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Troubleshooting Domain Controller Deployment

Published: August 15, 2012

Updated: August 7, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



This topic covers detailed methodology on troubleshooting domain controller configuration and deployment.

The built-in logs are the most important instrument for troubleshooting issues with domain controller promotion and demotion. All of these logs are enabled and configured for maximum verbosity by default.

 

Phase

Log

Server Manager or ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell operations

  • %systemroot%\debug\dcpromoui.log

  • %systemroot%\debug\dcpromoui*.log

Installation/Promotion of the domain controller

  • %systemroot%\debug\dcpromo.log

  • %systemroot%\debug\dcpromo*.log

  • Event viewer\Windows logs\System

  • Event viewer\Windows logs\Application

  • Event viewer\Applications and services logs\Directory Service

  • Event viewer\Applications and services logs\File Replication Service

  • Event viewer\Applications and services logs\DFS Replication

Forest or domain upgrade

  • %systemroot%\debug\adprep\<datetime>\adprep.log

  • %systemroot%\debug\adprep\<datetime>\csv.log

  • %systemroot%\debug\adprep\<datetime>\dspecup.log

  • %systemroot%\debug\adprep\<datetime>\ldif.log*

Server Manager ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell deployment engine

  • Event viewer\Applications and services logs\Microsoft\Windows\DirectoryServices-Deployment\Operational

Windows Servicing

  • %systemroot%\Logs\CBS\*

  • %systemroot%\servicing\sessions\sessions.xml

  • %systemroot%\winsxs\poqexec.log

  • %systemroot%\winsxs\pending.xml

To troubleshoot issues not explained by the logs, use the following tools as a starting point:

  1. Did a simple syntax issue cause the error?

    1. Did you mistype or forget to provide an argument to ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell? For example, if using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell, did you forget to add required argument -domainname with a valid name?

    2. Examine the Windows PowerShell console output carefully to see exactly why it is failing to parse the command-line provided.

  2. Is the error a prerequisite failure?

    1. Many errors that used to appear as fatal promotion results are now prevented by the prerequisite checker.

    2. Examine the text of the prerequisite errors carefully, they provide the necessary guidance to resolve most issues, as they are controlled scenarios.

  3. Is the error in promotion and therefore fatal?

    1. Examine the results carefully: many errors have simple explanations such as bad passwords, network name resolution, or critical offline domain controllers.

    2. Examine the Dcpromoui.log and dcpromo.log for the errors shown in the output, then work backwards from them to see indications of why the failure occurred.

      1. Always compare to a working sample log

      2. Examine the ADPrep logs for errors only if the results indicate a problem extending the schema or preparing the forest or domain.

      3. Examine the DirectoryServices-Deployment event log for errors only if the Dcpromoui.log lacks detail or ends arbitrarily due to an unhandled exception in the configuration process.

    3. Examine the Directory Services, System, and Application event logs for other indicators of a configuration issue. Often times, the domain controller promotion is just a symptom of other network misconfiguration that would affect all distributed systems.

    4. Use dcdiag.exe and repadmin.exe to validate the overall forest health and indicate subtle misconfigurations that may prevent further domain controller promotion.

    5. Use AutoRuns.exe, Task Manager, or MSinfo32.exe to examine the computer for third party software that may be interfering.

      1. Remove third party software (do not simply disable the software; that does not prevent drivers loading).

    6. Install NetMon 3.4 on the computer that fails to promote as well the replication partner domain controller and analyze the promotion process with double-sided network captures.

      1. Compare this to your working lab environment to understand what a healthy promotion looks like and where it is failing.

      2. At this point, the errors are likely with the forest objects, non-default security changes, or the network, and this new domain controller is a victim of misconfigurations in DNS, firewalls, host intrusion protection software, or other outside factors.

