turning off domain server



I have taken over a Win2000 Server system. I want to change the system name
and workgroup. When I go to System in Control Panel, it says I can't change
those items because the machine is a Domain Server.

I don't need or want a domain for this application. The machine is simply
going to be used as a simple file server for 20 PCs. In our other store, I
have a WinNT Server, with workgroup, no domain, that does that job very

I would like this machine to work the same. How do I turn off the domain
server function, so that if functions with a workgroup, no domain? Thank you.

Miha Pihler [MVP]


You need to run the command


on this server and follow the wizard.

Before you do this, make sure that you really want to do this (check the
implication of this action). If users have domain accounts and logon to
domain and you remove this domain controller, users will not be able to
logon to their computers. There might also be other services depending on
Active Directory domain such as Exchange server. Again if you remove domain,
these services will stop working.

Roger Abell [MVP]

That may be done, as was mentioned, with dcpromo.
Aside from impacts due to loss of the domain, to the extent that
domain-level access and grants are in use, I have to wonder why?
A W2k server as a stand-alone can seem very like an NT 4 server
as a stand-alone, yes. But that is choosing to not use any of the
advanced that AD brought for centralized management, which even
with just 20 client machines can be a great timesaver.
I would really suggest that you think twice, even three times, about
this before you attempt to turn back time, choosing to run things
"the old way". Why not give yourself some time to see whether
things actually are better first, then think a fourth time?


The initial reason I wanted to turn off the service, is simply to change the
machine name. The machine has been moved to an entirely different location.
The PCs that were part of the domain are not there, so I won't be "breaking"

Can you recommend a book that will tell me more about the "new to me" things
in active directory, and Server 2003, vs my long ago experience with NT

I think my original post said the machine is Server 2000, but its actually
2003, if that makes any difference.


Miha Pihler [MVP]

If it is Windows Server 2003 then you can rename if even if is a domain
controller. This is something you can't do on Windows 2000 server.

Roger Abell [MVP]

Well, if you are out to contact with the rest of the domain
then demoting it might be a little dicy as it will want to
speak with the other domain controllers when doing so.
On the other hand, if out of contact it will not be happy
as a domain controller either.
Now, if it was the only domain controller, that is different.
Either way, without any other machines around that are
making up a domain it is pretty useless to run it as a DC.

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