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We had an Active Directory server completely die, and now we have some clients that aren't getting policies properly because their client is looking for the old server instead of moving to another system.

Is there a way to forcibly demote the non-existing server in active directory, or do we need to try resurrecting the old server in some way to get it to run DCPromo to remove it?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If the DC doesn't exist anymore then you'll need to remove it using the ntdsutil utility.

Also, it sounds to me like the clients are still using the old DC for DNS, otherwise they would not be looking for it. Check the DNS settings on the clients and make sure they're not using the old DC as their DNS server. If you're configuring DNS via DHCP then check your DHCP scope options and server options to make sure you only have the current, valid DNS servers set.

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Petri has a good walkthrough for removing failed DCs

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