You use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory (AD) snap-ins to move roles from one domain controller (DC) to another. You can work from the DC that currently holds the role or from the DC to which you want to transfer the role. The initial role holder is the DC you created for the first time in the first forest.

The Schema Master Role
If you're a member of the Schema Admins group, you can move the schema master role from any DC in the forest. If you aren't, add yourself to Schema Admins before you start the task. To work with the schema master, you must install the MMC Active Directory Schema snap-in. Open a command prompt and type

regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll

to load and register the snap-in. The system will display a success message. Click OK, then exit the command window. Now, load the snap-in in an MMC console and move the role:

  1. Choose Start, Run, and type
  2. mmc /a

    Click OK to open a console in author mode.

  3. From the Console menu in Windows Server 2003 or the File menu in Windows 2000 Server, choose Add/Remove Snap-in.
  4. Click Add to open the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box.
  5. Select Active Directory Schema, click Add, then click Close to return to the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box.
  6. Click OK to load the snap-in into the console pane. When the snap-in is loaded, its object in the console pane specifies the name of the DC that has the schema master role.
  7. Right-click the Active Directory Schema object and choose Change Domain Controller from the shortcut menu.
  8. Click Specify Name and enter the name of the DC to which you want to transfer the schema master role. You can enter the NetBIOS name (Windows will automatically apply the Fully Qualified Domain Name—FQDN).
  9. Click OK to return to the console; the new server's name appears as the name of the Active Directory Schema object.
  10. Right-click the Active Directory Schema object again, and choose Operations Master from the shortcut menu to open the Change Schema Master dialog box.
  11. Click Change. If the Change button isn't accessible, you don't have the appropriate permissions to make this change. In that case, add yourself to the Schema Admins group, log off, log on again, then return to the Change Schema Master dialog box and click Change.
  12. Confirm the change, click OK to dismiss the success message, and click Close.

The Domain Naming Master Role
To move the domain naming master role to another DC, you can work at the current role holder or at the DC to which you want to transfer the role. If you're working at the DC that currently handles the domain naming master role, follow these steps:

  1. Open the MMC Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in from the Administrative Tools menu.
  2. Right-click Active Directory Domains and Trusts and choose Connect to Domain Controller from the shortcut menu to open the Connect to Domain Controller dialog box. (To move the role to a DC on a different domain, click Browse, then select the domain.)
  3. Enter the name of the target DC, or select the name from the list of DCs.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Right-click Active Directory Domains and Trusts again, and choose Operations Master from the shortcut menu to open the Change Operations Master dialog box.
  6. Click Change to move the role to the new DC.
  7. Confirm the change, click OK to dismiss the success message, then click Close.

If you're working at the DC to which you want to transfer the role, fewer steps are required to effect the role transfer:

  1. Open the Active Directory Domains and Trusts snap-in from the Administrative Tools menu.
  2. Right-click Active Directory Domains and Trusts, and choose Operations Master from the shortcut menu.
  3. In the Change Operations Manager dialog box, the name of the current domain naming master appears, and the system assumes you want to transfer the role to the current DC. Click Change.
  4. Confirm the change, click OK to dismiss the success message, and click Close.

The RID Master, PDC Emulator, and Infrastructure Master Roles
You move the Relative ID (RID) master, PDC emulator, and infrastructure master roles in a similar manner. To transfer one of these domain roles while working at the current role holder, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  2. Right-click Active Directory Users and Computers, and choose Connect to Domain Controller.
  3. Enter the name of the target DC, or select the target DC from the list of available DCs.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Right-click Active Directory Users and Computers again, and choose All Tasks, Operations Master.
  6. In the Operations Master dialog box, click the appropriate tab (RID, PDC, or Infrastructure).
  7. Click Change.
  8. Confirm the change, click OK to dismiss the success message, and click Close.

If you're working at the DC that you want to receive the domain role, take these steps to move the role from the current role holder:

  1. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  2. Right-click Active Directory Users and Computers, and choose All Tasks, Operations Master.
  3. In the Operations Master dialog box, click the appropriate tab (RID, PDC, or Infrastructure).
  4. Click Change.
  5. Confirm the change, click OK to dismiss the success message, then click Close.