Windows Server 2008 : Using ntdsutil - Seizing an Operations Master Role

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If a DC hosting a critical operations master role (previously called flexible single master operations role, [FSMO]) fails, you might need to have another DC take over the role. The best choice is to transfer the role while both servers are operational. However, if the role holder fails, you can seize the role using a DC that is operational.


Seizing a role is a drastic operation. You should seize roles only when absolutely necessary. If you are seizing the Schema Master, the Domain Naming Master, or the RID Master roles, it’s recommended that you don’t bring the original DC back online in the domain.

The following steps show how to seize a role.

1.Start a command prompt with administrative permissions on a domain controller.
2.Type ntdsutil and press Enter.
3.Type roles and press Enter. This accesses the fsmo maintenance prompt.
4.Type connection and press Enter. This accesses the server connections prompt.
5.Identify the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the operational DC. Substitute your DC’s name in the following command:

connect to server

6.Type quit and press Enter. This brings you back to the fsmo maintenance prompt.
7.Identify the role you want to seize. These are identified in ntdsutil as Infrastructure Master, Naming Master, PDC, RID Master, and Schema Master. Use one of the following commands to seize the role:

seize infrastructure master

seize naming master

seize pdc

seize rid master

seize schema master

8.A confirmation dialog box appears similar to Figure 1. Review it and click Yes if you want to seize the role.


ntdsutil first tries to do a logical transfer. If the other DC is up and operational, it is transferred normally. If it fails, it seizes the role.

9.Type quit and press Enter twice to exit ntdsutil.

Figure 1. Seizing an operations role
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