How to determine which DC is the PDC for a domain

  • 7010259
  • 06-Mar-2012
  • 27-Apr-2012


Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3 (OES2SP3)
Novell Open Enterprise Server 11 (OES11)
Domain Services for Windows


Which server is the PDC for a domain?
Which server FSMO server for the domain?
Which FSMO roles are held on which server(s)?


With 2003 AD the PDC is technically called Flexible Single Master Operation or FSMO for short.  PDC is an NT term, but since most people continue to use the term PDC instead of FSMO this TID will continue with that tradition.

To check which server is the PDC start MMC with the Active Directory Users and Computers.

  1. Right click on the domain
  2. Click Operations Masters
  3. All three tabs (RID, PDC, Infrastructure) should show the same server as the Operations Master.

Additional Information

The first DC created in a DSfW forest holds all the FSMO roles.  The first DC in a new domain will hold all the domain wide FSMO roles.

It is possible to distribute the roles to different servers.  One server could be the Infrastructure Master another the Schema Master and another server the RID Master.
For most environments tt is recommended to keep all roles on one server but if the roles need to be distributed then take into consideration Microsoft's suggestions.

Forest wide roles are Schema Master and Domain Naming Master.
Domain wide roles are RID Master, Infrastructure Master, and PDC Emulator (DSfW does not support PDC Emulator).

It is recommended to keep the Schema Master and Domain Naming Master on the same DC.