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Creacon

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have two servers, a domain controller running 2012 R2 and a backup domain controller running 2008 R2.  I need to remove the backup controller temporarily to use it for another purpose.  I plan to remove the current (2008 R2) HDD and replace it with a (2012 R2 Student) HDD which would be on a different domain.

My question is, what, if anything, must I do before removing the backup DC from the domain, and also what, if anything must I do when I reinstate it?

I'd be very grateful for any/all help.

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jsclmedave

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Reply with quote  #2 
Can you create a virtual server to act as your backup DC?

Trying to understand whats going on here...

So you are removing the Hard Drives from the server chassis and inserting new hard drives that will be used in another domain.  Then you want to put the original hard drives back and power on in the original domain where it is the backup DC..?

How long is it going to be down?

I don't like doing it this way at all but, I understand in small offices you may not have another choice...

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Reply with quote  #3 
In pure technical terms, on the 2008 DC you can run DCPROMO and then follow the instructions to uninstall/remove it as a Domain Controller:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771844(v=ws.10).aspx

However, only running with one DC is extremely risky. What if your only remaining DC fails? It will bring down your network! Are you running Exchange Server in the Domain?
Are you running a single site? Multiple site?
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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Downtime,

Thank you for your reply.  Actually, I didn't want to demote the 2008 BDC, I'm simply going to remove the HDD from the server and replace it with a 2012 DC in a different domain, for online training purposes.  I wasn't sure if I could, in essence, simply power down the BDC, and then bring that box back up with the different OS, and not be part of the same domain.

The risk of a single DC is minimal as we're a single site, one and a half person business (I'm the half person providing IT).  The BDC is an older server that I've had from a previous business endeavor which was doing nothing, so I set it up as a BDC.

And jsclmedave, thank you also for your response.  

I can't create a virtual server because the 2012 R2 OS is Foundation Edition (because we're a miniscule business) and therefore doesn't support Hyper V.  


Yes you're correct, that's exactly what I need to do. I'm taking a Server course at a local Technical College and need the server in order to do the labs, so the BDC w/be down for approximately eight weeks.

I agree that what I need to do isn't considered 'Best Practices', but we're heavily backed up with 'Bare Metal Recovery', and since my wife's business is mostly online, she can work temporarily on any computer till the server can be restored or replaced.

The fact is that my 2012 DC was set up a little over a year ago, and was operating by itself for about half of that time with no problems.  During that period I was winding down a political campaign management system on the 2008 server.  It was set up in a workgroup, because all the users were connected via RDS/RDG, in another state, so a domain wasn't necessary.  I had to shut that venture down because the DNC & RNC came out with a similar system that they provided to campaign managers free.  I couldn't really compete with free.

I really appreciate the help from both of you, but I just want to know if I have to do anything special on the DC before I shut down the BDC, so that I can later bring the BDC back up w/o problems - i.e. will the DC cry because it misses its mate, or will it reject the BDC when it returns like the prodigal son?

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Reply with quote  #5 
Creacon

Welcome to the forum.
I'd actually dc promo the BDC as this will lead to less issues. If you don't get the server back within 90 days by default not alone will you have a lot of error messages you also will have bigger issues re-adding the domain controller.
The sort of things you need to look out for after removal is making sure the DC you removed isn't listed as a DNS server in DHCP, on tge firewall or static assigned network configuration.

After you've removed the server and sorted the issues get a system state backup just so you can recover should anything happen.
If you need a backup solution Veeam Endpoint Backup is free and also protects physical servers now.

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi wobble_wobble, Thanks for your response.  I'm sorry that I couldn't get back to you sooner, but life got in my way.

"I'd actually dc promo the BDC as this will lead to less issues. If you don't get the server back within 90 days by default not alone will you have a lot of error messages you also will have bigger issues re-adding the domain controller"

The class w/only be for 8 weeks, but if doing the dc promo will save headaches, I'll do it.

"The sort of things you need to look out for after removal is making sure the DC you removed isn't listed as a DNS server in DHCP, on tge firewall or static assigned network configuration."

How do I do all that?  I'm still a neophyte where servers are concerned.  I've been taking server management courses at our local technical college, but there're so many situations that aren't covered there.

