Directory Service cannot start. Error Status 0xc00002e1

Dan560 used Ask the Experts™

I am having some serious problems with my Domain Controller. When it starts I get:

Directory Service cannot start. Error Status 0xc00002e1 Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into Directory services restore mode,
check the event log for more detailed information.

I have a secondary Domain controller at the moment which has kicked in and is running. I can boot my pdc into safe mode. But I am really unsure of what to do. I have system configuration backups and full server backups.

Can anyone help me out?
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Distinguished Expert 2018
This article lists several possibilities to troubleshoot the cause and how to recover from it (last resort being to forcefully demote the machine, seize the roles to the other DC, and repromote the broken DC).
"Directory Services cannot start" error message when you start your Windows-based or SBS-based domain controller


I know what the problem is, my hard disk that contains the ad databases has failed. and there is no Raid configured on this machine...I'm not sure it even supports it. Do you think I can get round this if insert a new disk and do system state restore?
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Top Expert 2009
In this case you should be able to perform a system state restore (non-authoritative):
1. Replace the failed drive and give it the same drive letter as before.
2. Boot into DSRM mode
3. Perform a system state restore, and reboot.
All being well you should be good to go. If you do get any issues with this, like oBdA says, it'll probably be quicker in the long run to forcibly demote the machine and run a metadata cleanup/seize roles. Afterwards, re-promote it from fresh.
Seizing roles with ntdsutil :
Metadata cleanup :
(but hopefully you won't need to use these!)
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OK, that did the trick, I booted my DC and I have no errors, however when I try to start active directory nothing appears to happen. When I click log off I get "end program mmc.exe" but the AD interface is not visable. any ideas?


hhhm seems to be working now, thanks!

hi guys, i have this same error, however i am unable to login to the system to run the fixes. local admin policy is disabled and system cant get me on network to even authenticate a login because its dhcp server, im so stuck its not evenfunny. the only local cached profiles are guys who arent here anymore

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