I am getting ready to introduce a new DC into my Windows network. My new DC will be running Windows 2003 Server. Before I run forest prep and domain prep on my current Windows 2k Server DC to prepare the transfer of FSMO roles to a '03 Server I want to successfully restore AD in my test environment. I setup Windows 2k Server using VMware in my test environment. I successfully backed up my log files and system state of my "live" DC. I made my test server a DC and created my current domain. I restarted in Active Directory Restore Mode and restored from backup system state and log files from my production network DC. When I reboot I am getting a error that says that there were errors during startup and to review event viewer. I am unable to use my keyboard and mouse within VMware to do anything other than restore from my last saved snapshot. I think the problem is that I need to restore AD to identical hardware with critical updates, service packs, and programs installed because "system state" holds the registry. I believe that I need to duplicate what I did in my production environment to my test environment and then copy my test environment the same way I copied the "system state" and "log files" on my production network. If I can restore my test AD successfully to my test environment from my test environment than I will know that I did everything right to backup AD and restore it properly. I can use this knowledge to restore AD during my FSMO roles transfer to my new DC on my production network if there is any kind of problem. I used this KB article verbatim (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240363
) to backup and restore AD. Please let me know if I am on the right track.