DCPROMO demotion fails if unable to contact the DNS infrastructure master


The graceful demotion of a Windows Server computer hosting the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) or "domain controller" server role fails with the on-screen error:

Title bar text: Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard
Message Text:

The operation failed because:

Active Directory Domain Services could not transfer the remaining data in directory partition
DC=DomainDNSZones,DC=<DNS domjain name>
Active Directory Domain Controller
\\<DNS name of helper DC used to service demotion>

"The directory service is missing mandatory configuration
information, and is unable to determine the ownership of floating single-master operation roles."

The relevant part of the DCPROMO.LOG file contains the followign text: 

<date> <time> [INFO] Transferring operations master roles owned by this Active Directory Domain Controller in directory partition DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com to Active Directory Domain Controller \\<DNS name of helper DC...
<date> <time> [INFO] EVENTLOG (Warning): NTDS Replication / Replication : 2091

A review of the infrastructure object and attributes for the DNS application partition referenced in the on-screen DCPROMO error and DCPROMO.LOG

Expanding base 'CN=Infrastructure,DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com'...
Getting 1 entries:
Dn: CN=Infrastructure,DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com
cn: Infrastructure;
distinguishedName: CN=Infrastructure,DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=corp,DC=microsoft,DC=com;
dSCorePropagationData: 0x0 = (  );
fSMORoleOwner: CN=NTDS Settings\0ADEL:<NTDS Settings objet GUID>,CN=<hostname of last DC to host the partition infrastructure role>,CN=Servers,CN=<active directory site name>,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=contoso,DC=com;
instanceType: 0x4 = ( WRITE );
isCriticalSystemObject: TRUE;
name: Infrastructure;
objectCategory: CN=Infrastructure-Update,CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=contoso,DC=com;
objectClass (2): top; infrastructureUpdate;
objectGUID: <object guid>;
showInAdvancedViewOnly: TRUE;
uSNChanged: <some USN #>;
uSNCreated: <some USN #>;
whenChanged: <date> <time>;
whenCreated: <date> <time>;

Where distinguishing elements in the LDAP output taken from the sample domain "CONTOSO.COM include::

  1. The fSMORoleOwner attribute contains the string "0ADEL" indicating that the role owning DC's NTDS Settings object has been deleted
  2. The fSMORoleOwner attribute contains a 32-character alpha-numeric GUID of the owning DCs NTDS Settings object in the format of "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx",
  3. The name of the default DNS application partition for which the fSMORoleOwner attribute is assigned to a DC with a deleted NTDS Settings object. In this case the error referenced the DomainDNSZones. This same error may also occur for the ForestDNSZones application partition.


The error above occurs when the domain cointroller being demoted cannot outbound replicate changes to the Dc that owns the infrastructure FSMO or operational role for the partition referenced in the DCPROMO [log] error.

Specifically, the demotion attempt is aborted to safeguard against data loss. In the case of DNS application partitions, the demotion is blocked to ensure that live and deleted DNS records, their ACLS and metadata such as registration and deletion dates are replicated

DN paths for partitions where the error in the symptoms section may occur include:

  • CN=Infrastructures,DC=ForestDNSZones....
  • Resolution

    Note that when the infrastucture master is assigned to a deleted NTDSA on a DNS application partiton, like DomainDNSZones, it may also be missing for ForestDNSZones parttion or vice versa. Microsoft Commercial Support recommends that you verify that the for both the DomainDNSZones and ForestDNSZones partitions assigned to "live" Windows Server 2003 or later domain controllers hosting the DNS Server role and partition in question.

    1. Use ADSIEDIT.MSC to assign the DN path for the fsMORoleOwner attribute to a live DC that was a direct replication partner of the original FSMO role owner then wait for that change to inbound replicate to the DC being demoted.


    2. Run the script in the Resolution section of MSKB 949257 for the partition in question.


    3. If the DC being demoted is not capable of inbound replicating changes for the directory partition in question, run the "DCPROMO /FORCEREMOVAL command to forcefuly demote the domain controoller.

    More Information

    DCPromo attempts to outbound replicate changes on every locally held NC so that unique changes are not lost. In the case of data stored in DNS zones, DCPROMO attempts to to outbound replicate the contents of DNS zones to the Infrastructure master for the DNS partition in question.


    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949257 desribes a problem where the ADPREP /RODCPREP command fails when infrastructure master for one or more DNS application partition is assigned to a deleted NTDSA.