Hi I have a two domain controller domain and i will refer to them as DC1 and DC2, here is some info on them.

  • DC1 is or has all FMSO roles
  • DC2 serves as another Domain Controller for replication
  • DC1 is a basic server with a 3ware RAID 1 setup
  • There is a buggy hard drive in DC1 and the 3ware rep recommends replacing the drive in slot 0 sooner than later.

Based on the above information I would like to know if the best practice way would be to move the FMSO roles to DC2 first and then turn off DC1, replace the bad drive and let it rebuild and then move the FSMO roles back to DC1. The reason I want the FSMO roles back to DC1 is that is is a one year old system whereas DC2 is about 6 years old and I don't want it to hold the roles.

Is there anything else I should be looking at too example would be should I move the roles and unjoin DC1 from the Domain and then do the steps above?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

  • Why can't the drive be swapped live? If the server uses SATA or SAS, the drive can be replaced live, and the RAID controller should start rebuilding. Why are you even turning it off? – Driftpeasant Sep 29 '12 at 17:03
  • Yes good question, i know the serial number of the drive with the sector reallocated but when the server was delivered adn installed no one marked which position in the drive cage it is in. Instead of risking taking the wrong drive out it is easier to just shut it down and pull both slide trays, with power cords completely removed, and then verify which one has the bad serial number. Replace the bad one and then put stickers on the slide trays for future reference. – dasko Sep 30 '12 at 2:04

You don't need to do anything other than replace the failed drive. There's no need to move the FSMO roles, even if DC1 is offline for a short period of time. If for some reason DC1 can't be brought back online after the drive replacement then you can seize the FSMO roles. Here's some additional info:


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  • It's important to note that seizing FSMO roles isn't as clean as transferring them from an online DC, so while the post holds true -- the risk of something happening to the DC is so low as to be negligible as long as the OP doesn't inadvertently clone the wrong drive in the mirror relationship -- it's often helpful to leave the option of restoring your DC rather than being forced to reinstall it completely following a role seize. Transferring FSMO roles is a harmless operation that takes maybe 60 seconds. – jgoldschrafe Sep 29 '12 at 16:13
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    True enough about transferring the roles, but it's completely unneccessary in this case from my point of view. I wouldn't ever consider transferring the FSMO roles unless I was truly concerned about the viability of the current role holder. I would see it as a "in the worst case scenario I can always seize the roles if needed" scenario. – joeqwerty Sep 29 '12 at 16:24
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    @joeqwerty Couldn't agree more. Fixing a broken drive is a routine maintenance task, swapping FSMO roles definitely shouldn't be – Dan Sep 29 '12 at 16:37

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