Recover users from crashed AD controler

Hi all,
I just got this new job and the AD controler seemd to have some probs.
Actualy it rebooted about 4 times a day for a period of time (as I 've been told).
The prob is that the primary IDE HD managed to fail before I even got a chance to back it up.
The AD Controler hold about 1000 accounts, being lucky, the remote profiles are stored on a separate disk, but the installation just refused to log me in as admin. I have tryied Recovery console but no good at all. Now anyone has any idea on how could i get back user accounts and profiles? The old primary IDE is still accessible but the system is unable to start even the services. PLS help.
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asamarasAsked:
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pcbratCommented:
If the hard drive is still accessible you could try to ghost it to another blank drive in the system you setup for a server.

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asamarasAuthor Commented:
You see it seems that the IDE controler had also a probl so I have been forced to switch M/B. Now the funny part:
The first M/B used to be a SIS based chipset for PIII /866 with 512MB RAM the new one is a VIA P4 chipset. This causes Win2k to throw an 7b error: Inaccessible boot device.
So I can not throw the previus ghost to a new HD
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pcbratCommented:
Are both IDE controllers on your orginal MB bad?

If you have no other alternatives do an Authoritative Restore from a backup tape (I do hope you have a backup tape).
Here's some info.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;241594

Hope this helps and let us know how goes.

Dawne :)
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asamarasAuthor Commented:
No, no backups (I 've tried to make one, but no use, the PC restarted so ...).
Thanks for the info anyhow.
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pcbratCommented:
The pc restarted? So does that mean you are up and running?

You might make sure you are doing backups next time especially with 1000 users accounts.

Dawne
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asamarasAuthor Commented:
The PC is up, deniing any connection from users. I had to make a clean install on an other HD to make the resources available to users, but I still have to tranfer theie mail boxes and profiles.
Any idea? :((
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pcbratCommented:
Can you connect as an Admin? At all? When you did the reinstall are you in the same domian? Is this a new domain? New forest? New tree?.

I need more info then we can go from there. :)
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asamarasAuthor Commented:
Ok here it is:
I am able to connect as Administrator to the recovery console *only* , and this is the only user that is actualy able to connect at all to the system, and *only* at the recovery console. If you start the system at either normal or safe mode, you are unable to connect to system. I installed a new HD and re-created a primary domain controller as a forest root (I have 2 private nets, 1 extranet and 1 internet). The old domain controler used to use a SCSI drive to store remote profiles and an IDE drive to startup and store some info (mail boxes etc). As you can see the system was overloaded pretty heavylly. As soon as I got to the point where the drives seemed to be accessible, I tried to address the SCSI HD to ger the profies (as a backup at least), and then I noticed that the SCSI drive seemed to have a mind of it's own: it disappeared after a restart (I do belive that this is due to latency setting on  BIOS, but I just can't find the appropriate menu to set it). After this story ends I will be either more experienced or more disturbed (mentally i mean).
By the way, thanks for trying to help me.
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pcbratCommented:
Im not sure I can help you import the mailboxes and pfiles if you cant get the system beyond the recovery console.

If you can get the system up in safe mode and actually log on to it at the server do you have any way to at least copy the pfiles directory and the Priv.edb and Pub.edb to another hardrive that is in the same system? You know a slaved drive. If we can at least get the files over we may stand a chance.

Dawne
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asamarasAuthor Commented:
No, even safe mode will not allow any user to connect locally or remotely.
I will try to copy those files as soon as I recreate the users. The good news are that I can access the old boot drive as a slave and access most of it's contents.
Thanks again for your time.
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pcbratCommented:
Your welcome. Keep me informed I would like to know how everything goes. When you get the EDB files you will have to import them in to Exchange when you build the store. that is very tricky. Its to bad you didnt have psts instead.



If you at least get the log files you could try this.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;278958

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asamarasAuthor Commented:
Well I installed Exchange 2k and used the integration with AD to transfer the fresh (and exciting) new users' accounts.
It is kind of funny, but since the DC is in an institute and the role of it used to be the host server for students, guest what: just 5 persons are interested in their files, and noone is complaining about their e-mails.
Yeeeepiiiieeeeeeeee!!!
So for the record:
1) Disaster recovery is available only from backups (make sure they are available).
2) If you plan to get a new M/B, buy a new Server, install everything on it, use it for a month or so as a backup DC, replicate everything from the old Server and then, unplug the old server from the network, promote the new one to a primary DC, make sure everything works fine, dismount the old server.
3) Even if you have images of your installations, just changing chipset is a very good reason to delete them
4) Even if you have backups, never restore the windowsNT directory, install Win2K and all the patches and then restore the system state from the tapes, as well as the programs, profiles etc.
5) If possible use RAID5 to ensure the availability of your data.

Hey I have learned alot. :((

Thanks again.

Sakis
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pcbratCommented:
Looks like you are on your way to becoming a true blue tech! And remember ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS!!!

Keep up the good work and I am glad all is workingout well for you.

Dawne :)
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asamarasAuthor Commented:
Well thanks for your support and knowledge.

Have fun.

Sakis
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