I have a Server 2003 in my environment that was a PDC. I want to decommission it but want to be sure it's safe to do so. I have transferred FSMO roles from it to a new Server 2008. I have moved all shares off of it as well as shared printers. I have configured the new 2K8 server as the time server.

I started this process weeks ago and everything is working fine. The old 2k3 server was a DNS server. DHCP issues the new 2K8 server as the first DNS record and an additional 2K8 server as the 2nd DNS server.

What steps can I take now to make sure that when I turn it off everything will be working well?


TechNet to the rescue: Decommissioning a Domain Controller.

That should pretty much cover it. It sounds like you've covered it already.

Perhaps you could switch off the old DC for a day or two and see if anything weird happens.

  • Turning off the DC is a good suggestion. Sometimes users keep to themselves and think any problems will work themselves out - maybe I will walk around for an hour to make sure everything is ok. – IMAbev May 15 '13 at 21:16

Well here are a couple of suggestions off the top of my head:

Turn on DNS debug logging to see if there any clients out there that are still talking to the server for DNS. I don't know what your network looks like, and maybe some hosts out there are statically configured to look at that server and are therefore not affected by your changes to DHCP.

Do the same thing for WINS. Monitor for incoming WINS traffic. Use Wireshark if you have to.

Look at any trusted or trusting domains that you have. A lot of times a trust will be set up with a hard-coded conditional forwarder to the IP of your old DC.

Make sure you configure your new PDCe with a static time source and set the "reliable" flag on it with w32tm.

  • Lots of good suggestions. Since I didn't set this network up (and with no documentation) who knows how it was config'd. What I have noticed is that features were turned on because it worked at the moment, but may have nothing to do with the overall functionality of the network. – IMAbev May 15 '13 at 21:18

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