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Unable to login to server in directory services restore mode

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I've looked around but haven't seen anything addressing what I'm running into.
I have a windows 2000 server DC that has apparently developed some active directory database corruption.  Everything *seemed* to be running fine, but I was getting an error in my backup software about being unable to backup the active directory database.  At first, I didn't think much about it because of other issues I was having with the backup system and the other DC was backing up fine.

Well, after finally looking into the errors, I realized this was a true windows error and not a false error from the backup system.  So, after a bit of research I found this KB article on how to check AD database integrity: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/technologies/activedirectory/maintain/opsguide/part2/adogdapb.mspx#EILAE

Great, I just run the check to see if I have minor or more serious problems.  Well, I must have serious problems because I can't login in Directory Services Restore mode!
I can login in regular safe mode, and I can login into the other DC in directory services restore mode (and run the check with no problems) but not on the affected DC.

What can I do next?
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Question by:kcorbinakc
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mass2612 earned 1500 total points
ID: 17014680
What happens when you try to logon are you getting any error messages? Does this DC hold your FSMO roles? Is there anything specific about the DC setup? If you are not seeing problems on the other DC's you might be able to simply demote this server and re-promote it so a fresh copy of the AD database is created and replicated from the other DC's. If you go down that road make sure DNS is AD integrated and working correctly on other DC's and that you transfer any FSMO roles first.
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by:kcorbinakc
ID: 17018819
That's kinda how I was leaning.  I am not seeing any problems with the other DC and no other problems with this machine other than the AD corruption.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Author Comment

by:kcorbinakc
ID: 17084605
Well, after more research and reading I was able to figure a few things out.

First, I was able to finally login in Directory Services mode after resetting the password using C:\winnt\system32\setpwd.exe
Apparently, when I set this box up several years ago, I set a different password for Directory Services Restore Mode.  However, I still couldn't repair the corrupt AD database.

So, I did a dcpromo /forceremoval and that worked fine.  Rebooted, did a dcpromo, rebooted again and I was back in business.

Thanks for the input.
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