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My Secondary Active Directory server has gone dead, and I am installing its replacement now. Everything will be the same, computer name, IP, everything.

The new server is running now, and ADDS installed, but I am hesitating to promote this new server to ADDS, since I am afraid to disturb the current running server. My question is, how do I replace the old domain controller? Should I just install ADDS, and promote it? Or should I do a cleanup? What is the best practice to reinstall ADDS?

I have no backup of this secondary server, since it was dead only within 2 days after operational. Perhaps hardware defect, malfunction or something else.

Thank you.

  • As I understand, the link mentioned, involves demoting a DC. My current hardware is unoperational, thus I cannot demote my old DC. I was asking, if I should do something else in demoting a DC step if I replace it with same name and IP. Or should I just skip it and continue the next step. – prd Nov 28 '18 at 9:41
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    IP addresses are irrelevant to active directory, if you haven't removed the stale controller objects I'd recommend a new hostname – Jacob Evans Nov 28 '18 at 10:49
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You should manually remove the old domain controller from the active directory and then install the new one.


First check the fsmo roles - run in an elevated cmd shell

netdom query fsmo

And move fsmo roles which are on the failed DC to the running DC


Then remove the failed DC from the active directory:

Step 1: Cleaning up metadata via Active Directory Users and Computers

  1. Log in to DC server as Domain/Enterprise administrator and navigate to Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers
  2. Expand the Domain > Domain Controllers
  3. Right click on the DC server that need to remove manually and click delete
  4. In next dialog box, click yes to confirmmeta3
  5. n next dialog box, select This Domain Controller is permanently offline and can no longer be demoted using the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard (DCPROMO) and click Delete
  6. If the domain controller is global catalog server, in next window click yes to continue with deletion
  7. If the domain controller holds any FSMO roles in next window, click ok to move them to the domain controller which is available

Step 2: Cleaning up the DC server instance from the Active Directory Sites and Services

  1. Go to Server manager > Tools > Active Directory Sites and Services
  2. Expand the Sites and go to the server which need to remove
  3. Right click and click Deletemeta5
  4. In next window click yes to confirmmeta6

Step 3: Clean up metadata using ntdsutil

  1. Right Click on Start > Command Prompt (admin)
  2. Type ntdsutil and entermeta7
  3. Then metadata cleanupmeta8
  4. Next type remove selected server , replace with DC server to removemeta9
  5. In warning window click yes to proceed
  6. Execute quit command twice

quoted from: Step-By-Step: Removing A Domain Controller Server Manually

| improve this answer | |
  • Ok. So I have to remove it first before promoting the new server. Thank you. – prd Nov 28 '18 at 15:10

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