Metadata cleanup on windows 2008/2012



Let us take windows 2003 and windows 2008 DC’s as an example, you have migrated from 2003 to windows 2008 and moved all the FSMO roles to windows 2008 server. Now you have started demote the Windows 2003 domain controller and you ran into issues.

Now you have decided to go with Force removal of windows 2003 and removed the ADDS forcefully. (using dcpromo /forceremoval). Is this finishes your job ??

No! this is where actual job starts, you have removed Windows 2003 DC, but its references will not be removed from Active Directory database on your New domain controller (Windows 2008 DC).


You need to undergo metadata cleanup to remove all the instances of old DC from Active Directory.

Step-by-Step procedure for Metadata cleanup

Please Note:  Before starting please make sure your account is in Enterprise Admins group

  • Open a command prompt, type ntdsutil and press enter.
  • At the above ntdsutil prompt type metadata cleanup and press enter.
  • Now at metadata cleanup prompt type connections and press enter.
  • Now at the Server Connections prompt, type connect to server Test2.test.testdomain.com
  • At the Server Connections prompt, type quit and Enter.
  • At the Metadata Cleanup prompt, type select operation target and press Enter.
  • At the Selected  Operations Target prompt, type list domains and press Enter. This list all the domains in the forest are listed with a number associated to each.

  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type select domain 0, where number “0” is the failed domain controller, and press Enter.

  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type list sites and press Enter. This list all the sites in the forest are listed with a number assigned to each.

  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type select site 0, where number “0” is the site containing the 2003 domain controller, and press Enter.

  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type list servers in site and press Enter.

  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type select server 0, where number “0” is the 2003 domain controller, and press Enter.
  • At the Select Operations Target prompt, type quit and press Enter.
  • At the Metadata Cleanup prompt, type remove selected server and press Enter.
  • You will get a warning message. Click Yes to confirm removal of the server

  • Once completed Type quit, Press enter and Type Quit and press enter, until you reach back to root drive.


Done, you have now completed the meta data cleanup and removed all the traces of your old domain controller.




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