Migrating Windows Server 2012 R2 FSMO roles to another DC

Here are quick steps how to transfer FSMO roles from one domain controller to another, In this case I AM moving the roles  from one Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controller to another 2012 R2.  I have had to do this a few times, most recently when a DC became unstable and had all the roles assigned to it.

Migrating FSMO roles:
RID master
PDC emulator
Infrastructure master
Domain naming master
Schema master

Query where the current FSMO roles reside

C:\>netdom query fsmo

Query FSMO Roles

Migrating RID, PDC, Infrastructure

Open up the “Operations Masters” on the Destination Server.  I am migrating my roles from DC1 (dc.mylab.local) to DC2 (server1.mylab.local).  So I am opening up “Operations Masters” on DC2 (server1.mylab.local) as I am moving all of my FSMO roles here.

Operational Masters

Once “Operations Masters” opens you will have the option to migrate the
RID, PDC, Infrastructure FSMO roles as seen in the 3 tabs below.  Just enter the destination server and click Change.

Migrate RID PDC Infrastructure FSMO

Migrate FSMO roles

Migrating FSMO Roles

Do the same for the PDC/Infrastructure Tab.  Once you do that and run “netdom query fsmo” you will notice that 3 of the FSMO roles are now on DC2 (server1.mylab.local)

Migrating FSMO roles


Migrating the “Domain Naming FSMO” role

Migrating Active Directory domains naming operatiosn Master.  Open up Domains and Trusts.  Do this also from DC2 (server1.mylab.local).  I am moving my “Domains naming master” from DC1 to DC2.  I am opening Operations Master on DC2.

FSMO domain naming master

Select your destination server and click on Change.  You should see a succesfully moved message, check your “netdom query fsmo” command and you should see that it has moved.

FSMO domain naming migrate

Migrating the Schema FSMO role

Open command prompt as administrator and register the following DLL (This is required to transfer the Schema role).  I am migrating my schema role from DC1 to DC2.  I am running this on DC2.

schema register dll migrate master

Open up mmc and add “Active Directory Schema” snap-in

Migrate fsmo schema master role

Select “Operations Master”

Schema master FSMO role add

Type in the destination server at the bottom prompt and click on Change.  You should see successfully transferred schema master from DC1 to DC2 message.

Schema master transferred


All FSMO Roles have been transferred from DC1 (dc.mylab.local) to DC2 (server1.mylab.local)

all FSMO roles transferred

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3 Responses to Migrating Windows Server 2012 R2 FSMO roles to another DC

  1. Brian Downing says:

    Extremely helpful post! Thanks for the detailed step by step procedure for migrating domain controllers. Worked great, except for few mistakes on my part 🙂

  2. Connie Peckham says:

    The box where I would type the target DC in will not let me type anything. Change is not grayed out. Any suggestions?

  3. Sean Buxton says:

    These instructions are awesome. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I did have one hiccup though. When adding the Active Directory Schema to the MMC, it connects to DC1 since that is where the Schema FSMO currently resides. Before trying to change the FMSO to DC2, you need to change the Active Directory Schema add-in to point to DC2. Right-mouse-click on Active Directory Schema and choose the option to ‘Change Active Directory Domain Controller…’. You can then follow the steps to complete the Schema FSMO transfer.

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