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Removing Domains from Active Directory

By jrubinstein ·
As a trainer I run a classroom with 6 domains within a tree. My machine hosts the root domain of the tree.

We need to start over every couple of weeks, and although we can remove the domain controllers which host the sub domains, and delete the domains from DNS, we still find the domains showing up in Active Directory and there doesn't seem to be any way to get rid of them. What am I missing?

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Removing Domains from Active Directory

by erikdr In reply to Removing Domains from Act ...

Dunno. But your approach seems very much un-classroom to me. In such a case, have a backup (e.g. Ghost) of _all_ systems including the root domain ready and reinstall it every couple of weeks. Those data which you build up and need to keep, have them on a separate partition or removable which is not overwritten during the restore.
Works like a charm in my testlab..

At your service,

<Erik> - The Netherlands

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Removing Domains from Active Directory

by jrubinstein In reply to Removing Domains from Act ...

We do precisely this. But I wanted to know why I could not get rid of the orphaned domains without ghosting the server each time. Thanks anyway.

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Removing Domains from Active Directory

by dgnall In reply to Removing Domains from Act ...

It sounds like you are not demoting the DCs in the subdomains first. You need to run dcpromo on each subdomain DC, and remove AD this way. During this demotion, you can select that "This is the last DC in this domain" which will remove the domain from AD.

If you don't do this, you will orphan the domains, with no DCs in them. To manually remove these from AD, you need to run the ntdsutil utility to cleanup the meta-data. The full directions for this process are found in Microsoft Q-article Q230306 (searchable from support.microsoft.com).

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Removing Domains from Active Directory

by jrubinstein In reply to Removing Domains from Act ...

Thanks very much. This is precisely our problem because we wipe out the domain controllers of the sub domains rather than demoting them. We don't unfortunately have the time to demote them properly, which would, as you say remove them from active directory. So I wanted a way to remove the orphaned domains.

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Removing Domains from Active Directory

by jrubinstein In reply to Removing Domains from Act ...

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