We have two Windows 2008 r2 servers. One is located in house which runs all domain logins, resources, file sharing etc. The second server is a AD replica which is remotely hosted at our Datacenter using a VPN to communicate. The only major service the second server is hosting is Exchange.

A couple of months ago the Main Active Directory (in house) server crashed and was then restored from a backup. Active Directory was then repaired to make it happy again however the offsite (second server) has not replicated since.

Is it safe to demote and repromoted the offsite server with exchange service simply stopped? Then restart Exchange once it has finished replicating? Will the mailboxes still associate with the correct accounts?

Please note: No major changes have happened in active directory (eg changing users, passwords and new computers). So there shouldn't be any empty mailboxes or new users.

Thanks, JJ

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    Oh man, what a mess. DO NOT DEMOTE THE SECOND DOMAIN CONTROLLER. If you hope to get out of this alive, OPEN A SUPPPORT CASE WITH MICROSOFT PSS. Also, stop calling it a replica. It isn't a replica. – joeqwerty Mar 22 '16 at 17:31
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    No major changes have happened in active directory is totally false. You might not realise that changes are going on, but a lot of stuff goes on in the background. Machines changing their AD passwords is the most common one. You run the risk of booting every machine off your network. – Mark Henderson Mar 22 '16 at 18:05

No, it isn't safe.

First of all, it's not supported to demote a domain controller running Exchange. Demoting the domain controller would cause support issues when you contact Microsoft.

Second of all, what Mark Henderson said. Machines and people both change their passwords, for example.

I second joeqwerty's advice to open a support case with Microsoft. I believe the problem lies in the restored server, not the Exchange server. Don't risk breaking a second server to fix the first, especially if these are your only two DCs.

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