FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The server was not promoted to a domain controller.

I ran into this little devil during my first installation of Windows 2008 Small Business Server (SBS). The setup failed with the error message:

FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The server was not promoted to a domain controller.

The solution was surprisingly simple. An active network connection is required to start the setup, however I had disconnected the NIC during setup. Bad move, this causes the setup to bail out. The solution, of course, is to make sure the network card remians connected for the duration of the setup.

14 thoughts on “FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The server was not promoted to a domain controller.”

  1. Remember, it doesn’t need to be a connection to an actual network – just plugging the NIC into a switch by itself will get you through the install!

  2. I get the exact error and I have my NIC connected to the internet through a router(manualy configured) during the entire installation. I still get an unrecoverable error “FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The Server was not promoted to a domain controller”. Also the existing SBS2003 has a single nic configuration (always have). I´ve been reading other threads of this simular topic but I can´t find a solution to my problem. Any Ideas anyone?

  3. Hey, guys. When you get that error message, scroll through carefully and it will tell you where a more detailed log file is kept (C:\program files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs) and in that, you will have more detail. Examples of problems are when you fail in your first attempt, it may have transferred over all of the FSMO roles to the new server. In that case, you have to go to your original server and use NTDSUTIL and seize the five FSMO roles back. This will allow you to attempt your installation again.

    Now for opinion: I highly recommend that the SBS 2008 be installed in a virtual environment several times as a test, if you can manage it. There are so many sneaky problems that could have been easily avoided, including the ability to actually retry the installation in the case of a failed DCPROMO. (It will allow you to finish and get to the desktop, but the resulting operating system can be a nightmare of crashing wizards and missing applications.)

    As Dennis Miller says, “That’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong.”

    John @ BTN

  4. Hi John,
    How can you tell if you the FSMO roles have been transferred to the new server? My old server seems to work just fine after the failed attempt and it still validates logins.. but no matter what I try – I still cannot get the migration to work!!! Any suggestions? Should I try seizing the five FSMO roles back anyway? How do you do that exactly? is ‘NTDSUTIL’ a utility that is already in the C:\Windows folder?? Thanks for any feedback you can give me. I am really stuck here..

    Josh

  5. hi Jhone. just do the following
    run ntdsutil > then roles> then connections then type: connect to “old server name”
    then type : seize rid master > then transfer rid master (accept the transfer pop up)
    do the seize and tranfer for all other roles by reapating the last 2 steps for (schema master, infrastructure master, domain naming master, pdc master)

  6. sorry , the orders as follwoing
    ntdsustil
    roles
    connections
    connect to server “some old server name”
    quit
    seize XXXXX
    transfer xxxx
    while xxx is the name of the roles (see me last posts
    for the name)

  7. Thanks for that Kordi.
    I had a failed first time attemp to migrate from SBS2003 to SBS2008 so all the roles in AD had been transfered to the new server.
    About to give it another go…hope I have plugged all the holes from the first attemp…

  8. hi

    i tried to install sbs2008 but unfortunately there was a power cut in the middle of the install! im now getting an error message in the sbs console that the installation was incomplete.

    How do i continue or restart the installation???

    thanks

  9. I had this problem, mine was caused by a previous attempt of sbs2008 migration left the name in AD Domain Controllers.
    JMRH is correct, you must analyzed the logs as it contains information about your specific issue.

  10. Ocurrio el error FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The server was not promoted to a domain controller. al migrar desde SBS2003 a SBS2008.
    Solucion: Crear un usuario con todos los privilegios de administrador requeridos y lo mas importante un password seguro con MAYUSCULAS, minusculas y numeros no menor a 8 digitos, hacer la migracion desde ese usuario.
    Please use the google translator not write in English, I use it, or see 50 episodes of Dora the Explorer.

  11. Hello,

    I just performed the following steps as indicated above. What do I do next. Please advice since I am in the middle of the migration on a production environment.

    hi Jhone. just do the following
    run ntdsutil > then roles> then connections then type: connect to “old server name”
    then type : seize rid master > then transfer rid master (accept the transfer pop up)
    do the seize and tranfer for all other roles by reapating the last 2 steps for (schema master, infrastructure master, domain naming master, pdc master)

  12. OK the usual reason this occurs in that the default when installing to to have autologin enabled and when the domain install process kicks in it requires the admin user to supply a password at logon. To correct this follow below steps

    1. Goto a DOS prompt
    2. type ‘net user administrator /passwordreq:yes’
    3. logout
    4. login
    5. Goto C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin and run SBSSetup.Exe

    Should work now.

  13. Juan Manuel was absolutly correct, like the followers.

    Ensure, your Domain Admin Password ist COMPLEX= 8 Letters, at least 1 capital and 1 lower case + special character, and you will be lucky. The mentioned kb2536941 would be the result, if you don’t do this.
    By the way, I did have to reboot my DC to have this working

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