Home / Entertainment / How Primary Domain Controller (PDC) Emulator Works

How Primary Domain Controller (PDC) Emulator Works

  • Initially created to provide backwards compatibility with older NT4.0 domains (Pre-Active Directory).
  • Coordinates the following:
  • Password Changes
  • Account Lockouts
  • Time Synchronization
  • Group Policy Edits
  • Master browser – providing list of workgroups and domains when browsing the network
  • Most heavily used FSMO role
  • Without a functioning PDC emulator:
  • Delays in Password Changes, Account Lockouts, Time Synchronizations will occur.
  • Kerberos authentication may not work if time differences between machines are too large.
  • Cannot raise the Domain Functionality Level


  • Tracks which domain objects belong to.
  • Responsible for reference updates between domains:
  • Will update group membership based on changes to user names, memberships from users existing in different domains.
  • Without a functioning Infrastructure Master, users typically will not notice unless their have been recent moved or renamed accounts in a large scale.