How to Transfer FSMO Roles to another Domain Controller

Recently we had replication issues with one of our customers domain controllers. Because of this we had to demote the domain controller and promote it to start replication again. The problem with this if a FSMO role is assigned to the domain controller you must transfer the role first.

Not sure what roles are assigned to a specific server?

Open Command Prompt as Administrator then type netdom query fsmo

Once you find the domain controller that is not replicating properly then find what FSMO roles are assigned to the DC. Next, you will want to transfer the roles away from the Domain Controller. To find the server that is not replicating properly.

Type: repadmin /showrepl

This will then show you the last attempt as successful or a problem has occured.

You can also check Event Viewer Application and System logs for additional replication details if it’s failing. Filter by Critical and Error.
  1. Log on to a Windows 2000 Server-based or Windows Server 2003-based member computer or domain controller that is located in the forest where FSMO roles are being transferred. We recommend that you log on to the domain controller that you are assigning FSMO roles to. The logged-on user should be a member of the Enterprise Administrators group to transfer Schema master or Domain naming master roles, or a member of the Domain Administrators group of the domain where the PDC emulator, RID master and the Infrastructure master roles are being transferred.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type ntdsutil in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Type roles, and then press ENTER.


    Note To see a list of available commands at any one of the prompts in the Ntdsutil utility, type ?, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type connections, and then press ENTER.
  5. Type connect to server servername, and then press ENTER, where servername is the name of the domain controller you want to assign the FSMO role to.
  6. At the server connections prompt, type q, and then press ENTER.
  7. Type transfer role, where role is the role that you want to transfer. For a list of roles that you can transfer, type ? at the fsmo maintenance prompt, and then press ENTER, or see the list of roles at the start of this article. For example, to transfer the RID master role, type transfer rid master. The one exception is for the PDC emulator role, whose syntax is transfer pdc, not transfer pdc emulator.
  8. At the fsmo maintenance prompt, type q, and then press ENTER to gain access to the ntdsutil prompt. Type q, and then press ENTER to quit the Ntdsutil utility.

Once the roles have been transferred, use
netdom query fsmo to double check the transferred role.

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