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Troubleshooting Domain Controller Deployment

femila|Last Updated: 7/1/2016
|
5 Contributors

Applies To: Windows Server Technical Preview

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

Introduction to Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Options

Logging Options

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.

PhaseLog
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\\adprep.log

- %systemroot%\debug\adprep\\csv.log

- %systemroot%\debug\adprep\\dspecup.log

- %systemroot%\debug\adprep\\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

Tools and Commands for Troubleshooting Domain Controller Configuration

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

General Methodology for Troubleshooting Domain Controller Configuration

  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.

Troubleshooting Specific Problems

Events and Error Messages

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:

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

    NOTE

    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 CodeExplanationNote
1Exit, successYou still must reboot, this just notes that the automatic restart flag was removed
2Exit, success, need to reboot
3Exit, success, with a non-critical failureTypically seen when returning the DNS Delegation warning. If not configuring DNS delegation, use:

-creatednsdelegation:$false
4Exit, success, with a non-critical failure, need to rebootTypically 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 CodeExplanationSuggested resolution
11Domain controller promotion is already runningDo not run than one instance of domain controller promotion at the same time for the same target computer
12User must be administratorLogon as a member of the built-in Administrators group and ensure you are elevating with UAC
13Certification Authority is installedYou 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
14Running in safe-boot modeBoot the server into normal mode
15Role change is in progress or needs rebootYou must restart the server (due to prior configuration changes) before promotion
16Running on wrong platformNot likely to get this error
17No NTFS 5 drives existThis error is not possible in Windows Server 2012, which requires at least the %systemdrive% be formatted with NTFS
18Not enough space in windirFree up space on the %systemdrive% volume using cleanmgr.exe
19Name change pending, needs rebootReboot the server
20Computer name is invalid syntaxRename the computer with a valid name
21This domain controller holds FSMO roles, is a GC, and/or is a DNS serverAdd -demoteoperationmasterrole when using -forceremoval.
22TCP/IP needs to be installed or isn't functioningVerify computer has TCP/IP configured, bound, and working correctly
23DNS client needs to be configured firstSet a primary DNS server when adding a new domain controller to a domain
24Supplied credentials are invalid or missing required elementsVerify your user name and password is correct
25Domain controller for the specified domain could not be locatedValidate DNS client settings, firewall rules
26List of domains could not be read from the forestValidate DNS client settings, LDAP functionality, firewall rules
27Missing domain nameSpecify a domain when promoting or demoting
28Bad domain nameChoose a different, valid DNS domain name when promoting
29Parent domain does not existVerify the parent domain specified when creating a new child domain or tree domain
30Domain not in forestVerify the domain name provided
31Child Domain already existsSpecify a different domain name
32Bad NetBIOS domain nameSpecify a valid NetBIOS domain name
33Path to the IFM files is invalidValidate your path to the Install From Media folder
34The IFM database is badUse the correct Install From Media for this operating system and role (same operating system version, same type of domain controller - RODC versus RWDC)
35Missing SYSKEYThe Install from Media is encrypted and you must provide a valid SYSKEY to use it
37Path for NTDS Database or its logs is invalidChange path of Database and Logs to a fixed NTFS volume, not a mapped drive or UNC path
38Volume does not have enough space for NTDS database or logsFree up space using cleanmgr.exe, add more disk space, manually clear space by moving unnecessary data elsewhere
39Path for SYSVOL is invalidChange path of SYSVOL folder to a fixed NTFS volume, not a mapped drive or UNC path
40Invalid site nameProvide a site name that exists
41Need to specify a password for safe-modeProvide a password for the DSRM account, it cannot be blank no matter how the password policy is configured
42Safe-mode password does not meet criteria (promotion only)Provide a password for the DSRM account that meets the password policy's configured rules
43Admin password does not meet criteria (demotion only)Provide a password for the local administrator account that meets the password policy's configured rules
44The specified name for the forest is invalidSpecify a valid forest root DNS domain name
45A forest with the specified name already existsChoose a different forest root DNS domain name
46The specified name for the tree is invalidSpecify a valid tree DNS domain name
47A tree with the specified name already existsChoose a different tree DNS domain name
48The tree name does not fit into the forest structureChoose a different tree DNS domain name
49The specified domain does not existVerify your typed domain name
50During demote, last domain controller was detected even though it is not, or last domain controller was specified, but it is notDo 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
51App partitions exist on this domain controllerSpecify to Remove Application Partitions (-removeapplicationpartitions)
52Required 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
53The promotion/demotion failed, machine must be rebooted to clean upExamine the extended error and logs
54The promotion/demotion failedExamine the extended error and logs
55The promotion/demotion was canceled by the userExamine the extended error and logs
56The promotion/demotion was canceled by the user, machine must be rebooted to clean upExamine the extended error and logs
58A site name must be specified during RODC promotionYou must specify a site for an RODC, it will not automatically detect one like an RWDC
59During demote, this domain controller is the last DNS server for one of its zonesSpecify that this is the Last DNS Server in the Domain or use -ignorelastdnsserverfordomain
60A domain controller running Windows Server 2008 or later must be present in the domain in order to promote RODCPromote at least one Windows Server 2008 or later model writable domain controller
61You cannot install Active Directory Domain Services with DNS in an existing domain that does not already host DNSNot possible to get this error
62Answer file does not have a [DCInstall] sectionOnly seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation.
63Forest functional level is below windows server 2003Raise the forest functional level to at least Windows Server 2003 Native. Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 are no longer supported operating systems
64Promo failed because component binary detection failedInstall the AD DS role
65Promo failed because component binary installation failedInstall the AD DS role
66Promo failed because operating system detection failedExamine 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
68Replication partner is invalidUse repadmin.exe or the Get-ADReplication\* Windows PowerShell to validate partner domain controller health
69Required Port is already in use by some other applicationUse netstat.exe -anob to locate processes that are incorrectly assigned to reserved AD DS ports
70The forest root domain controller must be a GCOnly seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation
71DNS server is already installedDo not specify to install DNS (-installDNS) if the DNS service is already installed
72Computer is running Remote Desktop Services in non-admin modeYou 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
73The specified forest functional level is invalid.Specify a valid forest functional level
74The specified domain functional level is invalid.Specify a valid domain functional level
75Unable to determine the default password replication policy.Validate that the RODC password replication policy exists and is accessible
76Specified replicated/non-replicated security groups are invalidValidate that you have typed in valid domain and user accounts when specifying a password replication policy
77The specified argument is invalidExamine the extended error and logs
78Failed to examine Active Directory ForestExamine the extended error and logs
79RODC cannot be promoted because rodcprep has not been performedUse Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /rodcprep
80Domainprep has not been performedUse Windows Server 2012 to prepare the domain or use adprep.exe /domainprep
81Forestprep has not been performedUse Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /forestprep
82Forest schema mismatchUse Windows Server 2012 to prepare the forest or use adprep.exe /forestprep
83Unsupported SKUNot likely to get this error
84Unable to detect a domain controller accountValidate that existing domain controllers have correct user account control attribute set.
85Unable to select a domain controller account for stage 2Returned 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
86Need to run stage 2 promotionReturned if you promote an additional domain controller but an existing account exists and "Allow Reinstall" was not specified
87A domain controller account of conflicting type existsRename 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
88The specified server admin is not validYou specified an invalid account for RODC admin delegation. Verify that the account specified is a valid user or group
89RID 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
90Domain 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
91Failed to detect if the process is wow64Not possible to get this error anymore, the operating system is 64-bit
92Wow64 process is not supportedNot possible to get this error anymore, the operating system is 64-bit
93Domain controller service is not running for non-forceful demotionStart the AD DS service
94Local admin password does not meet requirement: either blank or not requiredProvide a non-blank password and ensure that the local password policy requires a password
95Cannot demote last Windows Server 2008 or later domain controller in the domain where live RODCs existYou must first demote all RODCs before you can demote all Windows Server 2008 or later writable domain controllers
96Unable to uninstall DS binariesOnly seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation
97Forest functional level version higher than that of the child domain operating systemProvide a child domain functional the same or higher than the forest functional level
98Component binary install/uninstall is in progress.Only seen with dcpromo /unattend, which is deprecated. See older documentation
99Forest 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
100Domain 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

