How do we get a Primary Domain Controller back into place after a failure and force migration to backup DC?

Daeta42 used Ask the Experts™
     It's never good when I am writing on this website...  :-(  Our Primary Domain Controller "Goddess" died 2 days ago, along with our exchange server "Demon"...  (It comes to find out that the guy that installed it didn't setup the RAID because the card wasn't supported, so instead of buying one that was he just built the VM's on just a lot of 5 SATA hard drives in the computer.  Lucky for me VMware, the PDC & the Exchange Server were install on Drive 1)  I found some technet docs and other peoples who experienced the same issue...  There is no bringing "Goddess" or "Demon" back to life in their original state. (They have been re-incarnated in a newer body that I just made today)

     I made our secondary DC "Omega" a global catalog server and Seized 4 of 5 FMSO operations...  From my readings it was recommended not to seize the "Infrastructure Mode" (I think I can't find the article I ended  up working on because I was bleary eyed and tired and wasn't paying attention, my bad)  I know there's a way to check I don't remember either...  

     Now I was instructed to build a new VM Host and put "Goddess" and "Demon" on it, with VMware fail-over to a new box I am going to be building shortly.  (The idea is to get people back to work)  I fired up the new box and got the VMs going. "Goddess" I first tried to join the domain and it wouldn't let me because it existed.  I then went to "Omega" and deleted it...  It asked a bunch of Do you want to Delete Active Directory.....(again can't remember but there were a few questions here) to which I said Yes to all thinking I was removing "Goddess" of old out of Active Directory so I could re-incarnate her in her new body...  Then I was able to join "Goddess" to the domain...  And Promote to a Domain Controller...  I then made her a DNS, WINS & DHCP server like before.  (Again, from memory since nothing was documented for me in the first place)

     I re-incarnated "Demon" and stated to install Exchange 2007 on it.  (Now in all honesty I was sort of working in parallel of bringing "Goddess" back on line)  Exchange started to install...  Then failed because it couldn't find a Global Catalog Server (Which I made "Omega")  It did install other options...  I went to uninstall and it was not in Add Remove Programs...  And when I tried to run the install again it said I could only do it in "Recovery Mode"  So, I tried a few things from KB articles and technet and still it failed saying only "Recovery Mode"

     So I said Phuck it, Deleted the VM and imported my default blank slate server image back to being called "Demon"...  Ran Win update and got it ready...  Tried to install Exchange...  And now all I can get when trying to install Exchange on the new machine is "The Exchange Server is in an inconsistent state.  Only Server Recovery Mode is Available"

     Well, at this point, before I go off willy nilly again half cocked and screw it up some more, I put it out to you EE land to see what people say I should do to salvage my busted network...


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Well, have you given that Recovery Mode a try?

setup.exe /disasterrecovery

If you run it on a server with the same name as the previous server (Demon) then Exchange will re-install with existing settings. Your Exchange organization and server configuration is still alive in Active Directory.

Oh, I think you need to make sure that all drive letters (for databases and program paths) from the previous Exchange setup are available. If your databases were on drive E:, then you should also have drive E: available before running setup.
Senior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
As a note, if you seize FSMO roles from a failed DC, you can never bring that DC back online. Not even a backup of it. You can seize the Infrastructure master if the old one died, though you may be able to just transfer the role at this point. Once a DC has its roles seized, you have to ditch the backups of the server and rebuild it as a Secondary DC in the forest. I'd recommend running DCDiag at this point to make sure that everything in your AD is working properly.
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Brian PiercePhotographer
Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008
I agree with @acbrown2010

FSMO roles should only ever be seized of there is no intention to bring the original FSMO role holder back, the domain can function for a considerable time without any of the FSMO roles present, but once they have been siezed there is no supported method to bring the former role holder back. Its much simpler to do a metadata cleanup and then build a new DC and if desired TRANSFER (NOT SEIZE) the roles.


yeah /disasterrecovery doesn't work...  Not an acceptable command...  Here is what I a got as an output (See Code Snipit) and haven't gone much further with that yet...  Reading the Petri DC link now to see if I have to do anything else or get some solace that I did things right....  

Exchange on the other hand is going to be a problem...  I need to get it up asap...

Thanks for the help so far!

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Sean>cd "C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DV

C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DVD>setup.exe /disasterrecovery

C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DVD> /disasterrecovery

</disasterrecovery> is not a valid command line option. To list the available co
mmand line parameters, type Setup /?

C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DVD>setup /?

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Setup Help
   Please type one of the below options for detailed help on each subject: /help:Install         - Installing Exchange Server roles. /help:Uninstall       - Uninstalling Exchange Server roles. /help:Upgrade         - Upgrading Exchange Server roles. /help:RecoverServer   - Recovering an existing Exchange Server. /help:PrepareTopology - Preparing your topology for Exchange. /help:Cluster         - Installing Exchange on Clusters. /help:Delegation      - Delegated server installations. /help:UmLanguagePacks - Adding/removing UM language packs.

C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DVD> /RecoverServer

</recoverserver> is not a valid command line option. To list the available comma
nd line parameters, type Setup /?

C:\Installed Software\Exchange Server 2007 DVD>

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Should I Seize the 5th FMSO object to the new PDC even though it is a Global Catalog Server?

I like the idea that I can transfer the roles back to the other machine just for consistency...

If this is a single domain forest, you can promote all DCs to be GC. Even the IM.


Donee & that worked for AD....  

Now just getting the Exchange install to work would be fantastic!


Thanks Guys!!!!

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