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Server lock up & Unable to login

By maagero ·
I have one Primary Domain Controller & one Backup Domain Controller. For some reason, when I logged into the BDC last week it froze and everyone seemed to lose Windows connectivity. This week I logged into my PDC and I locked up on console, but not everyone did although there was a slowness in accessing certain apps.
My understanding is if PDC down, then BDC lets everyone log in or vica-versa. [The idea I had in mind was to have the BDC be a fully functional fail-over in case PDC was unavailable.] I can't seem to find an associated event log entry. I have both PDC & BDC as DHCP servers [PDC address pool 100-176 & BDC pool 177-254]. Is the prevent of people logging caused by the inability of finding a DHCP server? Is there an explicit how-to document of how a PDC & BDC work to help PC's "always" logged when one of DC's are "not found"? I hope I am clear enough as to what I am asking. [O/S=W2K3 Server & WinXP-Pro-SP3 on clients] I appreciate any insight to Windows domain LAN connectivity issues concerning PDC & BDC.]

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All Answers

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This link might help

by jfuller05 In reply to Server lock up & Unable t ...

Again, it might help, let me know if it does or not. I'll continue looking if it doesn't help.

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servernewnewsgroups link - usefulness

by maagero In reply to This link might help

"The backup domain controller has global catalog and can perform tasks of authentication, user logns etc." is a part of the link that might steer me in a direction where maybe I do not have PDC & BDC operating correctly, because the idea I had in mind was to have the BDC be a fully functional fail-over in case PDC was unavailable.
I'll let you know if it works, thank you.

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Global catalog part led me in right direction...

by maagero In reply to This link might help

The article you pointed me to led me to the global catalog not being setup along with CG IT's article. So yes it was partially useful for my issue.

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by jfuller05 In reply to Global catalog part led m ...

I'm glad it led you into the right direction for your problem.

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no such thing as PDC and BDC

by CG IT In reply to Server lock up & Unable t ...

in a post Windows NT networking environment. Windows Active Directory domain controllers in a W2K or above domain environment are peers with each other [multimaster roles].

however, simply making a server a domain controller doesn't automatically make it a fail over authentication server. You need the Global Catalog role on the second domain controller. Further, Domain Name Services must be available on the network. If your DNS server sits on the domain controller and that controller goes down, your network and Active Directory will not work.

to add insult to injury, the sysvol and netlogon shares also need to be available to users.

So if you really want to get information, go to Microsoft Technet and start with Active Directory and begin reading.... good luck.

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Your specificity & your suggestion of global catalog

by maagero In reply to no such thing as PDC and ...

I understand that PDC & BDC are the "old NT" terms, but they were meant for brevity & getting point across. [Thanks.] The reply by jfuller points to a possibility of a global catalog issue. Thanks, because I am thinking something is missing if my BDC is not taking over until PDC is fixed.

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Global catalog - should I have muliple?

by maagero In reply to Server lock up & Unable t ...

I come from the Novell world historical; my Windows domain experience is only the last 7 yrs & I am still learning the intricacies of the hundreds of settings. Should I have the Global Catalog check box checked on both domain controllers [primary & secondary 'backup']? Like I stated I am trying to make sure I have a fail-over type situation. [Primary dies; clients can still log into secondary as for net logon functions.]

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yes, for the domain controller to provide authentication

by CG IT In reply to Global catalog - should I ...

to users, you need that domain controller to have the Global Catalog role.

But as important is DNS. if you have a seperate server for DNS, this doesn't pose much of a problem but if your DNS server resides on a domain controller and is the only DNS on the network, if that DC ever goes down, then Active Directory will not work regardless of how many DCs you have and what FSMO roles are assigned to them.

So for DC failover, you need DNS "failover" as well if the DNS server resides on a domain controller to have redundancy for your Active Directory Domain.

here's a Microsoft Technet article on redundancy for DCs which includes the Global Catalog role.

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Authentication was part of the problem

by maagero In reply to yes, for the domain contr ...

I believe that will definitely cure the issue of fail over, because authentication was a symptom. The DHCP server is "split in half" on each DC, the DNS srvr is setup on both DC's, the primary has the FSMO. So I am good; I'll know if I run into another issue of DC connectivity failure. Thank you.

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Thank you all; I believe this is solved.

by maagero In reply to Server lock up & Unable t ...

I believe the Global Catalog not being checked on both domains so that both domains could provide authentication was the issue; since everything else seemed to be setup.

May your gremlins be few.

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