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Replacing legacy Domain Controller Certificates

Posted by Brajesh Panda on January 13, 2017

Original article: http://www.open-a-socket.com/index.php/2012/11/21/replacing-legacy-domain-controller-certificates/

Something you may have noticed in your journey on the road to AD enlightenment is that if you deploy a new Microsoft Enterprise Certificate Authority (CA) and publish the default templates, your Domain Controllers will automatically enroll for a certificate. The template used is the DomainController V1 certificate, which has been around since Windows 2000 days.

But what if you wanted to assign a different certificate based on the most recent template designed for use with DCs (KerberosAuthentication)? Easy, you would think, given that the DCs have this in-built autoenrollment capability. All I would need to do is unpublish the old DomainController template, publish the new KerberosAuthentication template, ensure that DCs have autoenroll permissions on the template and then perform a Certutil –pulse command on the DCs. Right? Wrong. It’s actually not that straightforward. From what I have managed to infer (no one will provide me with a definitive answer) it seems the in-built auto-enrollment feature of Domain Controllers is tied specifically to the legacy DomainController template. In other words it will only work with the DomainController template and no other.

The only way I can get the DCs to successfully autoenroll for a certificate based on the KerberosAuthentication template is to follow the steps shown below.

1. Ensure the Domain Controllers group has permissions on the KerberosAuthentication template (it has by default).

2. Modify the properties of the KerberosAuthentication template to add the DomainController, DirectoryEmailReplication and DomainControllerAuthentication templates to the list of superseded templates

3. Publish the KerberosAuthentication template

4. Modify a GPO linked to the Domain Controllers OU to enable the “Certificate Services Client – Auto-Enrollment setting as shown below.

5. Wait for policy to apply to the DCs (or run gpupdate /force).

6. Runcertutil –pulse from an elevate CMD prompt to force re-enrollment.

7. Confirm that a new certificate has been issued based on the KerberosAuthentication template and that the old certificate based on the DomainController template has been automatically removed.

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