Copying AD from a Win 2003 server to a test server

Hi everyone!
I'm involve in a current project to do a restructure of one of main Win 2003 Servers. But before I put on practice any changes I will like to test it first in a test environment.  For that purpose I installed a Win 2003 Server R2 (same as my main one) in a VM Server machine. Now I will like to have a replica of the AD and the folders with all permissions on this test server so I can simulate the changes and test the results.

So my question is, what is my best way to do this?

The test server has been set up as a child domain of my main domain (like mydomaintest.com)
Thank you all!
Ricardo
ricardocotoAsked:
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cpottercpotterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would use vmware convertor which is free to just make a virtual copy of the server.
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lcitCommented:
Here's a commercial package that claims to do what you're looking for:

http://utools.com/UMove.asp

Another link that may be helpful:

http://guamaniac.wordpress.com/2007/03/01/clone-your-active-directory-in-12-minutes-using-vmware/
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ricardocotoAuthor Commented:
cpottercpotter:

Thanks for your advice. The VMWare converter worked really well for me. It took me a little bit of time to respond because I had some hassle trying to boot up the virtual copy of the Domain Controller in an isolated way so it won't create any conflicts on my network. I finally did it, so thanks a lot!
It takes about 5-6 hours to make the copy but it works really fine even remotely from another computer so you don't have to install the converter on the server.
We can close this question now.
Thank You! Happy New Year!
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ricardocotoAuthor Commented:
Hi!
Just a comment. Because the converter makes an exact copy of your machine, and in this case it was a DC, the network(s) card(s) have to be configured for Host Only option or you will get a lot of errors when you boot the virtual copy. Also because there is a change on the hardware, you must fine a way to activate windows again on the virtual copy without having the system to interact with your existing network where the original (physical) DC is located. I just connected to the Internet bypassing my internal network with a temporary "Nat option" on the network cards set up, and when I finished activating windows I put it back to Host Only and the reconnected my machine back to my internal network.
Thanks a lot!
If you need more details on what I did let me know @ ricardoc@bridgeelectric.com
Happy Holidays!
Ricardo.
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