Rebuilding NT4 Server from tape backup and preserving user profiles on desktop

Hi there guys,

Here's my situation.

We have just purchased a company.  We are are inheriting the desktops, but soon after the aquisition, the parent company who sold us this comapny just purchased will remove the NT4 BDC and leave the 300 Desktops whereby they can no longer authenticate.  They will supply us backup tapes which hopefully will contain directory structure, permissions, registry, usernames and so on.  Our predicament is that we will build a Win NT4 Server box and try to restore what information we have off the tapes to try and get the desktops authenticating to the new server as we do not want to rebuild the S.O.E.  What stategy would you recommend in this scenario where we can preserve the user profiles and desktop settings to minimize downtimes and keep the user experience transparent?

Hope you can help

Michael
massoudmAsked:
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rcmbConnect With a Mentor Commented:
To save a lot of time initially is it possible to build a BDC before the remove the PDC and then promote your BDC to PDC. You can then restore you data from tape backup to where ever and the system never misses a beat. You SAM database is totally in tact and your network never sees anything different.

RCMB
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massoudmAuthor Commented:
Thanks RCMB

The problem is due to the corporate restrictions that are placed on the take over of this company, we have access to the PDC, BDC (no physical, logical access).  The tapes are supplied as is.


Michael
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massoudmAuthor Commented:
Sorry...  what I should have said...  We DO Not have Physical Access, Logical Access or the Administrator password to the Servers at all.  We only own the desktops with the deal.

Michael
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rcmbCommented:
With this happening I think in are in a very bad position. Most backups do not include operating systems and such. Backups are normally data driven.

You are going to need the local password on the desktops if these are not on a domain.

What I recommend is to take this opportunity to move to at least windows 2000 and install a domain controller and member server and have a new network and then restore your data files.

If you must stay NT then you are going to have to build a new PDC and BDC. Move all of your desktops to a workgroup (must be done at each machine) and then after the PDC is complete join your desktops to the domain. Once the BDC is finished restore your data from tape to a local drive and create network shares to the data as necessary. - This also ensures you start with a clean network and do not inherit their "garbage" or old stuff. We all know how users like to store everything on the network :-)

This entire process can be done in two days with a small team (3 people). Wish I was there to help and I love a good challenge.

RCMB
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ahmedbahgatConnect With a Mentor Commented:
quote>  you are going to have to build a new PDC and BDC. Move all of your desktops to a workgroup (must be done at each machine) and then after the PDC is complete join your desktops to the domain. Once the BDC is finished restore your data from tape to a local drive and create network shares to the data as necessary. - This also ensures you start with a clean network and do not inherit their "garbage" or old stuff. We all know how users like to store everything on the network :-)


I believe this is the only option you have really

cheers
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spareticusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Before they leave, if they are not providing the admin password, then this is a bad situation for you.  The backup tape will be worthless, and you will have to move all 300 workstations to a new domain.

If they are providing a password that works, then promote a BDC as RCMB said, and when they pull their hardware, then you promote your BDC to be the PDC, and the tape is again worthless.

If they are giving you a tape and a password, then you can restore the sam and security files, and try to put those in place on a newly built PDC (using the name of their PDC) using recovery console or system commander
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ocon827679Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you management pay good money to keep that original PDC.  Just tell them how many hours it's going to take you to move all the computers into a new domain, create new user accounts, set up shares, login scripts, etc.  If still a no go get ready for a marathon weekend, week, month .......  
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tdmgtechCommented:
Couldn't you ask them to convert a ws to a BDC for you?  Really doesn't take that much time for them and will save you tons.  Only other option I can think of is buying a copy of ghost and ask them to make an image of the server for you.  You can then restore the image to a machine deal with the driver issues and then build a nice BDC and promote it.

Good luck I don't envy you.
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spareticusCommented:
none of that will help if you are not given the username and a password of a domain admin account
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tdmgtechCommented:
Wow I missed the comment about the Admin pw.  Spareticus is right, with no admin password you have just purchased 300 used W/Ss.  Build a new domain.  Sounds like not IT people cut this deal.
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massoudmAuthor Commented:
Well guys,

I am in Japan and I am impressed by answers.  I have attended several meetings to discuss the proposed strategy in moving forwards.  by the way all the desktops are in japanese !!

So anyway, we have NOT received Tape Backups and no help from the seller so the only path forward is to try and preserve the profiles, shares, printers etc after a PDC build on our domain.  We will obviously lose all the permissions, file structure, directory structure etc on the server.

Any tips on tools that might assist with preserving the profiles at least then restoring the desktop profiles back onto the clients just so we don't have to create a new SOE?

Cheers
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spareticusCommented:
usmt is free (an ms product) and will preserve profiles
you can purchase tools if you prefer
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