Promoting Domain Controller with dcpromo

Microsoft Windows 2003 server - 5 users
September 23, 2010 at 16:33:16
Specs: Windows Server 2003

I'm promoting a server to a secondary domain controller using dcpromo. The server i'm promoting has active directory on it all ready. Will this cause an issue?

Also when I started the dcpromo wizard, it tells me that is I add this server into the domain, it will delete all of my local accounts.

What exactly does that mean?

I'm a noob at this and I really don't want to mess up our servers.


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September 23, 2010 at 16:39:31
First, you cannot take a Domain Controller, and promote it again. When you say "it already has active directory on it" I'm assuming you mean it is a member of a domain, otherwise the DCpromo command will ask you to UNINSTALL active directory.

Second, when you promote a machine to a domain controller, all accounts configured on that system itself (local accounts) will be deleted. But the odds are you are using active directory accounts for access. But for example, if you have a LOCAL administrator account, that account will be blown away. That is because DCs don't have local account access like member systems do.

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September 24, 2010 at 07:25:11
Thanks for the reply.

The server i'm promoting isn't a domain controller sorry for the confusion.

So are you saying that it's best to log in as the local administrator when attempting this procedure?

Thanks again for your help

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September 24, 2010 at 10:43:36
You need to be a domain admin to promote.

Since you are new to servers I have to wonder why you are promoting this server?

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September 24, 2010 at 11:46:52
Well, here's the situation.

a few months ago we purchased 2 new servers to replace our older servers.

We switched the main DC to one of the new servers, but we left one of the old servers as the secondary DC, which was also our old exchange server.

Now i'm starting to run into issues between the old exchange server and the new exchange server.

I've tried everything to rectify it with no luck, so now my goal is to promote the other new server as the backup DC and take that old server off of the network.

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September 24, 2010 at 12:51:04
Make sure you demote the 'old' domain controller and don't just shut it off. If you do, you can manually remote it from AD but it is a lot easier and cleaner if you just demote it before removing it.

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September 24, 2010 at 13:00:17
Thanks Glen.

I was made aware of this also. Just wanted to get a little bit more clear before I moved forward.

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