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I've got a Windows 2003 Active Directory infrastructure, and there are times (such as when terminating an employee) that I want instantaneous propagation across both of my AD servers. Currently, I make the change in both places, which I suspect is unhealthy, but it's the only way I know to make sure that the account is disabled to every machine.

Is there a better way? Do I have to wait for the normal propagation time for convergence, or is there a way to "force" it?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you go into Active Directory Sites and Services, you can force replications. Open the Server object and click on the NTDS Settings. This will give you a list of their replication partners for GC data as well as regular DC-DC traffic. As I understand it, you can force replication by going to each of the connections, right-clicking on it, and choosing "Replicate Now". alt text

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Bang on! Always make the first change on the users local DC will also help. –  Kip Aug 12 '09 at 15:32
    
This initiates a "pull" of data, not a push. Try this instead: repadmin /syncall /P /e sourceDC1.domain.local –  Ryan Fisher Apr 6 '10 at 16:32

There is an even easier change. Just reset the users password. That is one of the few instant replications that AD performs. No need to run site replication

EDIT:

Small edit. It's not completely instant. What is does is forward the change in an out-of-band update. (It doesn't wait for normal replication cycles)

however, it's probably about as close to instant that you can get with AD.

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Good thinking. I like this. –  phuzion Aug 12 '09 at 15:52
    
Nice! that works for when my non techie staff need to do this –  Kip Aug 12 '09 at 15:53
    
+1 This is the best option for the small one-offs such as when terminating an employee. –  squillman Aug 12 '09 at 15:55
    
To pile-on, this is the best answer IMO. It also dovetails nicely with documenting the new password and giving it to the helpdesk or the person's boss, depending on your policies. –  mfinni Apr 6 '10 at 17:33

Make the change to one domain controller. Then open up AD Sites and Services. Then drill down to each site, Servers, DC, NTDS Settings, then right-click each connection and choose Replicate Now.

Note: Each connection will tell you the From Server and To Server for the replication.

Note: Obviously, start the first replication From the DC you made the change on.

If you have a small domain, this shouldn't be too taxing a task. If you have a larger domain (more DCs) then you could script this.

To script, you need to use the CMD command called REPADMIN. For a full description of the command type REPADMIN /?. In short, you would use the command in a way similar to this:

REPADMIN /replicate DC1.yourdomain.loc DC2.yourdomain.loc dc=yourdomain,dc=loc /u:yourdomain\your_domain_admin_account

To find out the replication partnerships for a specific DC from the command line type the following:

REPADMIN /showrepl DC1.yourdomain.loc

Once you have figured out the right path/order to replicate to all your DCs, you can just dump all the commands into a batch file, and execute it when you need to replicate changes out quickly.

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Here's a Technet article that outlines the AD replication model. Look at the Urgent Replication section for a discussion of what gets replicated immediately and doesn't require a forced replication. Mostly it's critical user security events (password changes, account lockouts) that are replicated immediately. There are configuration considerations to be made to make this happen site to site.

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Great link, thanks! –  Matt Simmons Aug 12 '09 at 16:31

Remember when you play with forcing replication, all replication links are one-way, incoming. If you want to push changes outbound from a DC via the Sites & Services console, you have to go to each replica-partner and PULL from the source DC.

There is an easier way to force "outbound-full-replication" using the repadmin.exe tool from the Windows 2003 SP1 Support Tools kit:

repadmin /syncall /P /e sourceDC1.domain.local

This will push the changes via all replication links, outward from your source DC, for the default naming contaxt (which is where your user data is).

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Hopefully Matt will come back and select a new answer. This is the best way to go (or at least, quickest). –  Doug Luxem Apr 6 '10 at 16:38

There 's also the possibility to make this using repadmin.exe with the /sync switch or you can even script it using ReplicaSync wich is included in the IADsTools.

You might see this kb article wich discuss the availables options.

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