I successfully demoted an old domain controller (Windows Server 2016) in a clean manner, cleanly removed the server from the domain, deleted the associated object in 'Computers' on Active Directory Users and Computers, but when I went to rename the new domain controller (Windows Server 2019) to the name of the old domain controller, I get the following error:

The account already exists.

So I scoured Active Directory Users and Computers, DNS Manager, Active Directory Sites and Services, and even the registry on the domain controller itself. I've restarted the domain controller numerous times. There is no mention of the old domain controller's name, but I still get this error, regardless of whether I run Rename-Computer In Powershell, or NETDOM at the command line:

The account already exists.

Now, the old domain controller was running Active Directory Certificate Services as well, but I removed all the data entries created by the old CA service from Active Directory Sites and Services.

Is there any place else to look for references to the old domain controller?

migrated from superuser.com Feb 11 at 18:06

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I found out what the problem was:

There apparently was an entry in ADSI Edit under:

Configuration -> CN=Sites -> CN=Default-First-Site-Name -> CN=Servers -> CN={Old Domain Controller}.

The thing is, in ADSI Edit, 'Configuration' isn't normally shown by default (at least with the Remote Server Administration Tools), you have to right-click on 'ADSI Edit' in MMC, and in the 'Connection Settings', under 'Connection Point', and under 'Select a well known Naming Context', you select 'Configuration'. You can also type it under the 'Name' field at the top. So it looks like that one entry was what was blocking me from changing the name.

  • 1
    This should have been shown in AD Sites & Services, too... – Massimo Feb 11 at 18:11

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