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Windows 2000 clustering problem

By asimzeeshan ·

just posting this to get some help from the tech-guys like you.

I recently installed Windows 2000 advanced server with active directory (pdc). I added two additional servers (bdc and bdc2) in the network.

Thus it was a cluster of 3 servers, one primary and two backup. While updating these servers with Service Pack 4, there was some overheating issue with the primary server (pdc) and it shutdown during the installation of SP4 (it was an intel machine).

Now this is where things get messy. The primary domain controller does not start now. it shows me the windows 2000 logo and the progress bar at the bottom and restarts after dumping the memory. I tried restoring it to the "last known good configuaration" but to no use. Even tried booting it up in the "active directory restore mode" but it wont start up.

I had almost 1100 user accounts created with login drives mapped. This is the main problem. The two backup servers have the user accounts but none of the 50 computers in the network is connecting to the servers (after the pdc died).

What to do now? is there any solution? can i use any of the two backup as a primary (which option to go for?) so that my network gets back online?

waiting for a reply,

a desperate in need of quick help

P.S. dont give me the solution of re-installing everything bcoz 1100 user accounts with loin drives means 5 days wasted AGAIN

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Domain Controllers on Clusters

by BFilmFan In reply to Windows 2000 clustering p ...

Domain controllers on clusers are a HUGE source of design issues.

As noted in, there are several service packs and hot fixes which sould not be applied to clusters.

Was the PDC emulator holding all the other FSMO roles

The answer is to seize all the roles on one of the other funcitioning domain controllers and and and for a good "How To" with illustrations

My recommendation is to remove those domain controllers from the cluster and either place them on independent servers or use server virtualization with VMWare. Your operational support costs are going to increase by having those domain controllers on a clustered server.

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thanx for the reply, but i need a little more elaboration....

by asimzeeshan In reply to Domain Controllers on Clu ...

Hi, first of all thanx for replying to my query, its so nice of you.

I have three servers in a cluster. (actually it was one server at the start but later two more were added)

Server1: Name=PDC (status = dead) (role = all 5)
Server2: Name=BDC (status = working) (role = backup)
Server3: Name BDC2 (status = working) (role = baclup; holding mapped drives are on this PC)

I tried seizing the role of the PDC (which is dead) but the error returned was something like 'the server cannot be contacted')

What to do now? also its been almost 3 weeks since the PDC died, cannot think of anything and techrepublic is the last hope.

I ran out of RID since i created some accounts in hope that PDC could be taken back online but PDC is completely dead.

Should i seize the role of BDC (since its just a backup) and then dont take the BDC online after its seized. Will it transfer all roles (all 5 of them) to the 'BDC2'? (plz remember that PDC is DEAD, it is not booting)

the update that i installed was Windows Service Pack 4

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by BFilmFan In reply to thanx for the reply, but ...

You will need to seize all 5 roles the PDC role holder was holding.

Just as a note, there is no such thing as a backup domain controller in Active Directory, they are simply domain controllers. In Active Directory, all of the domain controllers are equal with the exception of the role holders.

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Cluster or Additional DCs?

by jzeman56 In reply to Windows 2000 clustering p ...

I get the impression these aren't in a cluster but that you have 3 Domain Controllers. If that is the case, the advice given by BFilmFan is correct. Sieze all the roles authoritatively and make sure you make give one of the new DCs the global catalog as well. You shouldn't have any issues as long as the Domain controller that is down was able to replicate to the other two before crashing...

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Uninstall SP

by jrichardson5 In reply to Cluster or Additional DCs ...

If you boot your server to a command line either using a boot floppy or going into the CMDCONS (if you installed it), you can attempt to roll back the failed SP install. The path to go to is \<system drive>\winnt\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst and run the MS-DOS Batch file named spuninst. Follow the prompts to uninstall the SP. Once you do this, you should be able to reboot in the previous state. I had a co-worker once who had this happen to her where the system rebooted while installing a SP and this hosed the server. Uninstalling the SP as described resolved that issue. If you want to email me off-line, my addy is

As for seizing the roles, this will help to get the services moved to another DC. If the DC that currently holds the role is unavailable, you will always get the message that the server is unavailable but the role should still be transferred. It's kind of like a bank that will help cover a check with NSF in the account - it can happen ;-)


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by joshypx In reply to Windows 2000 clustering p ...

I have faced the same problem with couple months ago.

I think that problem comes with the improper installation of service pack.
When this problem arise i tried to repair the windows 2000 server operating suystem. that means not a reinstallation of operating system start with windows 2000 server cd rom and its ask the new installtion option. we could select the new installation option from the choice. after that it it asks a repair option. that will uninstall the service pack 4. and u get ur OS in your previous state with all user settings

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This is what you need to do if you haven't done so already..

by lsmith1989 In reply to Windows 2000 clustering p ...

If the main (first DC) is not able to come up, then it is a hardware issue.

You now have another problem, the FSMO (Operations Masters Roles) probably existed on the primary DC unless you manually moved them to another DC.

If they are in fact on the messed up machine and that machine is not able to boot up, then you need to perform a "FSMO Seize" and assign the 5 FSMO's do one of the existing DC's.

You should be able to research how to do this for Windows 2000 advanced server on Microsoft's site. Just search for "Seizing FSMO Rolse" or something of that nature.

The other route you can take is to do an authorative restore to an empty box if you made good and recent backups. You can also find info on doing this on Microsofts site.

Let me know if this helps.

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Global Catalog Server

by kevmartin01 In reply to Windows 2000 clustering p ...

In addition to the other suggestion (Seize the FSMO roles), you must set one of your active servers to be a "Global Catalog". This is what allows a domain controller to authenticate users. You can make both of your domain controllers Global Catalog servers so that whichever server responds first will authenticate the user trying to log in. Please refer to the following MS KB article to seize the roles and add your GC's:

I know this issue us probably solved since the article was posted over a year ago but I hope this helps other admins with the same problem as it helped me in the past.

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