I am wondering how long after a Domain Controller has been permanently lost, from the domain due to it dying from hardware perspective, do I have before I have to clean up references of it using meta data cleanup? Planning on doing it soon but not sure if there is anything I should be concerned about.

This dead or lost domain controller had no roles other than being a Domain Controller and having integrated Active Directory DNS. As well it held NO FSMO roles, it was just an older replication Domain Controller.


There will be longer logon times for clients that try to connect to it as well as clients that try and use it to resolve DNS queries. If it was a bridgehead to another site, then replication to other sites could be affected as well.

If it held no FSMO roles, then nothing is going to outright break, but you really shouldn't drag your feet when there is a problem with your AD. I'd take care of this sooner than later.

  • thanks for the reply, to clarify, my DHCP scope DNS entries do not point to "lost" domain controller anymore. The DNS entries in DHCP are pointing to the "other" two Domain Controllers on our network. This Domain Controller that was lost is not a bridgehead server for other sites either. You are right it should be done sooner than later. Thanks for the answer. – dasko Oct 17 '12 at 2:34

Domain joined clients may be referred to this dead DC if it's still listed in DNS, especially for domain related SRV records, but other than that there aren't any issues with it not being cleaned up for a day, week, month, year or never. I've been called into many environments that had old DC metadata that was years old with no real ill effect on AD operation.

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