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Windows Server 2008: Forced Demotion of a Core Domain Controller

Since Windows 2000 SP4, it has been possible to forcibly demote Domain Controllers using the DCPROMO /FORCEREMOVAL command. You could use this switch if:

  • There are no domain controllers currently available in the parent domain when you try to demote the last domain controller in an immediate child domain.
  • The Active Directory Installation Wizard cannot complete because there is a name resolution, authentication, replication engine, or Active Directory object dependency that you cannot resolve after you perform detailed troubleshooting.
  • A domain controller has not replicated incoming Active Directory changes in Tombstone Lifetime (Default Tombstone Lifetime is 60 days) number of days for one or more naming contexts (see also KB article 216993).
  • Time does not permit more detailed troubleshooting because you must immediately bring into service the domain controller.

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