Forcing Server 2008 Domain Controller Demotion

by Chris Sanders [Published on 30 June 2011 / Last Updated on 30 June 2010]

When forcing the demotion of a domain controller in Windows Server 2003 there was a caveat that limited your ability to perform this action. This tip explains the caveat and its removal in Server 2008.

In Windows Server 2003 forcing the demotion of a domain controller was a pretty straightforward process and was done by issuing the command dcpromo /forceremoval. This worked great unless you were in safe mode, in which it wouldn’t work at all.

The good news is that this caveat no longer exists in Windows Server 2008, meaning you can forcibly demote a domain controller even if the server will not boot up normally.

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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