I'm currently in the process of retiring an old Windows Server 2000 box from a client's network. The server has been rebooting spontaneously for about a month, and is generally old, so they wanted a new server. I've managed to move out all the stuff that was on it, now only the Domain Controller role remains.

However, I'm unable to demote the DC because of an error.

When I do

dcpromo /demote

the process runs up 'till a point where LSASS.exe suddenly crashes with an "exception 128" and I'm offered a chance to debug (server has VS2005 :)) - only as we all know from the days of the Sasser-worm, when LSASS.exe crashes, it restarts the computer after a minute! Add the extreeeeemly slow general operation of the server, and you need a large bucket of patience to keep going..

I also tried

dcpromo /forceremoval

with the same result as above.

I tried a couple of suggestions I found online:

  • Memory is failing, remove RAM bank by bank. (did that, same result)
  • KB MS has fixed this in Service Pack 4 (it's already installed, but I guess I could reinstall it..)

I'm tempted to just turn the server off and then do a metadata cleanup from one of the other DC's. That would be like giving up, and I don't like that. :)

So anyone seen this and maybe fixed it?

  • 2
    Kill the box and do a metadata cleanup! smile Save your sanity. – Evan Anderson Jun 3 '09 at 20:29
  • 2
    Yup. Nuke it and be done. – squillman Jun 3 '09 at 20:32
  • I agree that would be the easy way out.. And I'm well aware of the metadata cleanup route... Just wanted to check if there was a way to actually fix the problem.. :) – tplive Jun 5 '09 at 19:09

The worst case solution would be to simply give up, and manually remove the computer from the domain as if it has failed. It really isn't worth trying to debug.

  • I'd upvote this if I could, (ran out for the day :) However, your two links are exactly what I came to post. Excellent answer, nice one! – Greg Meehan Jun 3 '09 at 20:39

Since it appears that you have already added additional domain controllers and they are operating, you can simply remove the computer from the network. Based on the fact that it is failing, it should not be re=purposed.

If this server had any of the operation master roles (if it was the first DC installed it probably does) other DC's need to be promoted to those roles. Those roles include schema and domain masters. Be sure that you do the promotion as it could cause trouble if you need to modify the schema (some apps to this such as Exchange) or add additional domains.

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