MCSE dopers...promoting a DC

I have to do a drive-by this weekend. One of our domains at a remote site is having issues. What I think is happening is that two controllers then that they are the primary roles for things like GC, schema master and all that other stuff…and it’s making the domain and the network highly unstable. What I need to do is to promote one of the servers (the stable one) to be in charge of all that stuff.

But it’s been a while and I can’t remember exactly how to do it now. Does anyone have a cheat sheet or cite showing how to promote a domain controller so that it’s got most of the control of the domain, and demote on that’s highly unstable, so that it goes back to just being a standalone server in the domain? I thought about simply demoting it so that it wouldn’t be a domain controller at all, but the way the customer is describing what’s happening it might be a bad idea.

Any help would be appreciated.


Yeah, don’t just demote because that’d be an issue.

I’m not sure what your environment is (2003 native, 2008 native, mixed), but FSMO role transfer is relatively painless. Microsoft’s support site has a good walk-through of the process for 2003 (sans screenshots)

And this site for 2008:

Once all the FSMO roles are off the original server, you can dcpromo the bad DC and relegate it back to a simple member server.