Backing up Active Directory for new install

Very new to the whole server side.  I have Windows 2003 Std configured as domain controller using Active Directory.  My disks are almost full so I need to backup Active Directory so I can restore it when I install a fresh copy of Server 2003 on a new server.  I have looked at the Active Directory Migration Tool but most of what I read is about migrating from NT 4 or 2000 to server 2003.  How can I backup Active Directory so I can restore all the users and everything when my new server is installed?
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Click on Start
>Programs >Accessories >System Tools and select Backup. What screens you see next depends on if the utility was ever run before or not. Follow the screens until you get to the... I will pick what backups I want or something similar. What we are looking for is the screen where you can drill down a file structure to the My Computer > System State check box. There are most of the critical System files you can back up, including Active Directory. Choose a place to back up to, and there you go. BTW, DNS services are critical to running Active Directory since Server 2000, the 2 are inseperable.


Use NTBackup, backup the system state and the active directory database.

Type ntbackup at run in the domain controller > uncheck always start wizard mode > cancel, start ntbackup again > backup tab > expand C: drive > select the sysvol folder under windows folder, scroll down, select system state. then backup.

For more informations see Microsoft technet library, you can find any answers there. 

Although the system state of the domain controller contains the sysvol, but I always backup that folder, anyway its very small size.

Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

I advise you don't do it that way.

Install the new server first, join it to your existing domain and promote it to a DC. Give it a little time to replicate then you can move all the functions you have on the first server to the second.

Make the new Server a Global Catalog:
AD Sites and Services, drill down to the server and open the Properties for the NTDS Settings. Tick the Global Catalaog box.

Install the DNS Service, making sure your existing Forward Lookup Zone is set to AD Integrated. If it is, you won't have to do anything else for this step.

Move the FSMO Roles: 
(follow the instructions under "via NTDSUtil")

If you want to transfer DHCP you can by following this article:

Hell of a lot easier than trying to get a System State working on a new system which is almost certain to fail with the network card.

rbudjAuthor Commented:
Update... I am researching this for someone else and I am a little mistaken... forgive me as I mentioned I am new.  I need to backup or migrate AD from one server and restore it on another server that already has AD setup and installed.  Simply backing up will not work as it will override the AD on the destination server.  How can I backup or migrate AD from one to another without overriding the destination?
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

You must Migrate in that case. And backup, or joining of the server to your current domain will break anything that currently exists on the destination.

You'll want to take a look at ADMT (Active Directory Migration Tool):

It can be quite involved so be sure to cover the documentation before beginning:

The first step will be forming a Trust between the old and new domains, for that you must configure each so they can resolve names in each others domains.


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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

> And backup, or joining ...

Should have read "Any backup, or joining ..."

rbudjAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys
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Windows Server 2003

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