Switching a Windows Deployment Server to a New Domain

Well folks.  Here’s a "What If"
 
"What if" you had a perfectly running Windows Deployment Server under Server 2008 and let’s just say, oh I don’t know, it lost it’s Domain.  It’s connection.  The original Domain was dead, not reachable, kaput.
 
Or in MY case you had to switch a Windows Deployment Server onto a new domain but had no "nice way" to do it.
 
In both cases you have a small problem.   For Windows Deployment Services to actually "work" it NEEDS a Domain.  There is an object it creates in Active Directory and it uses Active Directory, you know for silly little things like RESTRICTING who can mess with it.   Funny thing about a Deployment Server, is that it just DEPLOYS things like complete OPERATING SYSTEMS and SERVERS which are really good at wiping out things like, OTHER operating systems and Servers.
 
So for this reason, you need some security around it.
 
But in our case, we need to switch it to a new Domain.  The original one is gone for whatever reason.  You have admin rights on the box.   So what do you do?
 
Suprisingly it’s VERY easy to fix.
 
Step one.  Switch to Workgroup.
 
Step two.  Switch to New Domain.
 
"I KNOW I KNOW!!!" you may pipe up excitedly "STEP THREE!  START IT UP! YEAH!"
 
Bzzzzzt.  Wrong.  CLOSE but wrong.  So wrong.
 
You see if you TRY that, our Windows Deployment SERVICE will stubbornly keep shutting down.  You’ll also get an error in the EventViewer to the effect of
 
"An error occurred while trying to tstart the Windows Deployment Services server."
 
Error Information 0x13
 
Oh THAT’s just helpful and cryptic isn’t it?
 
But there’s a good and simple reason for that.
 
Did I mention that Object in "Active Directory".  Just where do you think it came from, the Tooth Fairy?
 
You need to put that information back into Active Directory.   But that’s actually quite easy.
 
You can reference this link from Microsoft regarding our helpful little error code poking it’s head out of EventViewer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927770 Will give you EXACTLY the answer you need
First off, if you know where the "Remote install folder was" it’s quite easy.  Usually it’s a folder at the root of C: called "RemoteInstall".   If you can’t find it look for a folder with a similiar structure to this
 
Boot
Images
Mgmt
Templates
Tmp
WdsClientUnattend
 

So if they WERE under C:RemoteInstall Here’s your commands to run in that wonderful command prompt.

Start up a Command Prompt with Administrative rights and execute the following
 
wdsutil /uninitialize-server
 
wdsutil /initialize-server /reminst:C:RemoteInstall
 
Then of course there is one other piece of minor nastiness.  If you had the workstations going to a Default OU you’ll have to (Under the Windows Deployment Server properties for "Directory Services" pick a new location)
 
When you’re done you can start up the Windows Deployment Service and you should be back in business.
 
How about that. 
 
That wasn’t so bad?  Was it?
 
Sean
The Energized Tech

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