Check out this detailed explanation from: http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-2000/2k-adv-dc-crashed-need-to-dcpromo-bdc/34948.html
Ok, that helps. What you might be experiencing is that the DC that help the operation masters, FSMO roles, such as schema master, PDC Emulator, etc are on the other DC. If that is the case and that DC will not be coming back up again, you can seize the roles. This is meant as a last resort and should only be done when the current DC holding those roles will not be coming back online, which appears to be your situation.
Here you go…
The first Microsoft Windows 2000 Active Directory domain controller in a forest
is granted five FSMO roles when you run the Dcpromo.exe program and install
Active Directory. There are two FSMO roles that are forest-wide and three that
are per domain. If child domains are created, the two forest-wide roles do not
change. A forest with two domains would have eight FSMOs; two for the forest and
three domain specific FSMO roles in each domain.
The five FSMO roles are:
- Schema master – Forest-wide and one per forest.
- Domain naming master – Forest-wide and one per forest.
- RID master – Domain-specific and one for each domain.
- PDC – PDC Emulator is domain-specific and one for each domain.
- Infrastructure master – Domain-specific and one for each domain.
To move the FSMO roles from one computer to another, you can use two different
methods. The first method is a transfer and is the method that is recommended.
You can use the first method if both computers are running. Use the second
method if the FSMO roles holder is offline. The second method requires you to
use the Ntdsutil.exe tool to seize the roles.
NOTE: Only seize the FSMO roles to the remaining Active Directory domain
controllers if you are removing the FSMO role holder from the domain or forest.
To seize or transfer the FSMO roles by using Ntdsutil, follow these steps:
1. On any domain controller, click Start, click Run, type “ntdsutil” (without
the quotation marks) in the Open box, and then click OK.
NOTE: Microsoft recommends that you use the domain controller that is taking
the FSMO roles.
2. Type “roles” (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.
NOTE: To see a list of available commands at any of the prompts in the
Ntdsutil tool, type “?” (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.
3. Type “connections” (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.
4. Type “connect to server ” (without the quotation marks),
where is the name of the server you want to use, and then
5. At the server connections: prompt, type “q” (without the quotation marks),
and then press ENTER again.
6. Type “seize ” (without the quotation marks), where
is the role you want to seize. For a list of roles that you can seize, type
“?” (without the quotation marks) at the Fsmo maintenance: prompt, and then
press ENTER, or consult the list of roles at the beginning of this article.
For example, to seize the RID Master role, you would type “seize rid master”
(without the quotation marks). The one exception is for the PDC Emulator
role, whose syntax would be “seize pdc” and not “seize pdc emulator”.
NOTE: All five roles need to be in the forest. If the first domain controller
is out of the forest then seize all roles. Determine which roles are to be on
which remaining domain controllers so that all five roles are not on only one
Microsoft recommends that you only seize all roles when the other domain
controller is not returning to the domain, otherwise fix the broken domain
controller with the roles.
If the original domain controller with the FSMO roles is still online,
transfer the roles. Type “transfer ” (without the quotation
7. After you seize or transfer the roles, click “q” (without the quotation
marks), and then press ENTER until you quit the Ntdsutil tool.
NOTE: Do not put the Infrastructure Master role on the same domain controller as
the global catalog.
To check if a domain controller is also a global catalog server:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click
“Active Directory Sites and Services”.
2. Double-click Sites in the left pane, and then browse to the appropriate site
or click Default-first-site-name if no other sites are available.
3. Open the Servers folder, and then click the domain controller.
4. In the domain controller’s folder, double-click NTDS Settings.
5. On the Action menu, click Properties.
6. On the General tab, locate the Global Catalog check box to see if it is
For additional information about FSMO roles, click the article numbers below to
view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q197132 Windows 2000 Active Directory FSMO Roles
Q223787 Flexible Single Master Operation Transfer and Seizure Process
NOTE: Do not put the Infrastructure Master (IM) role on the same domain
controller as the global catalog server. If the Infrastructure Master runs on a
global catalog server it will stop updating object information because it does
not contain any references to objects that it does not hold. This is because a
global catalog server holds a partial replica of every object in the forest.