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Apparently, Server 2012 Essentials doesn't like the fact that I have joined it to a domain where I do not want it to be a domain controller, and due to this fact it is shutting down automatically every few days

Here's the alert specifying why it is shutting itself down:

enter image description here

I have no intentions of allowing this server to be a domain controller. If I cannot find a work around that will allow me to continue running it as "a server that is simply joined to the existing domain" (and not experience it shutting down automatically every few days), I will be installing a different version of Windows Server.

I'm using this server to run one specific custom service (exclusively), and it does this just fine except for the fact that it shuts down automatically every few days (due to the enforcement of this FSMO policy).

Given that I'm not willing to allow this server to be FSMO (or even allow it to be an additional domain controller), is there any way that I can possibly prevent the enforcement of this restrictive policy?

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closed as off-topic by Greg Askew, Jacob, EEAA, Dan, HopelessN00b Apr 3 '14 at 15:21

  • This question does not appear to be about server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about how to use a product for purposes not allowed its licensing restrictions. – Jacob Apr 3 '14 at 15:18
This question appears to be off-topic because the OP completely failed to understand what the product he has purchased should be used for. – Dan Apr 3 '14 at 15:20
This is not off-topic. I understand perfectly. Dan only thinks inside the box. The topic is about disabling a policy enforcement. Dan don't like that topic, but since it IS the topic, it is not "off topic" – LonnieBest Apr 3 '14 at 15:31
Better said: Restricted Topic. That's fine. – LonnieBest Apr 3 '14 at 15:33
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well, why on Earth are you using Server Essentials for that? Server Essentials is designed to be an all-in-one server solution for small businesses, not a dumb server running a simple service.

What you want is not possible with Server Essentials. The closest you can come is to install it in migration mode and join it to an existing domain, but there's a time limit on that.

You can have only one server on your network that is running Windows Server 2012 Essentials, and that server must be a domain controller for the network.

You will need to install a different version of Windows Server, as suggested in TheCleaner's answer.

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I using it, because the company has a license for installing it. I installed this a few months ago, using the migration mode you speak of, right off the bat. I didn't know that there was a time limit on it at that time. Now I know this due to it shutting down automatically every few days. – LonnieBest Apr 3 '14 at 15:10
@LonnieBest At the risk of getting an answer, let me ask... why do you care? So what, if it has to be the FSMO role holder and be on a domain? Put it on its own domain and don't use that functionality. Just run the service. What's wrong with that option? – HopelessN00b Apr 3 '14 at 15:12
Because on this domain, all windows servers and workstations are joined to a Zentyal domain provided by 2 Zentyal Domain Controllers. This service that is running must authenticate users with that domain. I was not aware that 2012 essentials had to be FSMO when I initially set up this service on this server. Everything worked great for a long while, then this policy enforcement finally got me after an expired time of working as intended. – LonnieBest Apr 3 '14 at 15:25

2012 Essentials has to be a domain controller. Install a different version of Windows Server.

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@LonnieBest And if there were a way to disable threads on my screws, I could use them as nails. But, such is life. The better approach, however, is that if you want a screw, use a screw and if you want a nail, use a nail. – HopelessN00b Apr 3 '14 at 15:00
@HopelessN00b really drove that point home. – BigHomie Apr 3 '14 at 15:03
@LonnieBest You're not grasping it - Essentials is there to fill a small market gap and fulfil a specific role. You are not that market and this product does not work for you. Use the correct tool for the job. – Dan Apr 3 '14 at 15:06
If price is an issue, stick it on a Win7/8 box if it can be done. Otherwise, this is really just "chat" at this point. The best option is to get Windows Server Standard if it requires a WinServer OS. – TheCleaner Apr 3 '14 at 15:15
@LonnieBest Please don't ask us how to defeat software licensing restrictions. That's not what we're here for. – Michael Hampton Apr 3 '14 at 15:17

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