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  1. Raymond Windsor
    September 13, 2019 @ 7:53 pm


    You saved my day Ms. Armond. I made a rookie mistake and screwed up my DC (only one in the forest) by renaming it without demoting it first.

    I ran the netdom commands in DSR mode and it changed it back to the correct domain.

    The only issue I encountered was that the DNS settings were wiped out. I recreated the forward looking zones and the _msdcs zone and was off running.

    Thanks a lot for your article. It saved my day.


  2. Abel Munjalu
    September 23, 2019 @ 3:40 am

    Thanks for above info but once Domain name is grayed out. what should I do next?


    • Amira Armond Amira Armond
      September 23, 2019 @ 8:35 am

      Hello Abel,
      I’m not sure what step you are at?
      Are you talking about the domain name in System Properties? (right-click My Computer > Properties) ?
      Generally, if domain name is grayed out, that means that you made a change to the system properties that isn’t finalized yet. Needs a reboot maybe?

      If it is grayed out during the DC promotion or demotion process, I’m not sure what that means. Could be a problem connecting to other domain controllers. Is this your only domain controller or do you have others running?


  3. John
    December 28, 2019 @ 9:23 pm

    Hi. I am having this same issue and trying to follow the steps above to demote my 2019 DC. 2016 looks a bit different but I can basically follow the same steps. However after I click Demote, I get the error: “An error occurred when demoting the Active Directory domain controller. The wizard cannot access the list of domains in the forest. The error is: The interface is unknown.”

    I am also seeing Netlogon service is stopped and I am unable to start it manually.

    Any suggestions on how I might be able to successfully complete the demotion?

    Thanks in advance for any help!


    • Amira Armond Amira Armond
      December 28, 2019 @ 10:38 pm

      Hi John,

      You need to solve the netlogon service first. Without netlogon you have no domain communications at all (major problem for Windows). I’ve started seeing a lot of netlogon stopped in just the last month, not sure if a patch introduced a bug etc.

      How to get netlogon to start?
      Check your network properties and general ability to ping stuff and resolve names.
      Make sure your DNS is pointing to another domain controller on the domain (or to itself) on either primary or secondary.
      Check event log for specific errors


  4. Mahesh Mahadev Phadke
    September 27, 2020 @ 10:21 am

    The netdom method of renaming DCs right from 2003 (with support tools installed) to 2019 works flawlessly without any issues unless you have any weird AD issue
    Normally people miss out DFSR or FRS member name update step post rename Dc with netdom.
    Though Netdom tool is old but its does updated with new server edition and meant to avoid DC demotion and promotion and sub sequent service disruption


  5. Joe Blow
    April 14, 2021 @ 12:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this! This worked great on my 2019 server.


  6. AbdelAziz
    June 13, 2021 @ 7:30 am

    Does the data associated with the old domain will be the same such as policies


  7. Jim W
    October 26, 2021 @ 6:24 pm

    Well, I’m in a jam! I used netdom to rename one of my DCs (2019, no FSMO roles), and ended up with the system dialog and DNS referring to it as DC1, but ADDS refers to it as DC4!

    Netdom reports BOTH names with /enumerate, but fails to let me change the primary (returns blank error) or remove either (reports no element found).

    System dialog does not allow to to change the name either (DC1 to DC4), reporting access denied.

    I also cannot demote (even forcibly), as it can’t communicate with the other DCs (DFSR is looking for DC4, when server believes it’s DC1).

    Any suggestions??


  8. Arnaud Guilloux
    March 30, 2023 @ 10:23 am

    Thanks a lot, it worked like a charm on my Win2016 DC!


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