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14 Why am I getting 'access denied' error when trying to demote a DC

I am having problems demoting a DC (domain controller) using DCPROMO. It runs until it attempts to configure the machine account on another DC in the domain. I get an error with that message saying it failed: "Access is denied." All diagnostics I've run have checked out fine -- there's no DNS issue, the rights assignments check out. I even tried resetting the machine account using NETDOM, which said it was successful. I'm stumped; any ideas?

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Make sure all DCs are running the same service pack and have the same set of hotfixes applied. Next, force a domain synchronization. Make sure the system to be demoted can fully communicate with another DC. If these actions don't work, it may be a corruption error either in the local registry or the Active Directory database. If that's the case, you'll need to contact Microsoft tech support for further aid.

This was first published in June 2003

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