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Troubleshooting Active Directory and domain controllers

I am running my network in mixed mode with a very old domain controller (DC) that I want to remove. It is the primary DC for pre-Win2000 PCs right now. I thought that all I had to do was change the roles in the operations master to make the change. However, after doing this and shutting down the old DC as a test, I found that no one could log into the network, let alone pre-2000 machines. What did I do wrong or forget?

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When troubleshooting Active Directory, your first step should be to determine whether name resolution is functioning correctly. Do your DNS servers contain SRV records for the DC that you transferred the FSMO roles to? Can your clients ping the new DC by its hostname? You should also verify that you have a functioning Global Catalog server on your network, since no client will be able to log on without one – in Active Directory Sites & Services, check the NTDS Settings --> Properties sheet of your active domain controllers, and make sure that at least one of them has a check-mark next to "Global Catalog Server."

This was first published in May 2005

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