Crahsed Windows Server 2003, round two, what can I do now?

Posted on 2006-04-09
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I previously crashed my Windows 2k server, sufferened my losses and rebuilt a 2003 server on the same hardware.  Everything was fine, until the same thing happened.  It appears I had a hw failure.  However, before the system crashed, I did do a system state backup, and the data in the (new) hds are good.  I was in the middle of installing exchange when the failure happened again.  The machine had been previously SBS SP1, but it needed it again after removeing and reintalling exchange (when it failed again).

So now I'm loading 2003 server into a fresh directory on my server's hd.  What are my options for restoring my AD.  I have the old windows instation director and the system state image.  What do you recommed?  Can I copy my ntds.dif (something like that) file from my old isntall into the new ntds directory?  Should I risk the system state restore from a different hw platform?  Any other ideas?
Question by:anidea
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    Hi anidea,

    system state backup is only reccomended for identical hardware or all sorts of fun can arise


    Author Comment

    I'm running a single server.  If I wasn't, I wouldn't be having this problem.  The key things I'm really trying to save are not having each computer join the domain again and the users and rights assignements.  There isn't much else in the AD that I cared about.  We never got email up so nothing like that should be in there.  How big of a mess could it be my moving ntds.dit and edb.log to the new install?  Isn't that where its all at?
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    Well, just copying the files is not something I would recommend. You said, you did a system state backup. How did you do that? How about a system state restore? There should be no problem with that. A few weeks ago I had a crash of a domain controller and all I did was restoring the system state and the c: drive and the server was up again.

    Good luck!
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    system state restore is fine - if on the same hardware

    Author Comment

    Unfortunately, the system was installed to a different root directory and I was pretty sure that the backup utiliity wouldn't handle that issue.  The drop in copy didn't work either, go figure.  I ended up sucking it all up and removing and adding each computer to the domain, again.  Is there a better way to add a machine to the domain without messing profiles?  It wasn't the same hardware either as I determined it was bad.

    Would having a bdc solved all of my problmes?  Does that offer complete replication?  Is system state backups and identical hw the only way to go?
    LVL 48

    Accepted Solution

    a second DC would have solved all in regards to AD structure as AD replicates entirely - users wouldnt even notice..... unless you are redirecting folders and profiles to the server that died but with a good backup you could restore profiles to the other server

    2 DC's is very handy - doesnt even need to be a powerful box   just redundancy

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