Known/Likely Issues and Support Scenarios

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.

IssueDemoting a domain controller leaves DNS running with no zones
SymptomsServer still responds to DNS requests but has no zone information
Resolution and NotesWhen 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:

Code - uninstall-windowsfeature dns

or

Code - set-service dns -starttype disabled
stop-service dns
IssuePromoting a Windows Server 2012 into an existing single-label domain does not configure updatetopleveldomain=1 or allowsinglelabeldnsdomain=1
SymptomsDNS dynamic record registration does not occur
Resolution and NotesSet 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.
IssueDemotion of last domain controller in a domain fails if there are pre-created, unoccupied RODC accounts
SymptomsDemotion 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 NotesRemove any remaining pre-created RODC accounts before demoting a domain, using Dsa.msc or Ntdsutil.exe metadata cleanup.
IssueAutomated forest and domain preparation does not run GPPREP
SymptomsCross-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 NotesRun 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.
IssueInstall from media fails to verify when pointing to a UNC path
SymptomsError returned:

Code - Could not validate media path. Exception calling "GetDatabaseInfo" with "2" arguments. The folder is not valid.
Resolution and NotesYou 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.
IssueDNS delegation warning shown twice during domain controller promotion
SymptomsWarning returned twice when promoting using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell:

Code - "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 NotesIgnore. 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:

Code - -creatednsdelegation:$false

Do not skip the prerequisite checks in order to suppress this message
IssueSpecifying UPN or non-domain credentials during configuration returns misleading errors
SymptomsServer Manager returns error:

Code - Exception calling "DNSOption" with "6" Arguments

ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell returns error:

