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I have Active Directory and need to move to another ActiveDirectory(PDC) on the other computer and I want to do it this way:

  • Add a Backup Domain Controller
  • Synchronize the settings from Primary Domain Controller i.e import the settings
  • Make BDC as PDC(i.e switch them vice versa)
  • and "deactivate" new BDC(the old PDC)

It looks great but I need to know HOW can I implement it?


OS - MS Windows Server 2008 R2(both PCs)

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There are no PDC's and BDC's under Active Directory. They are equals. The command you want to look up is dcpromo. – KCotreau Jun 15 '11 at 12:02
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's a lot simpler then that:

  • Use DCPROMO to make a new Domain Controller.
  • Move the Functional Roles from one to the other.
    • Schema Master (from the AD Schema MMC)
    • Domain Naming Master (from AD Sites and Trusts)
    • Relative ID Master (from ADU&C)
    • Primary Domain Controller Emulator (from ADU&C, only useful for NT services)
    • Infrastructure Master (from ADU&C)
  • If needed turn on DNS services on the new DC.
    • Update any DHCP settings to advertise the new DNS server, or hand-update your statically assigned machines.
  • Use DCPROMO to demote the old Domain Controller.

The concept of a "Backup Domain Controller" was deprecated when Windows 2000 released. By Server 2008 R2 there is no concept like it. All domain controllers, except for Read-Only Domain Controllers, can do everything the NT PDC used to do. People get confused by that "PDC Emulator" role, all that is is a role to name one server as the PDC for very old software that expects there to be one and only one of those in a domain.

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No the PDC emulator roles provides some important functionality that would not be available in a full "multi-master" environment, specifically related to password security – Jim B Jun 15 '11 at 12:55
Also don't forget to make the new DC a GC (global catalog). – Ethos Jun 15 '11 at 13:10
@Ethos 2008/ 2008 R2 DCs are GC servers by default. – HostBits Jun 15 '11 at 13:47
Sounds great but is there more detailed instruction for newbies? Sorry :) – Nozim Jun 16 '11 at 5:17
@Nozim I'm about... 12-36 hours from having time to write click-by-click instructions, so it'll be a while. – sysadmin1138 Jun 16 '11 at 11:31

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