Help! Lost the AD Forest Root!
Posted on 2003-11-18
I'm an MCSA who's been thrown in completely at the deep end with the mother of all disaster recovery challenges. Two days to resurrect a forest root domain controller that hosts a number of subdomains.
Sounds easy? Well, it was the only DC in its domain and we don't have ANY backup apart from the GHOST image created after running DCPROMO for the first time.
I work at a college, and recently set up a lab of W2K servers.
We were broken into recently, and a bunch of machines and drives were nicked from the office adjoining the lab; unfortunately this included the forest root - a machine called INSTRUCTOR which was the first DC in the Room.College domain.
Even more unfortunately, in the resulting nicking spree, the backups were nicked as well as a couple of student machines. Fortunately they were disturbed before the whole room got cleared out.
(I'm not joking.)
The remaining PCs in this room were set up as seperate DCs, each in its own subdomain. For example,
The students on these machines all logged in as Administrator in their own domains, OR Instructor in the domain Room.College.
Here's the tricky bit. There's no backup of the Forest Root, at least not since the day it was first built. The class has evolved around building the AD over the past month or so.
As luck would have it, I created GHOST images of the server prior to handing it over to the tutor so I have been able to build up a spare machine as a replacement.
However, the only existing backup of INSTRUCTOR is (quite understandably) unaware of any of its child domains, far less any of the objects in them.
I've left it disconnected from the LAN while I figure out how to proceed. One of the remaining student machines is also a Global Catalog for the domain, but won't synch with the other DCs until DNS is up and running (which means powering up INSTRUCTOR).
If I jack INSTRUCTOR back into the network, what's likely to happen? If I boot into DS Restore Mode and tell it to do a non-authoritative restore, will the other servers re-integrate with the AD?