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How do I recover Active Directory to a different hard drive?

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Our server running Windows 2003 server with Raid (3 drives) crashed yesterday. The first drive started with a degraded status and windows server refused to boot up. Soon thereafter, all three drives failed. We used Raid reconstuctor to analyze  and save a virtual image of the array. We are now using Getdataback to recover the data from the virtual image. Process is ongoing and we hope for positive recovery. Now, if we can recover the data. What are our next steps? We are planning to use same hardware and just replace all three drives. Do we just reinstall windows server 2003 onto the new drive, create raid 5, recover the system state backup and use it to restore Active Directory? Is there a step by step process for this? Would really appreciate the procedures for this.  
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Question by:siomao1
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11 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Raneesh Chitootharayil
ID: 34876962
you have to transfer fsmo roles too; for that you need the old server online; here i dont think you can re-build a new server without old server;

please also read the below link which is explaining
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_22685330.html
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Author Comment

by:siomao1
ID: 34877169
So I should just create an Active Directory from scratch with a new pc? What can I salvage from the old raid array? Should i just stop the recovery process then?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Raneesh Chitootharayil
ID: 34877211
since you dont have any domain controller (adc) on your network its difficult to SEIZE the fsmo roles;
recovery process will give you output as data; not an online server; how many user accounts were there? and what type of backup procedure you were following all these days?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Raneesh Chitootharayil
ID: 34877288
i dont have much idea on getdataback; you can wait for the recovery process and also post your updates please.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Raneesh Chitootharayil
ID: 34877299
http://www.runtime.org/raid-reconstructor-faq.htm#vm

according to them you can bring back the server online
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:Tasmant
Tasmant earned 498 total points
ID: 34877466
it depends if you have others DC or just one.
if you have others DCs running, you can perform a non-authoritative restore of AD for your DC using your backup http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727062.aspx#E0LB0AA
if you have only one DC, then you should run a complete disaster recovery as authoritative restore.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727062.aspx#E02B0AA

to perform restore on different hardware, it's not really supported.
you can find information on Windows 2000: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263532/en-us
and Windows 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694/en-us

for me the simplest solution if you have others DC should be to run metadata cleanup on the working DCs, then reinstall windows and AD on your failed DC. As said previously, FSMO role should be seized on running DCs.
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Author Comment

by:siomao1
ID: 34879011
There is a software called Umove that can recover and move active directory even from a dead drive.  Does anyone have any additional info on this?
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Accepted Solution

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Raneesh Chitootharayil earned 501 total points
ID: 34879043
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:Sigurdur Haraldsson
Sigurdur Haraldsson earned 501 total points
ID: 34883407
If you don't have another DC, you'll have to install the Windows Server and then perform a restore of your AD. Since it's the first and only DC, you are automatically performing an authorative restore.

The links Tasmant provided will do the trick. You don't have to wait for the data recovery tool you're running on the old array to finish if you (and you should) have a backup of your AD.
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Author Comment

by:siomao1
ID: 34923986
Unfortunately our backup was not recent. I was able to use Raid Reconstructor to copy all data to a physical drive (a process that took 22 hours). Mount it on the new raid5 array. Used Umove to scan and restore AD to the new drives.  I am glad to report that our AD was restored completely. I am posting this in case anyone is in the same boat as I was. Thank you for all your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:siomao1
ID: 34956830
Appreciated all the help.
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