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This spectacular MSDN article details how to do it in C++. And it vaguely mentions some utilities that don't appear to be on my system at all, and gives no ideas how to do this from a regular Windows Server 2003 R2 or Windows Server 2003 domain controller.

The need to detect an active directory schema master occurs because (even though I can't figure out how this happened) I am trying to run adprep as a step in upgrading from 2003 to 2008R2 or 2012 server level domains, but its first command that you run (adprep /domainPrep and adprep /forestPrep) should be run on something called the "Schema Master".

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

From a GUI

On a computer with the AD tools installed (ADUC, Sites & Services, etc)

  1. Run regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll from an elevated command prompt

  2. Run mmc.exe

  3. In the empty console that opens add the Active Directory Schema Management snap-in.

  4. Right click on the Schema icon and select Operations Master. This will show you who currently holds it and allow you to transfer it.

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From the command line

netdom query fsmo.

netdom.exe is built into Windows 7 (and maybe Vista) and it part of the 2003 Resource Kit. I believe that it is also installed on 2003 Domain Controllers during dcpromo.

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"I believe that it is also installed on 2003 Domain Controllers during dcpromo." It's not on my 2003 Small Business Server (which is always a Domain Controller). Unless it just isn't in the path. – Caltor Nov 29 '13 at 13:25

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