Best way to rejoin workstations in a domain to a SBS 2003 DC which will be reinstalled from the ground up with the same domain name etc - Advice needed by 10 pm tonight

We have one SBS Server 2003 domain server which is used by 30 clients which are all using XP Pro. No Exchange is being used at this time. The DC has 2 250gig SATA drives which are mirrored. Active Directory is completely corrupt and unusable. I am going to blow away the server tonight and reinstall the SBS Server OS on the same box, same domain name, same server name, same DNS and DHCP settings as before. All updates will be performed. There are a number of partitions that are set up as department partitions ie: Accounts, Production and Exports etc, now I will remove all user permissions before the reinstall of C-Drive where the OS resides. My concern is rejoining the workstations to the domain without causing any major issues with the users!! :) Wouls I be correct in doing the following:

1. On each workstation, run the Files and Settings Tranfer Wizard
2. disjoin the workstations from the domain to a workgroup
3. rejoin the workstations to the domain
4 run the Files and Settings Tranfer wizard

Is this correct? or am I missing a key factor that will cause problems

I have to have this all completed tonight by 7 am tomorrow

Your advise would be most appreciated.

Kind Regards

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyConnect With a Mentor Principal ConsultantCommented:
Since I have no idea what you mean by either 10:00pm or 7:00am I'll still respond in hopes that I'm reaching you during that time.  (EE's date and time is displayed as the local time for each user... and I have no idea where you are located).

I'm also not sure what you mean by "remove all user permissions before the reinstall" either.

But let me give you a brief overview of what to watch out for...

A total reinstall of your server without restoring it's System State (which you sould not want to do if your AD is truly problematic), will generate a completely new set of SID's (Security IDs).  This means that even though your servername, and domain name are the same, the workstations won't think that it is, and the server won't think that the workstations belong.  Therefore, you MUST remove any workstation from the domain as you have already suspected...

However, you should not just join them back using the workstation's system properties dialogue.  Workstations on an SBS network MUST be joined with http://servername/connectcomputer if you want to take advantage of any of SBS's cool features (which also will save you tons of time in management of your network).  During this process the original user's profile is migrated as well, so no need to use the Files & Settings Transfer Wizard.  (Although I do recommend that you run it before unjoining "JUST IN CASE" something goes wrong with the profile migration.

Also, you have stated that "no Exchange is being used at this time".  Well, you can't have SBS running properly if you don't install Exchange.  So don't skip that.  Are you saying though, that this company does not use email?  Because I would find that hard to believe, and if you're configuring separate POP3 accounts in Outlook or Outlook Express for them, then you are doing a huge disservice to whoever invested in SBS because their investment is just wasting away rather than providing a real return for them.

If you look at Jeffs procedure to correctly rejoin a workstation to a domain ,  his point 4 is maybe important in your case after your point 2:
4.  Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients if it exists

The full procedure:
To remedy the situation, follow these steps:

The following needs to be done with the client machine:
1.  Log in with THAT machine's LOCAL administrator account.
2.  Unjoin the domain into a WORKGROUP
3.  Change the name of the computer
4.  Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients if it exists
5.  Ensure that DHCP is enabled and there are  no manually configured network settings
6.  Reboot

Then on the server, from the Server Management Console:
1.  Remove the client computers if it still shows in the Client Computer screen on the Server Management Console
2.  Add the client with it's NEW name using the Add Computer wizard

Then, go back to the client machine and join the domain by opening Internet Explorer and navigating to http://servername/connectcomputer

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
so, how did it go?
TheCat41Author Commented:
To Zadkin & TechSoEASY,

Thanks for your timely advise to my post. Your advice confirmed that I was on the right rack, and as a result everything run smoothly on the night except for a couple of issues that were not related to my post. Again, many thanks.

Kind Regards

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Terrific... did the profiles all migrate properly for you during the connectcomputer phase?  Or did you have to use the FSTW?  Just curious.

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