Domain controller promotion and demotion always returns a code at the end of operation and unlike most programs, do not return zero for success. To see the code at the end of a domain controller configuration, you have several options:

  1. When using Server Manager, examine the promotion results in the ten seconds prior to automatic reboot.

  2. When using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell, examine the promotion results in the ten seconds prior to automatic reboot. Alternatively, choose not to restart automatically on completion. You should add the Format-List pipeline to make the output easier to read. For example:

    Install-addsdomaincontroller <options> -norebootoncompletion:$true | format-list
    
    
    Errors in prerequisite validation and verification do not continue on to a reboot, so they are visible in all cases. For example:

    Prerequiste Error
  3. In any scenario, examine the dcpromo.log and dcpromoui.log.

    noteNote
    Some of the errors listed below are no longer possible due to operating system and domain controller configuration changes in later operating systems. The new ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell codes also prevents certain errors, but the dcpromo.exe /unattend does not; this is another compelling reason to switch all of your current automation from the deprecated DCPromo to ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell.

Promotion and demotion return the following success message codes.

 

Error Code

Explanation

Note

1

Exit, success

You still must reboot, this just notes that the automatic restart flag was removed

2

Exit, success, need to reboot

3

Exit, success, with a non-critical failure

Typically seen when returning the DNS Delegation warning. If not configuring DNS delegation, use:

-creatednsdelegation:$false

4

Exit, success, with a non-critical failure, need to reboot

Typically seen when returning the DNS Delegation warning. If not configuring DNS delegation, use:

-creatednsdelegation:$false

Promotion and demotion return the following failure message codes. There is also likely to be an extended error message; always read the entire error carefully, not just the numeric portion.

 

Error Code

Explanation

Suggested resolution

11

Domain controller promotion is already running

Do not run than one instance of domain controller promotion at the same time for the same target computer

12

User must be administrator

Logon as a member of the built-in Administrators group and ensure you are elevating with UAC

13

Certification Authority is installed

You cannot demote this domain controller, as it is also a Certification Authority. Do not remove the CA before you carefully inventory its usage - if it is issuing certificates, removing the role will cause an outage. Running CAs on domain controllers is discouraged

14

Running in safe-boot mode

Boot the server into normal mode

15

Role change is in progress or needs reboot

You must restart the server (due to prior configuration changes) before promotion

16

Running on wrong platform

Not likely to get this error

17

No NTFS 5 drives exist

This error is not possible in Windows Server 2012, which requires at least the %systemdrive% be formatted with NTFS

18

Not enough space in windir

Free up space on the %systemdrive% volume using cleanmgr.exe

19

Name change pending, needs reboot

Reboot the server

20

Computer name is invalid syntax

Rename the computer with a valid name

21

This domain controller holds FSMO roles, is a GC, and/or is a DNS server

Add -demoteoperationmasterrole when using -forceremoval.

22

TCP/IP needs to be installed or isn't functioning

Verify computer has TCP/IP configured, bound, and working correctly

23

DNS client needs to be configured first

Set a primary DNS server when adding a new domain controller to a domain

24

Supplied credentials are invalid or missing required elements

Verify your user name and password is correct

25

Domain controller for the specified domain could not be located

Validate DNS client settings, firewall rules

26

List of domains could not be read from the forest

Validate DNS client settings, LDAP functionality, firewall rules

27

Missing domain name

Specify a domain when promoting or demoting

28

Bad domain name

Choose a different, valid DNS domain name when promoting

29

Parent domain does not exist

Verify the parent domain specified when creating a new child domain or tree domain

30

Domain not in forest

Verify the domain name provided

31

Child Domain already exists

Specify a different domain name

32

Bad NetBIOS domain name

Specify a valid NetBIOS domain name

33

Path to the IFM files is invalid

Validate your path to the Install From Media folder

34

The IFM database is bad

Use the correct Install From Media for this operating system and role (same operating system version, same type of domain controller - RODC versus RWDC)

35

Missing SYSKEY

The Install from Media is encrypted and you must provide a valid SYSKEY to use it

37

Path for NTDS Database or its logs is invalid

Change path of Database and Logs to a fixed NTFS volume, not a mapped drive or UNC path

38

Volume does not have enough space for NTDS database or logs

Free up space using cleanmgr.exe, add more disk space, manually clear space by moving unnecessary data elsewhere

