Removing of Domains or DCs

Recommended way of removing a DC or Domain

if you need to remove a domain out of the forest or a domaincontroller out of the domain, it's recommended to do that with the Domaincontroller Installationwizard (DCPROMO) first.

Depending on how your infrastructure should look like after removing the DC you should make sure that you have a Global Catalog Server, switch the FSMO-Roles to the approbiate servers and reconfigure your DNS-Infrastructure. Just make sure that you have all services available from other machines after your DC is a memberserver. Don't forget to configure the DNS-Servers also on the memberservers and clients (DHCP).

Now to remove the DC, which is still in the network and communicating with the other DCs and using DNS, use the command DCPROMO. The wizard will guide you through the process to remove the DC.

WARNING:Make sure that you don't tell the wizard that this is the last domain controller in the domain, unless you are absolutely sure that this is the case and every other DC was already "demoted". If you select that option the domain will be removed out of the forest.

If the wizard is unable to remove the DC out of the Domain, you'll have to force the demotion.

Forcefully removing and cleaning up

You've got a domain which does not exist anymore in the Forest, or a DC which refuses to be removed out of the Domain?

In these cases here's a collection of Knowledgebase-Articles to help you:

298450 Deletion of Critical Objects in Active Directory in Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003

The following KB guides you how to remove a DC out of the Domain, even if he doesn't want to be removed ;-) :

332199 Using the DCPROMO /FORCEREMOVAL Command to Force the Demotion of Active Directory Domain Controllers

If you removed the DC using the steps explained in the KB above, you'll have to clean up Active Directory. You also need to follow the same steps if a DC does not exist anymore (switched off and reinstalled):

216498 HOW TO: Remove Data in Active Directory After an Unsuccessful Domain Controller Demotion

And then there are situations where you need to clean up because a whole domain does not exist anymore and wasn't removed properly:

251307 HOW TO: Remove Orphaned Domains from Active Directory Without Demoting the Domain Controllers

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