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How Dcpromo.exe Adds Display Specifiers to Active Directory Forests

This article was previously published under Q308592
You use Active Directory promotion (Dcpromo.exe) to add domain controllers to Windows 2000 server forests. This article describes the role of Dcphelp.exe in the Dcpromo process for adding display specifiers to Active Directory.
Dcphelp.exe is a program file that is configured to run on the first domain controller in a new Active Directory forest. Its function is to add roughly 1,200 display specifier objects for all non-English locales that are supported by Windows 2000 Server. For additional information about display specifiers, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:Dcphelp.exe is added to the RunOnce key in the registry after the promotion operation is finished. Specifically, Dcphelp.exe is added to the RunOnce key after the replication phase and security configuration in Dcpromo, but before the installation of DNS (if you opted to have Dcpromo install DNS) and the creation of shortcuts for the Active Directory administration tools. Dcphelp is a part of the promotion process that must run on an Active Directory-enabled domain controller; it runs the first time you log on after running Dcpromo.

When you log on, Dcphelp.exe performs these tasks:
  • Dcphelp.exe verifies that Active Directory is running.
  • Dcphelp.exe binds to the RootDse on the new domain controller.
  • Dcphelp.exe reads the default naming context (that is, the domain naming context).
  • Dcphelp.exe imports the Dcpromo.csv file from the %SystemRoot%\System32\Mui\Dispspec folder by using Csvde.exe. Csvde.exe is a command-line utility that imports data to Active Directory from comma-separated data files.
Allow the loading of display specifiers by Dcphelp and Csvde to finish without interruption. Operations that can halt the running of Dcphelp.exe or Csvde.exe include logging off prematurely or shutting down the domain controller.

If Dcphelp or Csvde does not finish, Active Directory does not contain a full set of display specifier objects for non-English locales. This can manifest itself as users in certain non-English locales seeing English names for objects in Active Directory management tools, or not seeing property dialog boxes and shortcut menus for those objects. Other symptoms of missing display specifiers include missing columns, missing or incorrect icons, and improper results in using filtering to view objects in Active Directory snap-ins. Users with English as the selected user interface language do not experience any problems (the English display specifiers are created during the main part of Dcpromo).

To confirm that Dcphelp and Csvde finished successfully, check the following resources:
  • The %Windir%\Debug\Dcpromohelp.log file is the log file for Dcphelp.exe.
  • The %Windir%\Debug\Csv.log file is the log file for Csvde.exe. To confirm that the bulk import process was completed successfully, view the end of the the Csv.log file. It should contain a line that states "The command has completed successfully."

Rebuilding Non-English Display Specifiers

If Dcphelp.exe did not finish correctly, you can import the non-English display specifiers by using the csvde command from a command prompt after making a system-state backup. The command is:
csvde -i -f %windir%\system32\mui\dispspec\dcpromo.csv -c DOMAINPLACEHOLDER domain DN -j %windir%\debug -k
This command line is visible in the Dcpromohelp.log file but without the -k option, which means "ignore object already exists errors." This command imports all the objects from the Dcpromo.csv file that are not already present. DOMAINPLACEHOLDER is a constant in the command line. Replace domain DN with the distinguished name (DN) of the root domain in the forest (dc=name1,dc=name2,dc=com).

To completely import non-English display specifiers, you can delete the non-English display specifiers (all containers under CN=DisplaySpecifiers,CN=Configuration,DC=forest root except CN=409,CN=Display Specifiers,CN=Configuration...) and import the entire set again. Note that the deletion and addition of objects in the configuration container is replicated to every domain controller in the forest.

WARNING: Deleting the English display specifiers in "CN=409,CN=Display Specifiers,CN=Configuration..." affects English-locale users; there is no easy way to recover from this in Windows 2000.

NOTE: If Exchange 2000 Server is installed on a member server, and the Exchange System Management Tool is not installed on the domain controller, after you run csvde to add display specifiers, there may be no Exchange Properties in the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, but Exchange 2000 works fine. To work around the display problem, run setup from Exchange 2000 with the parameter forestprep (Run the command: setup /forestprep).

Article ID: 308592 - Last Review: 03/02/2007 18:23:26 - Revision: 2.3

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • kbinfo KB308592