39

Path for SYSVOL is invalid

Change path of SYSVOL folder to a fixed NTFS volume, not a mapped drive or UNC path

40

Invalid site name

Provide a site name that exists

41

Need to specify a password for safe-mode

Provide a password for the DSRM account, it cannot be blank no matter how the password policy is configured

42

Safe-mode password does not meet criteria (promotion only)

Provide a password for the DSRM account that meets the password policy's configured rules

43

Admin password does not meet criteria (demotion only)

Provide a password for the local administrator account that meets the password policy's configured rules

44

The specified name for the forest is invalid

Specify a valid forest root DNS domain name

45

A forest with the specified name already exists

Choose a different forest root DNS domain name

46

The specified name for the tree is invalid

Specify a valid tree DNS domain name

47

A tree with the specified name already exists

Choose a different tree DNS domain name

48

The tree name does not fit into the forest structure

Choose a different tree DNS domain name

49

The specified domain does not exist

Verify your typed domain name

50

During demote, last domain controller was detected even though it is not, or last domain controller was specified, but it is not

Do not specify Last Domain Controller in the Domain (-lastdomaincontrollerindomain) unless it is true. Use -ignorelastdcindomainmismatch to override if this is truly the last domain controller and there is phantom domain controller metadata

51

App partitions exist on this domain controller

Specify to Remove Application Partitions (-removeapplicationpartitions)

52

Required command-line argument is missing (that is, an answer file must be specified on the command-line)

Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation

53

The promotion/demotion failed, machine must be rebooted to clean up

Examine the extended error and logs

54

The promotion/demotion failed

Examine the extended error and logs

55

The promotion/demotion was canceled by the user

Examine the extended error and logs

56

The promotion/demotion was canceled by the user, machine must be rebooted to clean up

Examine the extended error and logs

58

A site name must be specified during RODC promotion

You must specify a site for an RODC, it will not automatically detect one like an RWDC

59

During demote, this domain controller is the last DNS server for one of its zones

Specify that this is the Last DNS Server in the Domain or use -ignorelastdnsserverfordomain

60

A domain controller running Windows Server 2008 or later must be present in the domain in order to promote RODC

Promote at least one Windows Server 2008 or later model writable domain controller

61

You cannot install Active Directory Domain Services with DNS in an existing domain that does not already host DNS

Not possible to get this error

62

Answer file does not have a [DCInstall] section

Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation.

63

Forest functional level is below windows server 2003

Raise the forest functional level to at least Windows Server 2003 Native. Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 are no longer supported operating systems

64

Promo failed because component binary detection failed

Install the AD DS role

65

Promo failed because component binary installation failed

Install the AD DS role

66

Promo failed because operating system detection failed

Examine the extended error and logs; the server is failing to return its operating system version. It is likely that the computer will need to be re-installed, as its overall health is highly suspect

68

Replication partner is invalid

Use repadmin.exe or the Get-ADReplication* Windows PowerShell to validate partner domain controller health

69

Required Port is already in use by some other application

Use netstat.exe -anob to locate processes that are incorrectly assigned to reserved AD DS ports

70

The forest root domain controller must be a GC

Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation

71

DNS server is already installed

Do not specify to install DNS (-installDNS) if the DNS service is already installed

72

Computer is running Remote Desktop Services in non-admin mode

You cannot promote this domain controller, as it is also a RDS server configured for more than two admin users. Do not remove RDS before you carefully inventory its usage - if it is being used by applications or end-users, removal will cause an outage

73

The specified forest functional level is invalid.

Specify a valid forest functional level

74

The specified domain functional level is invalid.

Specify a valid domain functional level

75

Unable to determine the default password replication policy.