Code - Verification of user permissions failed. You must supply the name of the domain to which this user account belongs.
Resolution and NotesEnsure you are providing valid domain credentials in the form of domain\user.
IssueRemoving the DirectoryServices-DomainController role using Dism.exe leads to unbootable server
SymptomsIf using Dism.exe to remove the AD DS role before demoting a domain controller gracefully, the server no longer boots normally and shows error:

Code - Status: 0x000000000
Info: An unexpected error has occurred.
Resolution and NotesBoot 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.
IssueInstalling a new forest fails when setting forestmode to Win2012
SymptomsPromotion using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell returns error:

Code - Test.VerifyDcPromoCore.DCPromo.General.74

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

Code - -forestmode Win2012 -domainmode Win2012]
IssueClicking Verify in the Install from Media selection area appears to do nothing
SymptomsWhen you specify a path to an IFM folder, clicking the Verify button never returns a message or appears to do anything.
Resolution and NotesThe 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.
IssueDemoting with Server Manager does not provide feedback until completed.
SymptomsWhen 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 NotesThis is a limitation of Server Manager. For feedback, use ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

Code - Uninstall-addsdomaincontroller
IssueInstall from Media Verify does not detect that RODC media provided for writable domain controller, or vice versa.
SymptomsWhen 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:

Code - 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 NotesVerify 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.
IssuePromoting an RODC into a pre-created computer account fails
SymptomsWhen using ADDSDeployment Windows PowerShell to promote a new RODC with a staged computer account, receive error:

Code - Parameter set cannot be resolved using the specified named parameters.
InvalidArgument: ParameterBindingException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : AmbiguousParameterSet,Microsoft.DirectoryServices.Deployment.PowerShell.Commands.Install
Resolution and NotesDo not provide parameters already defined already on a pre-created RODC account. These include:

Code - -readonlyreplica
-installdns
-donotconfigureglobalcatalog
-sitename
-installdns
IssueDeselecting/selecting "Restart each destination server automatically if required" does nothing
SymptomsIf 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 NotesThis is intentional. The demotion process restarts the server regardless of this setting.
IssueDcpromo.log shows "[error] setting security on server files failed with 2"
SymptomsDemotion of a domain controller completes without issues, but examination of the dcpromo log shows error:

Code - [error] setting security on server files failed with 2
Resolution and NotesIgnore, error is expected and cosmetic.
IssuePrerequisite adprep check fails with error "Unable to perform Exchange schema conflict check"
SymptomsWhen 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:

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

The adprep.log shows error:

Code - Adprep could not retrieve data from the server

through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).
Resolution and NotesThe 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

- NTLM is disabled on domain controllers, using security policies described in Introducing the Restriction of NTLM Authentication
IssueCreating a new AD DS forest always shows DNS warning
SymptomsWhen creating a new AD DS forest and creating the DNS zone on the new domain controller for itself, you always receive warning message:

Code - 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 NotesIgnore. 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.
IssueWindows PowerShell -whatif argument returns incorrect DNS server information
SymptomsIf you use the -whatif argument when configuring a domain controller with implicit or explicit -installdns:$true, the resulting output shows:

Code - "DNS Server: No"
Resolution and NotesIgnore. DNS is installed and configured correctly.
IssueAfter promotion, logon fails with " Not enough storage is available to process this command"
SymptomsAfter you promote a new domain controller and then log off and attempt to log on interactively, you receive error:

Code - Not enough storage is available to process this command
Resolution and NotesThe 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.
IssueThe Next button is not available on the Domain Controller Options page
SymptomsEven 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 NotesYou 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:

Code - get-adreplicationsite -filter * -property subnets | where-object {!$_.subnets -eq "*"} | format-table name
IssuePromotion or demotion fails with message "the service cannot be started"
SymptomsIf you attempt promotion, demotion, or cloning of a domain controller you receive error:

Code - 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 NotesThe 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.
IssueServer Manager still warns that you need to promote DC
SymptomsIf 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 NotesClick the post-deployment warning link and the message will disappear for good. This behavior is cosmetic and expected.
IssueServer Manager deployment script missing role installation
SymptomsIf 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 NotesManually add that cmdlet and arguments to any scripts. This behavior is expected and by design.
IssueServer Manager deployment script is not named PS1
SymptomsIf 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 NotesManually rename the file. This behavior is expected and by design.
IssueDcpromo /unattend allows unsupported functional levels
SymptomsIf you promote a domain controller using dcpromo /unattend with the following sample answer file:

Code -

[DCInstall]
NewDomain=Forest

ReplicaOrNewDomain=Domain

NewDomainDNSName=corp.contoso.com

SafeModeAdminPassword=Safepassword@6

DomainNetbiosName=corp

DNSOnNetwork=Yes

AutoConfigDNS=Yes

RebootOnSuccess=NoAndNoPromptEither

RebootOnCompletion=No

DomainLevel=0

ForestLevel=0

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

Code - 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 NotesDo 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.
IssuePromotion "hangs" at creating NTDS settings object, never completes
SymptomsIf 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 NotesThis 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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