How to restore Active Directory to a new server???

we are running server 2003 r2 enterprise edition.  i want to take a copy of active directory and put it on the r&d server that i have.  now when i backup the system state on my production server everything is fine and then when i restore it the system state on my r&d server the server just constantly reboots.  now i am assuming this is because my production server is IBM and my r&d server is Dell.  so the hardware differs.  since this might be the case then how can i get a copy of my production active directory onto my r&d Dell server without connecting to my production network???   can i do an export and then an import through csvde???
amoosAsked:
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DCMBSConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As the server is going to be permantly removed from the domain you should work through all three parts of the metadata cleanup.  This requires using both GUI and Command Line utilities.
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DCMBSCommented:
You can do this in server 2003.  The process is called Restoring a Domain Controller using local media.  Basicaly you take a system state backup of your existing DC, restore this backup to the target DC and run dcpromo /adv to tell it to restore the AD from the local media source
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amoosAuthor Commented:
Awesome. That is exactly what I am looking for. Do you have steps on how to do this completely?  Does it matter if the hardware is different??  Do I have to have active directory installed on the new server before I do the restore???  Wonderful help!!!
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DCMBSCommented:
See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961934.aspx

The process is really designed for adding an additional DC at a remote location.  You can use this procedure to install active directory on the remote server without having to wait for replication to occur over a slow link, so it doesn't matter if the hardware is different.  You  use this procedure to install active directory on the target server so AD should not already be installed on it
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DCMBSCommented:
Apologies I think the link above is the wrong link.

The better link is http://www.petri.co.il/install_dc_from_media_in_windows_server_2003.htm
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amoosAuthor Commented:
ok i have followed the instructions and read the microsoft articles.  i know i am doing everything right but i get the same result everytime.  the server just keeps on rebooting and rebooting.  is there anyway i can get a copy of my active directory onto this new server??  i know it is probably the HAL but when i try to do a repair the administrator password that i use keeps telling me that it is wrong so i cannot even do a repair.

can i use csvde to export a copy of active directory and then import it into the new server????
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amoosAuthor Commented:
can i use LDIFDE??
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DCMBSCommented:
You cannot transfer AD from one machine to another.  The only way is to install the second machine as an additional Domain Controller and allow AD to replicate.  The procedure I outlined allows you to install AD from backup media but must be followed exactly.  You cannot just restore AD to the second machine - you must restore to an alternative location and then run dcpromo /adv,  install as an additional DC and select the alternate location as the source for the system files so that AD is installed and the initial replication is done from the system files rather than over the network.  This allows dcpromo to install just the hardware independant parts of AD from the system files.  I should format the target machine to ensure that it is in a clean state and then follow the above procedure.  It could be that you have had issues because of the failed previous attempts which have left the O/s in a dirty state and this is preventing the installation of AD>
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amoosAuthor Commented:
ok i see now.  sorry i guess i did not follow the instructions you outlined.  sorry it has been a long long day.  ok see my steps below and tell me if i am doing the right thing

1. install server 2003 OS
2. run in directory services mode
3. run ntbackup and restore system state to an alternate location
4. start windows normally
5. run dcpromo /adv
6. in dcpromo run to create a secondary DC and choose the alternate location as the source

can the alternate location be c:\recoveredAD??? instead of the default c:\???  i only have one drive on this server
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DCMBSCommented:
I am not sure about step 2.  Directory services restore mode is only available if the machine is already a domain controller ?

The alternate location can be any location of your choice. It should not be the default location.

So run ntbackup on existing domain controller and backup system state
the install server 2003 on target server
run ntbackup and restore system state to alternate location.
run dcpromo /adv and install as additional domain controller selecting the alternate location as source
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amoosAuthor Commented:
ok now  that i followed the directions properly here is what i run into.  since this r&d server is not on my domain, when i go through the dcpromo i get to where it asks me for the domain credentials but wont go any further than that because it is not on the domain.  i cant have this r&d server on my production domain.  is there anyway around this??
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DCMBSCommented:
If it's not on the domain why do you need the Domain AD on it ?  Can you not just install AD using the same Structure etc for research purposes ?
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DCMBSCommented:
Otherwise the only way I can see is to temporarily connect it to the domain whislt you install AD and then disconnect it from the network.
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amoosAuthor Commented:
i am trying to get active directory on my r&d network because i am having to test some software that will conflict with our production enviornment.  my AD has 3000 objects, users, etc in it so i cannot manually replicate it.  is there anyway to do what i am trying to do or is it impossible???

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AwinishCommented:
-Connect your server(DEll) to prodution environment.
-Promote the server as an ADC.
-Install DNS & other required service to the ADC.
-After replication & all is well on DELL server,disconnect from the network.
-Take it into separate VLAN & seize the FSMO role on the DELL server as it is separate & it will not affect.
-From production server run metadata cleanup & remove the DELL server.
Metadata is simple & will not affect your network in any way.
http://www.petri.co.il/delete_failed_dcs_from_ad.htm 
-This is the proper way you can do it.
As hardware is different system state back up will not achieve the desired result.
-Restoring or configuring server using Acronis or 3rd party images is not supported ny MS & if its configured you will face USN rolback,netlogon pause.
I think above method is better & much appropriate to get the server in R&D & experiment.
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amoosAuthor Commented:
you are right this would be the easiest and best way to do what i want to do.  but could you explain 2 things to me that you mentioned??

1. how do i seize the FSMO role once the Dell server is disconnected??

2. i read the metadata cleanup link you posted, can you give me steps on how to do this metadata cleanup so i do not mess anything up??

awesome help
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amoosAuthor Commented:
the link you gave me for the metadata cleanup is great.  can i use the gui part instead of using the command prompt part??  or do i have to use both??  the gui part will be much easier for me to use.

also how do i seize the FSMO role once the DELL server is disconnectted from the production network?
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DCMBSCommented:
Using Ntdsutil.exe to transfer or seize FSMO roles to a domain controller
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255504

Once you have siezed the roles you must not connect the R&D DC to the production domain again under any circumstances.  If you are only going to be using the R&D machine for a short period you may get by without siezing the roles
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amoosAuthor Commented:
thank you.

the link you gave me for the metadata cleanup is great.  can i use the gui part instead of using the command prompt part??  or do i have to use both to cleanup the metadata??  the gui part will be much easier for me to use.
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