Validate that the RODC password replication policy exists and is accessible

76

Specified replicated/non-replicated security groups are invalid

Validate that you have typed in valid domain and user accounts when specifying a password replication policy

77

The specified argument is invalid

Examine the extended error and logs

78

Failed to examine Active Directory Forest

Examine the extended error and logs

79

RODC cannot be promoted because rodcprep has not been performed

Use Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /rodcprep

80

Domainprep has not been performed

Use Windows Server 2012 to prepare the domain or use adprep.exe /domainprep

81

Forestprep has not been performed

Use Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /forestprep

82

Forest schema mismatch

Use Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /forestprep

83

Unsupported SKU

Not likely to get this error

84

Unable to detect a domain controller account

Validate that existing domain controllers have correct user account control attribute set.

85

Unable to select a domain controller account for stage 2

Returned if you specify "Use Existing Account" but either no account found or there is an error during account lookup. Ensure you provided the correct RODC staged account

86

Need to run stage 2 promotion

Returned if you promote an additional domain controller but an existing account exists and "Allow Reinstall" was not specified

87

A domain controller account of conflicting type exists

Rename the computer before promoting, if not trying to attach to an unoccupied domain controller. You must attach to the unoccupied domain controller account using -useexistingaccount and the correct read-only or writable argument, depending on account type

88

The specified server admin is not valid

You specified an invalid account for RODC admin delegation. Verify that the account specified is a valid user or group

89

RID master for the specified domain is offline.

Use netdom.exe query fsmo to detect the RID master. Bring it online and make it accessible to the domain controller you are promoting

90

Domain naming master is offline.

Use netdom.exe query fsmo to detect the domain naming master. Bring it online and make it accessible to the domain controller you are promoting

91

Failed to detect if the process is wow64

Not possible to get this error anymore, the operating system is 64-bit

92

Wow64 process is not supported

Not possible to get this error anymore, the operating system is 64-bit

93

Domain controller service is not running for non-forceful demotion

Start the AD DS service

94

Local admin password does not meet requirement: either blank or not required

Provide a non-blank password and ensure that the local password policy requires a password

95

Cannot demote last Windows Server 2008 or later domain controller in the domain where live RODCs exist

You must first demote all RODCs before you can demote all Windows Server 2008 or later writable domain controllers

96

Unable to uninstall DS binaries

Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation

97

Forest functional level version higher than that of the child domain operating system

Provide a child domain functional the same or higher than the forest functional level

98

Component binary install/uninstall is in progress.

Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation

99

Forest functional level is too low (error is Windows Server 2012 only)

Raise the forest functional level to at least Windows Server 2003 native. Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 are no longer supported operating systems

100

Domain functional level is too low (error is Windows Server 2012 only)

Raise the domain functional level to at least Windows Server 2003 native. Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 are no longer supported operating systems

The following are common issues seen during the Windows Server 2012 development process. All of these issues are "by design" and have either a valid workaround or more appropriate technique to avoid them in the first place. Many of these behaviors are identical in Windows Server 2008 R2 and older operating systems, but the rewrite of AD DS deployment brings heightened sensitivity to issues.

 

Issue

Demoting a domain controller leaves DNS running with no zones

Symptoms

Server still responds to DNS requests but has no zone information

Resolution and Notes

When removing the AD DS role, also remove the DNS Server role or set the DNS Server service to disabled. Remember to point the DNS client to another server than itself. If using Windows PowerShell, run the following after you demote the server:

uninstall-windowsfeature dns

or

set-service dns -starttype disabled
stop-service dns

 

Issue

Promoting a Windows Server 2012 into an existing single-label domain does not configure updatetopleveldomain=1 or allowsinglelabeldnsdomain=1

Symptoms

DNS dynamic record registration does not occur

Resolution and Notes

Set these values using the Netlogon and DNS group policies. Microsoft began blocking single-label domain creation in Windows Server 2008; you can use ADMT or the Domain Rename Tool to change to an approved DNS domain structure.

 

Issue

Demotion of last domain controller in a domain fails if there are pre-created, unoccupied RODC accounts

Symptoms

Demotion fails with message:

Dcpromo.General.54

Active Directory Domain Services could not find another Active Directory Domain Controller to transfer the remaining data in directory partition CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com.

"The format of the specified domain name is invalid."

