anything on the network for the DNS being used.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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do you not have two DNS servers at present ?
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by:danskoit
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We do.  I just figured this is easier than setting up a server, bringing down the current, changing the IP on the new one to match the old.   I am trying to avoid changing the DNS setting on the network cards of any devices that are not DHCP.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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if you have two DNS servers, clients, will use the second DNS server, if the first is not available.

so it does not matter, how long your first server is down for!
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by:sAMAccountName
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if you have two DNS servers, clients, will use the second DNS server, if the first is not available.

In theory, thats correct.  In practice however, some platforms dont behave that way.  Ubuntu for instance will latch onto a DNS server and hang on for dear life.  if that server goes down, it doesnt gracefully fail over to the next.  It *sorta* starts using the next in the list, but odd things happen with LDAP and other things until you clear the cache/restart the network daemon.
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by:danskoit
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Worked Great.  All connect reestablished themselves after it came back online as a DC.  Just had to clear out some DNS entries that were left behind after demote.
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