here is the outline that was done about 4 years ago.

1) we had a Windows 2003 server pdc running in the organization 2) i added sbs 2003 to the network about 3 years ago, at the time i transferrd the fsmo roles from the Win2k3 box to the sbs2003 box. BUT left the old Win2k3 box on the network still as a backup Domain Controller. Was that a mistake? i did not have to seize the fsmo roles but have been reading some articles lately and noticed that on some occasions you cannot re-transfer the fsmo roles back to a DC that was once the PDC? if i do systeminfo on the old Win2k3 box it says role "additional backup Dc".

my question is should i have taken the old Win2k3 machine offline by demoting it back when i did this and then rebuilding and rejoiing the Win2k3 to the domain using dcpromo in order to secure it's role as a backup DC? I thought that you would have to rebuild and resid the hardware only if you seized the fsmo roles from a failed offline DC, i thought transferring is fine and MS allows it under normal operation. My reasoning was that you could have (in a non sbs 2003 network) multiple DC's that could hold different fsmo roles and you can transfer them at will?


  • You're doing right to have a secondary domain controller on your network. Disaster recovery is much easier when you have a working copy of AD. (Obviously, if both servers are destroyed then it doesn't help a bit, but still...) – Evan Anderson Dec 7 '09 at 2:18
  • evan thanks for the comment, i just wanted to make sure that the backup DC is still good to go as it was left back then. I am going to be adding another DC this week to it and phasing out the backup DC sicne it is an 8 yr old dell celeron 1u server.gd – user8256 Dec 7 '09 at 3:46

Transferring the roles as you did is the correct way to do it.

We do fsmo transfers quarterly as part of our drp testing and have never had a server refuse to resume any o0f it's previous roles due to them being transferred on an earlier occasion.

Basically, no need to worry.

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