Resolution and Notes

Remove any remaining pre-created RODC accounts before demoting a domain, using Dsa.msc or Ntdsutil.exe metadata cleanup.

 

Issue

Automated forest and domain preparation does not run GPPREP

Symptoms

Cross-domain planning functionality for Group Policy, Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) Planning Mode, requires updated file system and Active Directory permissions for existing GP. Without Gpprep, you cannot use RSOP Planning across domains.

Resolution and Notes

Run adprep.exe /gpprep manually for all domains that were not previously prepared for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2. Administrators should run GPPrep only once in the history of a domain, not with every upgrade. It is not run by automatic adprep because if you have already set adequate custom permissions, it would cause all SYSVOL contents to re-replicate on all domain controllers.

 

Issue

Install from media fails to verify when pointing to a UNC path

Symptoms

Error returned:

Could not validate media path. Exception calling "GetDatabaseInfo" with "2" arguments. The folder is not valid.

Resolution and Notes

You must store IFM files on a local disk, not a remote UNC path. This intentional block prevents partial server promotion due to a network interruption.

 

Issue

DNS delegation warning shown twice during domain controller promotion

Symptoms

Warning returned twice when promoting using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell:

"A delegation for this DNS server cannot be created because the authoritative parent zone cannot be found or it does not run Windows DNS server. If you are integrating with an existing DNS infrastructure, you should manually create a delegation to this DNS server in the parent zone to ensure reliable name resolution from outside the domain. Otherwise, no action is required."

Resolution and Notes

Ignore. ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell shows the warning first during prerequisite checking, then again during configuration of the domain controller. If you do not wish to configure DNS delegation, use argument:

-creatednsdelegation:$false

Do not skip the prerequisite checks in order to suppress this message

 

Issue

Specifying UPN or non-domain credentials during configuration returns misleading errors

Symptoms

Server Manager returns error:

Exception calling "DNSOption" with "6" Arguments

ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell returns error:

Verification of user permissions failed. You must supply the name of the domain to which this user account belongs.

Resolution and Notes

Ensure you are providing valid domain credentials in the form of domain\user.

 

Issue

Removing the DirectoryServices-DomainController role using Dism.exe leads to unbootable server

Symptoms

If using Dism.exe to remove the AD DS role before demoting a domain controller gracefully, the server no longer boots normally and shows error:

Status: 0x000000000
Info: An unexpected error has occurred.

Resolution and Notes

Boot into Directory Services Repair Mode using Shift+F8. Add the AD DS role back, and then forcibly demote the domain controller. Alternatively, restore the System State from backup. Do not use Dism.exe for AD DS role removal; the utility has no knowledge of domain controllers.

 

Issue

Installing a new forest fails when setting forestmode to Win2012

Symptoms

Promotion using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell returns error:


                    Test.VerifyDcPromoCore.DCPromo.General.74

Verification of prerequisites for Domain Controller promotion failed. The specified domain functional level is invalid

Resolution and Notes

Do not specify a forest functional mode of Win2012 without also specifying a domain functional mode of Win2012. Here is an example that will work without errors:

-forestmode Win2012 -domainmode Win2012

 

Issue

Clicking Verify in the Install from Media selection area appears to do nothing

Symptoms

When you specify a path to an IFM folder, clicking the Verify button never returns a message or appears to do anything.

Resolution and Notes

The Verify button only returns errors if there are issues. Otherwise, it makes the Next button selectable if you have provided an IFM path. You must click Verify to proceed if you have selected IFM.

 

Issue

Demoting with Server Manager does not provide feedback until completed.

Symptoms

When using Server Manager to remove the AD DS role and demote a domain controller, there is no ongoing feedback given until the demotion completes or fails.

Resolution and Notes

This is a limitation of Server Manager. For feedback, use ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

Uninstall-addsdomaincontroller

 

Issue

Install from Media Verify does not detect that RODC media provided for writable domain controller, or vice versa.

