Microsoft KB Archive/253644

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 253644

Article Last Modified on 3/1/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

This article was previously published under Q253644


Under certain circumstances, inbound replication to Global Catalog (GC) servers can halt due to a database error. This database error is not database damage, but is caused by a scenario that is characterized by the following:

  1. A universal group (in this example, TESTUG) exists on the GC, and the property of the group that contains the group membership is empty. Note that this is normal and can result from the creation of a group without explicitly adding members to it.
  2. The group type of TESTUG is changed from Universal to another group type.
  3. This group type change replicates to the Global Catalog server and because the group membership is empty, causes replication to halt.

Under these circumstances, the Global Catalog generates an event in the Directory Service event log that is similar to the following:

Event Type:     Error
Event Source:   NTDS Replication
Event Category: Replication 
Event ID:       1084
Date:           1/6/2000
Time:           10:27:05 AM
User:           Everyone
Computer:       MYGC
Replication error: The directory replication agent (DRA) couldn't update object CN=TestUG,CN=Users,DC=TestDomain,DC=com (GUID 8e5bf454-5940-4671-a253-d6ee93903a62) on this system with changes which have been received from source server An error occurred during the application of the changes to the directory database on this system. 
The error message is: 
The replication operation encountered a database error.
The directory will try to update the object later on the next replication cycle. Synchronization of this server with the source is effectively blocked until the update problem is corrected. 
If this condition appears to be related to a resource shortage, please stop and restart this Windows Domain Controller. 
If this condition is an internal error, a database error, or an object relationship or constraint error, manual intervention will be required to correct the database and allow the update to proceed.  It is valuable to note that the problem is caused by the fact that the change on the remote system cannot be applied locally. Manually updating the objects on the local system in not recommended. Instead, on the source system (which has the changes already), try to reverse or back out the change.  Then, on the next replication cycle, observe whether the change can now be applied locally. 
The record data is the status code. 
0000: 03 21 00 00               .!..    


This problem can occur in the preceding example, because MYGC's local copy of the Active Directory indicates that "CN=TestUG,CN=Users,DC=TestDomain,DC=com" is a Universal group with no members and the source Domain Controller (known as Source Server in the event detail) is forwarding a change to TestUG that its group type has been modified to something other than Universal. Note that TestUG may or may not currently have members on the source Domain Controller.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack

Note: For Datacenter Server, you need to obtain any service packs or hotfixes from the OEM vendor from which you purchased Datacenter.

To work around this problem, use either of the following methods:

Method 1

Delete the group, and then recreate it with the newly desired group type. Although this is the simplest solution, it may be undesirable if TestUG is referenced in existing ACLs or has many members.

Method 2

Ensure the group has at least one member, change the group type back to Universal, and then permit this change to replicate to all Global Catalog servers. After this replication is complete, the group may be changed from Universal to another group type.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.

Keywords: kbactivedirectoryrepl kbbug kbfix kbnetwork kbwin2000sp1fix KB253644