"After you've removed the server and sorted the issues get a system state backup just so you can recover should anything happen.
If you need a backup solution Veeam Endpoint Backup is free and also protects physical servers now."

Thank you for that advice, and I'll certainly check out that lead.  That's one thing, however, that I'm very adamant about, possibly to the point of insanity.  Currently I do "Bare Metal Recovery" backups with Windows Server backup, on both servers religiously every week to external HDDs.  I have two sets that I rotate between my home safe and my safe deposit box at the bank.  Those have proven invaluable; I've done System Image restores several times in the past when the server has gone bonkers.  Also, for my domain workstations and "Workgroup" computers, I use Acronis True Image backups, both to the cloud and the external HDDs.  ATI has a universal restore capability so that a backup can be restored to any computer.

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Reply with quote  #7 
How do I do all that?  I'm still a neophyte where servers are concerned.  I've been taking server management courses at our local technical college, but there're so many situations that aren't covered there.

So in a Windows Active Directory (AD) Domain, DNS is really important, its how servers/ client PC's find domain resources.
AD joined computers need to talk to the Domain Controller (DC) for logon/ access to shares etc.
In a small network, it generally works as it can broadcast (shout at the network) and find the resources.
But start right, keep it right from the start and you'll have a good foundation to start with.

So a router/ firewall/ wireless access point can do DHCP and allocate the DNS Servers.
Or a DC in the domain can do DNS.
If the DC your going to remove (by pulling hard drive/ dcpromo etc) has the DNS Service installed and its listed in DHCP, we need to remove it and add in either the other server that will stay behind

So open a command prompt on a PC and type IPconfig /all
Check for either static configuration or dynamic configuration.
In my example, its DHCP, check the red boxes.
It shows DHCP is enabled, and the source is 192.168.199.2.
I know this is my WAP and is running DHCP.
dhcp.png 
Had this IP (192.168.199.2) been 192.168.199.10 or 192.168.19.10, it would have been one of my DC's/ DNS servers.

Had this message
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes

said 
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No

Then you have statically assigned IP's and you need to manually change the IP configuration manually if its pointing at the server you are removing.

Info on configuring DHCP
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732584.aspx

I'm posting the link, based on the idea of teaching a man to fish and he can feed himself.
But fire ahead with any questions, we're all here to help.







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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks again wobble-wobble.  I really appreciate your help.  I'm digesting your post and will act on it ASAP.
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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi again, wobble-wobble.  Sorry for the delay.  We've been under severe winter storm warnings since Thursday, and were without power for a while.  We have a small generator but in the winter it will only operate life support (i.e. furnace, well pump and a few lights).  Anyway power's back so here goes:

I checked the Server Manager on both servers and both have DNS installed.  However, all the computers on my network have static IP addresses, so I may be wrong, but I don't think DHCP is an issue.  I did the "ipconfig  /all" on a joined workstation, a woukgroup PC and both servers, and the only place the "DHCP Enables" setting is shown is in the Ethernet Adapter section, and the response is "NO".  There are, however two other DHCP entries there which I don't understand.  Those are; "DHCPV6 IAID" amd DHCP Clien DUID".

My Default Gateway is 192.168.1.1 (the router), and the DNS Server on the Primary DC is 192.168.1.8, which is the static IP of the Primary DC.  On the joined workstations the gateway is the same, of course, but the DNS Server has the 192.168.1.8 PLUS an alternate of 192.168.1.1 (i.e. the gateway).  The Backup DC has the same gateway IP, but also has the 192.168.1.8 PLUS 2 alternates; the 192.168.1.8 and 192.168.1.1 plus 127.0.0.1.

Since the Backup DC and the joined workstations are all pointing first to the Primary DC, does that mean I can just shut down the Backup DC with no further adieu, or is there still something else that I need to do first?





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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes you can shut it down and all should be OK.

the other DHCP addresses don't worry about them.
They are a slightly different technology called IP v6. Your currently using IPV4.

Don't worry about the delay in response. It don't bother us.

Stay safe from the weather.
Computers are just another tool

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Again, and thanks for the reply.  It's quite a relief for me.
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