When you run Dcpromo.exe on a domain controller, the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard detects that Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is already installed on the server. The wizard then starts and prompts you for information that it needs to uninstall AD DS on the server.
You can start the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard on a domain controller in the following ways:
On the domain controller, click Start, click Run, type dcpromo, and then click OK. As an alternative, you can type dcpromo at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
Click Start, click Server Manager, and then, under Roles Summary, click Remove Roles. Server Manager is also available on the Administrative Tools menu or through an icon in the notification area.
When it removes AD DS, the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard informs you if the domain controller is a global catalog server so that you can ensure that other global catalog servers are still available to handle user logon requests as necessary.
When you delete the last domain controller in a domain, you delete the domain. Ensure that the domain user accounts and computer accounts are no longer required. You must delete any unoccupied or disabled RODC accounts that remain in the domain before you can remove the last domain controller. In addition, export all cryptographic keys that are stored on the server before you use the wizard to delete the domain.
Review the list of application directory partitions that the domain controller holds the last replica for. Have the wizard remove the Domain Name System (DNS) application directory partitions that it created during the AD DS installation. To remove any other application directory partitions, use a utility that the application provides. For more information, see Removing Application Directory Partitions.
If you are deleting a child domain that uses Active Directory–integrated DNS, the wizard lists the DNS application directory partition for that domain. This partition distinguished name appears in the list as DC=DomainDNSZones,DC=domain_name.
If you are deleting the forest root domain, the wizard lists the DNS application directory partition for the forest in addition to the DNS application directory partition for that domain. The partition distinguished name for the forest-wide DNS zone appears in the list as DC=ForestDNSZones,DC=domain_name.
You can also use remove the AD DS binaries that are associated with the AD DS server role. You must remove the AD DS server role before you remove the AD DS binaries. The process for removing the AD DS binaries is as follows:
Remove the AD DS server role. This step does not remove the AD DS binaries that are associated with the AD DS server role.
Restart the server.
Remove the AD DS server role binaries. This step may require another restart of the server.
The recommended methods for removing the AD DS binaries are:
Use the Remove Roles Wizard in Server Manager.
Use Dcpromo.exe. At a command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
The following topics provide more information about specific wizard pages that you may encounter when you remove AD DS: