Active Directory Restore

Posted on 2007-08-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
have two identical dell 2800 servers, one i a live environment the other as a backup. I backed up the system state using NT Backup to a usb keyfrom the live server, then restored to the backup one which i had already installed the Windows OS on. i was in directory restore mode and all seemed fine. It finished restoring then restarted However when it gets to the windows 2003 startup screen, it restars again and again in a contunous loop. Help! any suggestions
Question by:mattleh
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    By resorting the system state to the other machine you have duplicated the SIDs and corrupted the system. You can boot from a CD like BartPE and recover and data see

    I would then be tempted just to blow away the duplicate machine, remove it from AD on the remaining machine with

    Then do a clean install of Windows 2003 on the new machine

    Assign the new computer an IP address and subnet mask on the existing network
    Make sure that the preferred DNS server on new machine points to the existing DNS Server on the Domain (normally the existing domain controller)

    Join the new machine to the existing domain as a member server

    From the command line promote the new machine to a domain controller with the DCPROMO command from the command line Select Additional Domain Controller in an existing Domain

    Active directory will automatically replicate to the new Domain Controller. Once Active Directory is installed then to make the new machine a global catalog server, go to Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand ,Sites, Default first site and Servers. Right click on the new server and select properties and tick the Global Catalog checkbox. (Global catalog is essential for logon as it needs to be queried to establish Universal Group Membership)

    Assuming that you were using Active Directory Integrated DNS on the first Domain Controller, DNS will have replicated to the new domain controller along with Active Directory.

    If you are using DHCP you should spread this across the domain controllers, In a simple single domain this is easiest done by Setting up DHCP on the second Domain controller and using a scope on the same network that does not overlap with the existing scope on the other Domain Controller. Dont forget to set the default gateway (router) and DNS Servers. Talking of which all the clients (and the domain controllers themselves) need to have their Preferred DNS server set to one domain controller, and the Alternate DNS to the other, that way if one of the DNS Servers fails, the clients will automatically use the oth.

    Both Domain Controllers by this point will have Active Directory, Global Catalog, DNS and DHCP. and the domain could function for a while at least should any one of them fail. However for a fully robust system you need to be aware that the first domain controller that existed will by default hold what are called FSMO Roles. There are five of these roles that are held on a single server and are essential for the functioning of the network. If the second Domain Controller fails, then no problem as the FSMO roles are on the first Domain Controller. However if you intent to function with the second Domain Controller only, then the roles need to be moved to the Second Domain Controller. Ideally if this is a planned event you should cleanly transfer the FSMO roles, if it is an unplanned emergency the FSMO roles can be seized (see and
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Does it repeat the endless reboot-cycle if its network cable(s) is/are unplugged?
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Malli Boppe
    Agree with what KCTS said
    I feel it would do the same even if you have removed the network cable

    Author Comment

    Sorry i shoud have mentioned these servers are Windows 2003 SBS. The backup one is for DR purposes at our communty centre, which will only be used if a tidal wave hits St Peter Port.
    What i am trying to do is get a copy of the live SBS to the DR SBS. I have tried Backup exec IDR but that des not work very well. So i thought if i install the SBS software on the DR server, restore the AD then put the data back from the tape it would work, but so far the install works but i can not get the AD to restore.
    How can i get the AD on the backup windows 2003 Small Business server?

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