Single Domain, Single Controller: Reinstall Server 2003 / Active Directory
Posted on 2009-12-23
First off, a brief overview of the environment: very simple and straight-forward. This is a single domain MYDOMAIN with a single domain controller MYDC running Server 2003 Std Edition SP2 with Active Directory. MYDC does not run Exchange, but it does run SQL Server 2005 and hosts mission-critical SQL databases. The databases are hosted on non-system partitions. The environment hosts ~12 workstations with 10 active users.
What I am looking at doing is re-creating the domain from 'scratch' but with the same domain name and controller while preserving all of the non-system partition's data. I've decided this is likely the best course of action as the configuration has become a mess and I'm hoping it will not be too painful due to the size of the domain. This is where I would like all of your input. The domain appears to be fully functional at this point, but (and this is one of the reasons I feel this is necessary) I did have to run a lossy repair of the NTDS database using esentutl /p as well as restore the \Windows\System32\Config\ directory from \Repair\.
I'm not sure how interested any of you are in backstories, but I will be more than happy to post the details of how it got to this point if someone cares to know; however, for the sake of keeping this post relatively succinct I've opted to exclude it for the time being.
On to the questions: Because this is the only domain controller, I can only assume that I do not need to worry about transferring FSMO roles as MYDC will be assuming all of the roles once again upon recreation, am I correct?
I can still access all of the configuration information (dns, ad, sql) if needed, but because of the size of the environment, manually recreating the AD is not something I am against.
Basically what I would like to know is what sort of issues do you foresee with booting to the Windows Server 2k3 CD and wiping the C: partition and reinstalling 2k3, reinstalling SP2, reinstalling SQL Server 2005 and Service Packs, re-mounting the mission-critical database, manually re-creating the 10 user logins, and rejoining the ~12 workstations to the "new" domain? How transparent to the end-user could this operation be if carefully executed? I would like them to be able to continue in a 'business as usual' capacity within a day or two at the most. Granted there are many other pieces of the domain's configuration I will need to re-create; printers, shares, etc, but with proper documentation this SHOULD be feasible...
Sorry for the length. Thanks in advance!