SBS 2003 has no Active Directory ... now what do I do?
Posted on 2011-02-16
My company has taken over service for a client (no contact with previous service providers), and I've just discovered that their server, which is a Windows Small Business Server 2003, is somehow configured to run in a workgroup. Active Directory, DNS Server, DHCP Server - all missing. (DNS is being provided by the ISP, and DHCP is currently provided by the gateway router.) I'm not quite sure how they managed this.
I only discovered this by accident, while trying to chase down some Sharepoint errors in the event log; and I was only chasing those in an effort to find a cause for intermittent loss of connectivity in the company's network application. I have no idea if any of these things are actually related to one another.
I have had some bad experiences with flavors of SBS in the past, and so have avoided it when possible. (This current situation does not look to improve my view of SBS much, I'm thinking ... ) Consequently, I'm not as knowledgeable or familiar with SBS as I am with other Windows flavors. I have, however, done some research before coming here, and I gather that running SBS without Active Directory is not only bad, but possibly a violation of the license as well.
Of course, other then the previously mentioned application issues, most things seem to be working, so we'll have to tread carefully when proposing drastic action to the customer. I'm sure many of you know how that goes ... ;)
So, what I'd like from my fellow Experts is advice. We'll start generic and work from there. Obviously, before we do anything, we'll make sure there is a good backup, and run a partial test restore to be safe. But after that, what should we do?
I've considered possibilities like re-running dcpromo, or running a repair-install from the installation CDs, or even a wipe & reload followed by a restore from backup, but I'm just not sure what the best course of action is here, and I'd like to get plenty of input before recommending something to my boss.
Thanks in advance for your help!