There's seems to be a fair bit of conflicting information out there - and although I have never tried this personally (have always manually moved the FSMO roles to a new DC prior to demotion) and intrigued to know if it is actually true.

As part of a DCPromo demotion, will the operation move the FSMO roles to another DC in your environment?

  • 1
    Looks like you has a typo on tag [dpromo] – masegaloeh May 10 '15 at 22:41

The answer is yes, and there's no conflicting information. Any person, article or resource that claims this doesn't occur is just plain wrong.

The linked article explains the process. This has not changed from Windows 2000 and carries forward all the way through Windows Server 2012 R2. Make note of these sections:

The transfer of an FSMO role is the suggested form of moving a FSMO role between domain controllers and can be initiated by the administrator or by demoting a domain controller

When a domain controller is demoted, the operational attribute "GiveAwayAllFsmoRoles" is written, which triggers the domain controller to locate other domain controllers to offload any roles it currently owns.


  • serverfault.com/questions/262240/… - several answers saying you need to move the roles manaully, is this just Windows 2k? – PnP May 10 '15 at 16:03
  • That question is about transferring them to a specific domain controller (or rather, making sure they don't transfer to a specific domain controller). If that's what you want to do then you can manually transfer the roles. It is not a requirement. The DCPROMO process will automatically and gracefully move the FSMO roles during DCPROMO. Also note that the Global Catalog is not an FSMO role, so make sure you have another Global Catalog server before demoting the domain controller. – joeqwerty May 10 '15 at 16:15

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