Symptoms

When promoting a new domain controller using IFM and providing incorrect media to IFM - such as RODC media for a writable domain controller, or RWDC media for an RODC - the Verify button does not return an error. Later, promotion fails with error:

An error occurred while trying to configure this machine as a domain controller. 
The Install-From-Media promotion of a Read-Only DC cannot start because the specified source database is not allowed. Only databases from other RODCs can be used for IFM promotion of a RODC.

Resolution and Notes

Verify only validates the overall integrity of IFM. Do not provide the wrong IFM type to a server. Restart the server before you attempt promotion again with the correct media.

 

Issue

Promoting an RODC into a pre-created computer account fails

Symptoms

When using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell to promote a new RODC with a staged computer account, receive error:

Parameter set cannot be resolved using the specified named parameters.    
InvalidArgument: ParameterBindingException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : AmbiguousParameterSet,Microsoft.DirectoryServices.Deployment.PowerShell.Commands.Install

Resolution and Notes

Do not provide parameters already defined already on a pre-created RODC account. These include:

-readonlyreplica
-installdns
-donotconfigureglobalcatalog
-sitename
-installdns

 

Issue

Deselecting/selecting "Restart each destination server automatically if required" does nothing

Symptoms

If selecting (or not selecting) the Server Manager option Restart each destination server automatically if required whendemoting a domain controller through role removal, the server always restarts, regardless of choice.

Resolution and Notes

This is intentional. The demotion process restarts the server regardless of this setting.

 

Issue

Dcpromo.log shows "[error] setting security on server files failed with 2"

Symptoms

Demotion of a domain controller completes without issues, but examination of the dcpromo log shows error:

[error] setting security on server files failed with 2

Resolution and Notes

Ignore, error is expected and cosmetic.

 

Issue

Prerequisite adprep check fails with error "Unable to perform Exchange schema conflict check"

Symptoms

When attempting to promote a Windows Server 2012 domain controller into an existing Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 forest, prerequisite check fails with error:

Verification of prerequisites for AD prep failed. Unable to perform Exchange schema conflict check for domain 
<domain name>
 (Exception: the RPC server is unavailable)

The adprep.log shows error:

Adprep could not retrieve data from the server 
<domain controller>
 through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

Resolution and Notes

The new domain controller cannot access WMI through DCOM/RPC protocols against the existing domain controllers. To date, there have been three causes for this:

  • A firewall rule blocks access to the existing domain controllers

  • The NETWORK SERVICE account is missing from the "Logon as a service" (SeServiceLogonRight) privilege on the existing domain controllers

 

Issue

Creating a new AD DS forest always shows DNS warning

Symptoms

When creating a new AD DS forest and creating the DNS zone on the new domain controller for itself, you always receive warning message:

An error was detected in the DNS configuration. 
None of the DNS servers used by this computer responded within the timeout interval.
(error code 0x000005B4 "ERROR_TIMEOUT")

Resolution and Notes

Ignore. This warning is intentional on the first domain controller in the root domain of a new forest, in case you intended to point to an existing DNS server and zone.

 

Issue

Windows PowerShell -whatif argument returns incorrect DNS server information

Symptoms

If you use the -whatif argument when configuring a domain controller with implicit or explicit -installdns:$true, the resulting output shows:

"DNS Server: No"

Resolution and Notes

Ignore. DNS is installed and configured correctly.

 

Issue

After promotion, logon fails with " Not enough storage is available to process this command"

Symptoms

After you promote a new domain controller and then log off and attempt to log on interactively, you receive error:

Not enough storage is available to process this command

Resolution and Notes

The domain controller was not rebooted after promotion, either due to an error or because you specified the ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell argument -norebootoncompletion. Restart the domain controller.

 

Issue

The Next button is not available on the Domain Controller Options page

Symptoms

Even though you have set a password, the Next button on the Domain Controller Options page in Server Manager is not available. There is no site listed in the Site name menu.

