A Quick Tip To Check If PDC Emulator Is Working

by [Published on 4 Feb. 2009 / Last Updated on 27 Oct. 2008]

This article explains how you can tell if PDC Emulator in an Active Directory Domain is working.

PDC Emulator plays an important role in the Active Directory. If your PDC Emulator fails, certain domain functions, security functions, can stop functioning. If anyone of the following is not happening then you should check if your PDC Emulator is working properly:

  • Time is not Syncing: PDC is the default source for the client computers to sync the time. If client computers are not syncing the time then you should always check the PDC.
  • User accounts are not locked out: PDC Emulator processes the account lockouts immediately for the entire domain.
  • Pre-Windows 2000 Computers are unable to change their passwords: It's again PDC Emulator who processes the password changes for previous versions of Windows 2000 computers.
  • Windows NT BDCs are not getting updates: PDC Emulator replicates the Active Directory data to Windows NT BDCs.

How to verify PDC Emulator role in the domain?

Run the following command:

dsquery server -hasfsmo pdc

The above command will return the FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) of the domain controller who is holding the PDC Emulator role.

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The Author — Nirmal Sharma

Nirmal Sharma avatar

Nirmal Sharma is a MCSEx3, MCITP and was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in Directory Services and Windows Networking. He specializes in Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Directory Services, Failover Clusters, Hyper-V, PowerShell Scripting and System Center products. Nirmal has been involved with Microsoft Technologies since 1994. In his spare time, he likes to help others and share some of his knowledge by writing tips and articles on various sites and contributing to PowerShell-based Dynamic Packs for www.ITDynamicPacks.Net solutions.

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