Q

Domain controller no longer recognizing the server

I am running W2K servers in all offices. The Domain Controller is in my office and the remote offices act as a BDC for Windows 2000. Recently I asked a tech guy go to my office to replace the primary drive in the server. He tried imaging the system drive over to the replacement drive with Backup and Restore. This did not work. He then reinstalled the OS thinking it would load the missing stuff so that the server would boot up and function....

He did not demote the server to a member server before installing the OS.

Now my domain controller does not recognize that server any longer, something about the security token does not match existing key. I cannot remotely demote the remote server as my DC will not recognize it. How do I remove reference of this remote server from Active Directory on my DC? I will then have this remote server rejoin the domain and promote it to a BDC.
Microsoft has a Knowledge Base article on how to do exactly this -- http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q216498&. The process is somewhat intricate and involves using the NTDSUTIL command-line utility to directly edit Active Directory information. Once the old server is removed, a fresh one can be created and merged with the directory.

This was first published in December 2003

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