Resolution and Notes

You have multiple AD DS sites and at least one is missing subnets; this future domain controller belongs to one of those subnets. You must manually select the subnet from the Site name dropdown menu. You should also review all AD sites using DSSITE.MSC or use the following Windows PowerShell command to find all sites missing subnets:

get-adreplicationsite -filter * -property subnets | where-object {!$_.subnets -eq "*"} | format-table name

 

Issue

Promotion or demotion fails with message "the service cannot be started"

Symptoms

If you attempt promotion, demotion, or cloning of a domain controller you receive error:

The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or it has no enabled devices associated with it" (0x80070422)

The error may be interactive, an event, or written to a log like dcpromoui.log or dcpromo.log

Resolution and Notes

The DS Role Server service (DsRoleSvc) is disabled. By default, this service is installed during AD DS role installation and set to a Manual start type. Do not disable this service. Set it back to Manual and allow the DS role operations to start and stop it on demand. This behavior is by design.

 

Issue

Server Manager still warns that you need to promote DC

Symptoms

If you promote a domain controller using the deprecated dcpromo.exe /unattend or upgrade an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller in place to Windows Server 2012, Server Manager still shows the post-deployment configuration task Promote this server to a domain controller.

Resolution and Notes

Click the post-deployment warning link and the message will disappear for good. This behavior is cosmetic and expected.

 

Issue

Server Manager deployment script missing role installation

Symptoms

If you promote a domain controller using Server Manager and save the Windows PowerShell deployment script, it does not include the role installation cmdlet and arguments (install-windowsfeature -name ad-domain-services -includemanagementtools). Without the role, the DC cannot be configured.

Resolution and Notes

Manually add that cmdlet and arguments to any scripts. This behavior is expected and by design.

 

Issue

Server Manager deployment script is not named PS1

Symptoms

If you promote a domain controller using Server Manager and save the Windows PowerShell deployment script, the file is named with a random temporary name and not as a PS1 file.

Resolution and Notes

Manually rename the file. This behavior is expected and by design.

 

Issue

Dcpromo /unattend allows unsupported functional levels

Symptoms

If you promote a domain controller using dcpromo /unattend with the following sample answer file:

[DCInstall]
NewDomain=Forest
ReplicaOrNewDomain=Domain
NewDomainDNSName=corp.contoso.com
SafeModeAdminPassword=Safepassword@6
DomainNetbiosName=corp
DNSOnNetwork=Yes
AutoConfigDNS=Yes
RebootOnSuccess=NoAndNoPromptEither
RebootOnCompletion=No
DomainLevel=0ForestLevel=0

Promotion fails with the following errors in the dcpromoui.log:

dcpromoui EA4.5B8 0089 13:31:50.783       Enter CArgumentsSpec::ValidateArgument DomainLevel
dcpromoui EA4.5B8 008A 13:31:50.783         Value for DomainLevel is 0
dcpromoui EA4.5B8 008B 13:31:50.783   Exit code is 77
dcpromoui EA4.5B8 008C 13:31:50.783   The specified argument is invalid.
dcpromoui EA4.5B8 008D 13:31:50.783 closing log
dcpromoui EA4.5B8 0032 13:31:50.830   Exit code is 77

Level 0 is Windows 2000, which is not supported in Windows Server 2012.

Resolution and Notes

Do not use the deprecated dcpromo /unattend and understand that it allows you to specify invalid settings that later fail. This behavior is expected and by design.

 

Issue

Promotion “hangs” at creating NTDS settings object, never completes

Symptoms

If you promote a replica DC or RODC, the promotion reaches “creating NTDS settings object” and never proceeds or completes. The logs stop updating as well.

Resolution and Notes

This is a known issue caused by providing credentials of the built-in local Administrator account with a matching password to the built-in domain Administrator account. This causes a failure down in the core setup engine that does not error, but instead waits indefinitely (quasi-loop). This is expected – albeit undesirable – behavior.

To fix the server:

  1. Reboot it.

  1. In AD, delete that server’s member computer account (it will not yet be a DC account)

  1. On that server, forcibly disjoin it from the domain

  1. On that server, remove the AD DS role.

  1. Reboot

  1. Re-add the AD DS role and reattempt promotion, ensuring that you always provide the domain\admin formatted credentials to DC promotion and not just the built-in local administrator account

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