Topology and setup

We have main office A, and branch office (abroad) B. Our ISP somehow messed up the MPLS, and office A<>B will not be connected until a few days. At location B, we have an AD (and the other two ADs at location A). Location A also have an exchange server.

The problems

A few users at A have problem to login to their computers running Windows XP, the logon process kind of hangs where "Applying computer policies". Additionally, I can't start the Exchange management shell, it fails on get-recipient because the AD abroad (location B) is unreachable.


I could delete the AD at B, but Im pretty sure it will be a hazzle to re-join it, and since the office is abroad it's not an option to just go there and re-install it -> re join, I now wonder how I in location As primary and secondary ADs can temporarily disable AD at location B.

  • in the meantime, can you setup a vpn?
    – johnh
    Nov 16, 2010 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


To prevent clients from attempting to contact an offline Domain Controller, remove its A record from DNS.

When your sites can communicate again, restart the DHCP Client services (Win 2k3) or the DNS Client service (Win 2k8) on the DC to recreate the A record.


How are the active directory Sites set-up? Sounds like both DCs are in the same site? If this is the case you can move the branch DC into another site, despite it being disconnected.

Failing that, you might want to look into your group policy settings for anything relating to the branch office (scripts locally stored there for example).

I assume the clients DNS is in order?

I've had a similar issue before and ended up buying some Three 3g sticks, they'll allow most types of VPN traffic through. Wasn't particularly great, but better than nothing. Obviously with them being in a different country this may not be possible, but it's worth a look.

  • Thanks for the answer. The MPLS tunnel is up again, but I will definitely test your answer on monday!
    – 3molo
    Nov 21, 2010 at 7:42

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