PDC emulator is one of the five FSMO roles in an active directory domain controller. It is a domain-wide role and it has following major responsibilities:

1. It synchronizes the time across DCs in a domain. All DC member clocks are synched with the clock of the DC having the PDC emulator role. If there are multiple domains in the forest, then the forest root PDC is the authoritative time source for all domains.

2. It updates passwords for users and computers. When a user enters a wrong password to login, it's the DC with PDC emulator role that is consulted to check if the password has really been changed without partner DC knowledge.

Responsibilities of the PDC Emulator Role

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.

One thought on “Responsibilities of the PDC Emulator Role

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    January 30, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Is PDC emulator still being use for 2016/2019 AD servers? Are there plans of improvement on the FSMO role?


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