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server 2003 dc failed

Posted on 2010-04-02
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a domain controller that crashed and burned before I could replace the server. Everything was running on this server with the exception of exchange and files. I have no backups of AD, DNS, FSMO’s etc. Is this something I can recover from or do I need to redo the entire network.
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Question by:rmcan
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 29479476
Do you have another domain controller?
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Expert Comment

by:uescomp
ID: 29479538
crash as in hard drive failed, raid broke?  What happened?
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 29479574
If you have no backups and this was your only DC then yes a complete rebuild will be required.

If you have no Active Directory then Exchange is going to be useless as well.  You can export the data from your EDB file using a 3rd party tool like Kernel EDB: http://www.kerneldatarecovery.com/buy-edb-email-recovery.html
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 29479644
How, exactly did it "crash and burn"

If you can still access the drive you may be able to use this:
http://utools.com/UMove.asp
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Accepted Solution

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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 29479900
You may not need demazter's tool - I've successfully mounted information stores from failed Exchange systems in the recovery storage group and pulled out the mailboxes.  (his tool may make this easier, and it's been a while since I had to do that).  
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 29480493
Can't say I have ever used the RSG on a server that no longer has any Active Directory.  Most of the exchange services will fail to start without AD.
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by:exx1976
ID: 29480739
Yeah, I'm with demazter on this one.  No AD = no exchange, no question.

OP - you're not too quick to respond, but the short answer is that if you had no other domain controllers, AND no backup, the best solution is to start polishing your resume....
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 29480766
To clarify,

If you rebuild the domain with the same domain name and the exchange server with the same server name, you should be able to do it (I had a client with poor backup process that had their SBS server fail and I was able to pull things out with the recovery storage group once I rebuilt the domain.  As I recall, the key was that I had to name the domain and Exchange server the same as they were in the original domain.
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by:exx1976
ID: 29480835
Interesting....   I would have to think that SIDs would cause a problem there, no?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 29481097
Leew is absolutely right.
If you rebuild with the same name and domain name then you will be able to do it.
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by:exx1976
ID: 29481318
Could one of you share with the rest of the class how this is possible?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 29481661
If you rebuilt the Domain with the exact same domain name, the exact same servername and the exact same Exchange Organisation name then it simply mounts.

If either of the 3 attributes are different it will not work.

Which if course if you dnt know what they are/were could cause a problem.  And since you don't have any AD anymore, the first 2 might not be a problem but the 3rd could be.

This is one of the reasons I don't waste my time trying it.

With SBS it's all pretty standard install and notmany deviate from this but with a standard Exchange install this may not be the case.

This is one if the reasons why BACKUPS and DOCUMENTATION are the 2 MOST important parts of ANY network no matter how large or small.
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 29481737
Agreed.
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Author Comment

by:rmcan
ID: 29734578
This was a situation I was called into and not a company I previously managed which is the reason there are no backups. The server to my surprise was not raid but a single scsi hard drive that died and could not be read. I have sent the hard drive out to see if it can be recovered. I am looking at the umove tool and I do have the server and domain name.
Thank you all for the helpful posts and I will respond back to let you know if I am successful.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rmcan
ID: 31710370
the umove tool worked great after recovering the data from the dead HD. thank you for your help
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