Archive for August, 2015

Changing certificate on AD FS and DRS

Monday, August 3rd, 2015


If you have AD FS with Device registration service (DRS) configured on your Windows Server 2012 R2, you might have experienced troubles if you decided to change the certificate on AD FS server. Although AD FS management console will allow you to change service certificate for AD FS, it will not let you change the SSL certificate, nor it will allow you to assign rights for group managed service account used by DRS to access the private key of the new certificate. As a result, change of AD FS service certificate only through the AD FS console will make your DRS stop working (and your devices incapable to perform Workplace Join). So, if you want to change this certificate, for whatever reason you have, there is a procedure to follow:

1. First, during certificate enrollment process for the new certificate make sure that you assign rights to access the private key. This is not very obvious thing to do, actually. When you start the certificate request procedure on your AD FS server, choose Web Server template, and then enter its properties to configure more settings. On the Subject tab, make sure that you type all names that you need. First, you need the name of your AD FS cluster (or server), for example, Make sure that this name is not the same like your AD FS server name. Also, you need this same name as SAN (Subject Alternative Name), and also enterpriseregistration and enterpriseenrollment SAN host names (second one is for Windows 10). See example below:


2. Then, go to the Private Key tab, expand Key Permissions and select Use custom permissions check box. Click Set permissions, then Add, and then select Service accounts as object type, and type your group managed service account that you created when you first configured DRS. See example below :


My group managed service account in this example is FsGmsa1 in domain. When you configure this, finish the enrollment of certificate.

Note : Make sure that this service account has SPN set to your ADFS cluster name. You can check that with following command : setspn –l adatum\FsGmsa1$. Result should something like this:


3. When you finish the certificate enrollment, while you still have Certificates console open, double click the new certificate. Go to Details tab, and scroll down to Thumbprint attribute. Copy the thumbprint value to Notepad, and remove spaces between pairs of characters.

4. Now you have to issue two PowerShell commands to setup new certificate to work with AD FS. First command is :

Set-AdfsCertificate -CertificateType Service-Communications -Thumbprint “your_new_certificate_thumbprint″ – this will set your new certificate as AD FS service certificate. This part you can also do by using AD FS Management console.

Second command will change your SSL certificate for AD FS (that’s the one you need for AD FS, and the one you can’t change with console):

Set-AdfsSslCertificate –Thumbprint “your_new_certificate_thumbprint″

When you finish this, you will be good to. Restart your AD FS and DRS services, and they should start successfully.