"Format of the specified domain name is invalid" error when you try to remove Active Directory Domain Services from a domain controller

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When you try to remove Active Directory Domain Services from the last domain controller in a domain by using Server Manager on Windows Server 2012 or by using the Active Directory Installation Wizard on Windows Server 2008 R2 or on Windows Server 2008, you receive an error that resembles the following:
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."

If you are using the Windows PowerShell AddsDeployment module on Windows Server 2012, you also receive the following error:


Your domain contains pre-created read-only domain controller (RODC) accounts. To confirm this, use Dsac.exe or Dsa.msc to locate all computers that have the Domain Controller role type. The pre-created RODCs will have a Domain Controller type that begins with "Unoccupied."


  1. Locate any unoccupied RODC accounts and delete them by using Dsa.msc. Then, try to remove Active Directory Domain Services from the domain controller again.
  2. If you cannot locate the DCs, examine the C:\windows\debug\dcpromoui.log file for the following entry:
    domainHasRODCSlots <- "yes"

    The section above that line returns the distinguished name of the unoccupied RODC accounts that are preventing the removal of Active Directory Domain Services from the domain controller.

    For example, consider the following log file entries:
    Enter CLdapOperationRead::Executeldap_search("OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com", 2, "(&(objectCategory=computer)(userAccountControl:1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=67108864)
    (userAccountControl:1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=2))", "")_lastLdapError_ <- "0"domainRODCSlots[1].guid <- "18B563E4-593C-4200-A868-202711B517E4"domainRODCSlots[1].sid <- "S-1-5-21-1976561553-2317485929-3401840156-1107"domainRODCSlots[1].hexsid <- "01050000000000051500000091efcf756907228a1cf6c3ca53040000"domainRODCSlots[1] <- "CN=UNOCRODC,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"domainRODCSlots[1].parentDN <- "OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"domainRODCSlots[2].guid <- "610DCD88-A845-4984-8728-BB8536FC3011"domainRODCSlots[2].sid <- "S-1-5-21-1976561553-2317485929-3401840156-1109"domainRODCSlots[2].hexsid <- "01050000000000051500000091efcf756907228a1cf6c3ca55040000"domainRODCSlots[2] <- "CN=RODC45,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"domainRODCSlots[2].parentDN <- "OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"Enter CLdapOperationIf::ExecuteEnter CLdapExpressionPresent::Compute pattern=domainRODCSlots[1]==> true (CN=UNOCRODC,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com)Condition == truedomainHasRODCSlots <- "yes"

    In this example, notice that above the domainHasRODCSlots <- "yes" entry are the following two additional entries that refer to RODCs:
    domainRODCSlots[1] <- "CN=UNOCRODC,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"

    domainRODCSlots[2] <- "CN=RODC45,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=corp,DC=contoso,DC=com"

More information

For more information about staged RODC accounts, go to the following Microsoft TechNet website:
Performing a Staged RODC Installation


Article ID: 2737424 - Last Review: September 12, 2012 - Revision: 9.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard

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