Modifies properties of a domain controller.

Dsmod is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Server 2008. It is available if you have the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server role installed. To use dsmod, you must run the dsmod command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


dsmod server <ServerDN> ... [-desc <Description>] [-isgc {yes | no}] [{-s <Server> | -d <Domain>}] [-u <UserName>] [-p {<Password> | *}] [-c] [-q] [{-uc | -uco | -uci}]


Parameter Description


Required. Specifies the distinguished names of one or more servers that you want to modify. If values are omitted, they are obtained through standard input (stdin) to support piping of output from another command to input of this command.

-desc <Description>

Specifies the description of the server that you want to modify.

-isgc {yes | no}

Adds the global catalog to (yes) or removes it from (no) a domain controller.

{-s <Server> | -d <Domain>}

Connects a computer to a remote server or domain that you specify. By default, dsmod connects the computer to the domain controller in the logon domain.

-u <UserName>

Specifies the user name with which the user logs on to a remote server. By default, -u uses the user name with which the user logged on. You can use any of the following formats to specify a user name:

  • user name (for example, Linda)

  • domain\user name (for example, widgets\Linda)

  • user principal name (UPN) (for example,

-p {<Password> | *}

Specifies to use either a password or an asterisk (*) to log on to a remote server. If you type *, dsmod prompts you for a password.


Reports errors, but continues with the next object in the argument list when you specify multiple target objects (continuous operation mode). If you do not supply this parameter, dsmod exits when the first error occurs.


Suppresses all output to standard output (quiet mode).

{-uc | -uco | -uci}

Specifies that output or input data is formatted in Unicode. The following table shows each format.

Value Description


Specifies a Unicode format for input from or output to a pipe (|).


Specifies a Unicode format for output to a pipe (|) or a file.


Specifies a Unicode format for input from a pipe (|) or a file.


Displays help at the command prompt.


  • If a value that you supply contains spaces, use quotation marks around the text, for example, "CN=My Server,CN=Servers,CN=Site10,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=Contoso,DC=Com".

  • If you supply multiple values for a parameter, use spaces to separate the values, for example, a list of distinguished names.

  • Dsmod does not support the addition of security principals in one forest to groups that are located in another forest when a forest trust joins both forests. You can use Active Directory Users and Computers to add security principals across a forest trust.


To enable the domain controllers CORPDC1 and CORPDC9 to become global catalog servers, type:

dsmod server "CN=CORPDC1,CN=Servers,CN=Site1,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=Microsoft,DC=Com" "CN=CORPDC9,CN=Servers,CN=Site2,CN=Sites,CN=Configuration,DC=Microsoft,DC=Com" -isgc yes