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I want to add a second DC in a Win2k Server system (not Advanced Server) to prevent downtime, in case of failure of the primary DC (i.e. similar operation to the PDC and BDC of NT4). However, when I try to join the domain by upgrading through DCPROMO I get an error message. Am I attempting the impossible?
No, it is certainly not impossible and in fact is highly suggested. The first thing you should do is install the Support Tools from the Windows 2000 CD on the existing primary DC. Run a program called NETDIAG and review the results -- especially anything that talks about DNS registration. Most likely you cannot connect to the domain because one or more entries are missing from the DNS.