Transferring FSMO Roles in Windows Server 2008

Introduction

recently I received many calls on how to transferring FSMO Roles in Windows Server 2008. so this is the reason i post it online to explain how to transfer FSMO roles

FSMO stands for Flexible Single Master Operations, and in a forest there are at least five roles. here, I will show you how to transfer the FSMO in Windows Server 2008. In my next posting, I will explain how to successfully migrate/upgrade your domain controller to a new hardware.

The five FSMO roles are:

1. Schema Master

2. Domain Naming Master

3. Infrastructure Master

4. Relative ID (RID) Master

5. PDC Emulator

The FSMO roles are going to be transferred, using the following three MMC snap-in:

  • To transfer Schema Master Role use Active Directory Schema snap-in
  • To transfer Domain Naming Master Role use Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in
  • To transfer RID Master, PDC Emulator and Infrastructure Master Roles use Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in
Note: The following steps are to be done on the Windows Server 2008 machine that intend to set as the roles holder.
Let’s start!!!

Transfer the Schema Master role using Active Directory Schema snap-in

You need to register schmmgmt.dll in order to be able to use the Active Directory Schema snap-in. Here the steps

1. Click Start > Run
2. Type regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
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3. Click OK
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4. A popup will confirm the schmmgmt.dll been successfully registered. Click OK

5. Click Start > Run, type MMC, then click OK

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6. Click File > then click Add/Remove Snap-in…

7. From the left side, under Available Snap-ins, click on Active Directory Schema, then click Add > and then click OK

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8. Right click Active Directory Schema, then click Change Active Directory Domain Controller…

9. From the listed Domain Controllers, click on the domain controller that you want to be the schema master role holder and then click on OK

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10. You will receive a message box stating that the schema snap-in is not connected to a schema operations master. This is alright, why?? this is because we have not yet set this Windows Server 2008 domain controller as a Schema Master role holder. This will be done in the next step. Click OK

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11. In the console tree, right click Active Directory Schema [DomainName], and then click Operations Master…

12. On the Change Schema Master page, the current schema master role holder will be displayed (ex. Mace-Windu.Amnet.com.sg) and the targeted schema holder as well (ex. Yoda.Amnet.com.sg). Once you click Change, the schema master holder will become Yoda.Amnet.com.sg , click Change

13. Click Yes to confirm the role transfer

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14. The role will be transferred and a confirmation message will be displayed. Click OK

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15. Then click Close, as you can see in the below snapshot, the current schema master is Yoda.Amnet.com.sg

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Transfer the Domain Naming Master Role using Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in
1. Click Start > Administrative Tools > then click Active Directory Domains and Trusts
2. Right click Active Directory Domains and Trusts, then click Change Active Directory Domain Controller…

3. From the listed Domain Controllers, click on the domain controller that you want to be the Domain Naming master role holder and then click on OK

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4. Right click Active Directory Domains and Trusts, then click Operations Master…

5. On the Operations Master page, we are going to change the Domain Naming role holder from Mace-Windu.Amnet.com.sg to Yoda.Amnet.com.sg, Click Change

6. Click YES to confirm the transfer of the Domain Naming role

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7. The role will be transferred and a confirmation message will be displayed. Click OK , then click Close

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8. Now, we have successfully transferred two FSMO roles, the Schema Master role and the Domain Naming role.

Transfer the RID Master, PDC Emulator, and Infrastructure Master Roles using Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in

1. Click Start > Administrative Tools > then click Active Directory Users and Computers

2. Right click Active Directory Users and Computers, then click All Tasks > Operations Master…

3. You will see three Tabs, representing three FSMO roles (RID, PDC, Infrastructure). Click the Change button under each of these three tabs to transfer the roles.

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4. Click Yes to confirm the role transfer

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5. The role will be transferred and a confirmation message will be displayed. Click OK

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6. As for the Infrastructure role, once you click on the Change button you will receive a message

7. By default, when you first install your first Domain Controller, it holds the five roles and beside that it is a Global Catalog. If your environment is a multi-domain/forest, then you should think about structuring your FSMO roles and transfer the Infrastructure role to a none Global Catalog domain controller. Else if you have small number of domain controllers (ex. two domain controllers) then you should not worry about this. Click Yes

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8. The Tabs should now look like this:

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9. By now. You have successfully transferred the five FSMO roles to the Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller.

Summary

There are five FSMO roles in a forest, to transfer any of these roles you have to use the appropriate Active Directory snap-in.
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About David Lim

David has over 15 years of experience in IT industry in designing and implementing Microsoft Solutions ranging from small to enterprise customer. He also has experience in designing and developing Microsoft Unified Communications, Collaboration and Office 365 solutions with focus on Exchange, Lync & SharePoint as well as strategic migration planning in complex business environments. He is specializing in architecture and design of Lync Voice deployments. He has been actively involved in various speaking engagements, the recent being the sessions on Lync On-Premise and Office Interoperability in September 2011 and Office 365 Introduction in November 2011. In recognition of his high-quality real-world technical excellence with the community and with Microsoft, David received the prestigious Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award in April 2011.
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