Restore System State on Server 2003

Posted on 2009-04-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a production server (Server 2003), running AD and Exchange 2003, with several hundred users. I make regular backups of the system state and Exchange Information store using NtBackup.
I have a test server in my lab with AD and Exchange already installed (Same domain name, same computer name).
I want to get the several hundred users from the live machine, into my test server, ultimately so I can restore the Exchange store and make sure my Exchange backups are valid.  
I understand I need to restore the system state backup from the live machine onto my test server, before I can restore the Exchange Store.
However, I'm not certain how to do this. I've seen various tech articles describing this but most of them approach this from the standpoint that AD has crashed and/or is corrupt. This is not the case here obviously. I just want to make sure my backups are valid.

So, can someone help me with the following:
1.  Outline the steps needed to restore AD in this particular case, and/or point me in the direction of the proper Tech article.
2. It also sounds like I will need to reboot the test server into Directory Services Mode -- can you please confirm if that is true in this particular case.
3. Which of the three System State restore modes do I need (non-authoritative, authoritative, etc...)
4. Some articles I read say I will need to run ntdsutil after the restore, is that true in this case?

Thanks very much,

Question by:michaelshavel
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Expert Comment

by:Jason Watkins
ID: 24205409
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24205817
In your case, you just neet to restore in nonauthoritative (normal).  You do not need to use the ntdsutil as it is used for other restore mode. For ref: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736611.aspx
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Accepted Solution

Akhater earned 2000 total points
ID: 24209930
man if all u need is to import the users in your test environment there are much easier way to do it

one of them is to simply export them from your live domain and import them in your test domain using ldifde

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Author Comment

ID: 24210011

Thanks for the suggestion, I can use that in other circumstances. In this case, I also want to make sure my backups are valid.
Question though about ldifde -- when I run the export from the live system, is it NOT deleting my live users, its  just making a list of them, correct?
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 24210049
yea it is just exporting them nothing is delete do not worry about it right now.

another thing you should know then is that if you restore the system state you are actually replicating your current domain.

What i mean is that having 2 domains with the same domain name and server name is NOT the same than restoring AD from one DC to another computer.

trying to put things in another way if you format your test lab and install windows only restore your system drive and system state you will end up with a replica of your running server
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Expert Comment

ID: 24210057
>> yea it is just exporting them nothing is delete do not worry about it right now. <<<

typo I meant nothing to worry about here not right now :)

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