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Server 2003 R2 Standard Crash and System State

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I had a server crash and now that I have reloaded windows 2003 R2 standard (same as before), can I do a system state restore using NTbackup? I know there is some older software on the previous server that we will not be loading this time. I have 8 XP Pro workstions that need acccess to the server again using their current profiles. The server was a DC, DNS, and DHCP server. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:BoyleCom
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 33629450
Was this your only DC or did you have two?

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by:BDoellefeld
ID: 33629454
Hi,

This is the process: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736611%28WS.10%29.aspx

Is this your only domain controller? if so you want to choose authoritative restore.

If this is NOT your only domain controller choose non-authoritative restore.

Whatever you choose, boot the server into Directory Services Restore Mode.
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Author Comment

by:BoyleCom
ID: 33629675
Yes this was my only DC. The concern I have is what if the two server configurations differ slightly, such as some software is not going to be reloaded since the crash, and I just loaded the most recent MS updates. The server prior to the crash may not have had all the latest updates at the time the system state backup was made. Will this cause an issue?
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Author Comment

by:BoyleCom
ID: 33629686
Another thing. Do I need to have this server already setup as a DC beofre the restore, or will the system state recovery do that?
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Expert Comment

by:geniph
ID: 33631470
To restore the System State data on a domain controller, you must first start your computer in a special startup option called Directory Services Restore Mode. This will allow you to restore the SYSVOL directory and Active Directory directory service database. To access Directory Services Restore Mode, press F8 during startup and select it from the list of startup options. Then follow the steps for an authoritative restore.

This document should be helpful:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc785849%28WS.10%29.aspx
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Accepted Solution

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BDoellefeld earned 2000 total points
ID: 33631842
BoyleCom,

Lets be clear. If your domain has only 1 domain controller and it has failed, yet you DO have a good backup (*using the built in Backup utility) to restore with: then you want to do a NORMAL restore. (MS says "normal"). Here is a step by step: http://www.tech-faq.com/backing-up-and-restoring-active-directory.html

What is not listed in the documents, but you asked:

1) Yes, start with a fresh machine (sitting in a workgroup if fine).
2) Yes, attempt to get it to the same patch level as before.
3) Yes, install the same applications as closely as possible if you know the path or anything "custom". If your unsure, leave it off.
-
4) Yes, your going to have little annoying problems to solve. You may have to reinstall and/or reconfigure some services, etc.

When your done... find another machine and add it as another domain controller since the one your restoring will probably be messy with missing apps, bad reg entries, etc. When you've got AD back and you're replicating normally with a second DC, transfer all the FSMO roles over to it and demote/rebuilt the restored DC clean. A pain in the rear, but its the horror story of a single DC.

Or... plan B (very basic outline)

Build new fresh domain, setup all the extras (dhcp, accounts, groups, whatever). Restore data only, etc off the backup. Then rejoin the XP machines to the new domain and do the profile trick below so they have their old profile back.

1 Log on using the domain username (to create the domain profile)
2 Log off
3 Log on with a different profile (a local administrator account works well)
4 Rename the newly created profile to something else (make note of what it was though)
5 Rename the old local profile to the same name that the domain one had
6 Reboot! (otherwise you won't be able to change permissions in next step)
7 Log back in with a different profile (again local administrator account works well)
8 Change NTFS permission on the old profile (the one with the new name) to give the new domain user account FULL control.
9 Log off (and done)
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