exchange server and AD crashed

My exchange server and AD crashed last time it happened error was with system attendant then I rebooted both the servers and it started good. This time again it has crashed. Hard drive is Ok and RAM is ok however the system is not starting. What should I do I have symantec backup of ntds.dit. Should I restore it. What is the first task I do. Today is off and have to make the system up and running. Atleast for letting employees to work temporarily, since restoring backup shall take time. It is on 2008 R2 Windows and Exchange 2010. We have vmware esx server.
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kunalclkAsked:
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Leon FesterConnect With a Mentor Senior Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Your main focus should not be how to recover, your main focus should be don't let it fall over.
Build a better fault tolerance solution.
The easiest step is to have a 2nd Domain Controller on your network.
System Attendant is a Service used by Exchange, you don't re-build / replace it.
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IanThCommented:
so was the server a vm ?
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
This is a server however we do have vmware also. Therefore if ever such an issue comes on VM then what to do, right now issue is on server.
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Leon FesterConnect With a Mentor Senior Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Do you have another domain controller running?
Might be an easier fix working with another DC.

What errors do you get when you start the DC?

Otherwise follow these instructions to recovering with a backup of ntds.dit
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258062
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
The issue is resolved however I have been told to take care of desktop calls because of the incompetency. Then to the director shall return after two days. I am not sure what should have been the issue. There is another DC too. and as such the logs were cleared by director. What should one do if such issue occurs the first step and also tell if this had been on the exchange server system attendant service down because last time this occured.

Atleast I want to be little informative that there i CAN REPLY SOMETHING in session.kindly help. We do not have any real time monitoring tool. The errors are checked on the event viewer and know this has cleared.
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Leon FesterConnect With a Mentor Senior Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Firstly, while you have a second DC, you're shouldn't need the backup.
I'm not saying don't make a backup, but I've not come across an environment where ALL DC's fail. So it's easier to take the remaining DC and work from their.

With the Event logs being cleared it's hard to go back and troubleshoot.
Not having really time monitors also removes your ability to be pro-active, so you're always in firefighting mode.

The system attendant manages your authentication so it could have failed because your DC failed. Can't think it would be because the SA failed...

Include tests like AD health using the DCDAIG and NETDIAG TOOLS.
Run Exchange Best Practice analyzer against your Server.
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
Definately this is true we always have chance to the dcdiag and netdiag, however you see if there is no way to login then we can login to the recovery mode and repair or replace the ntds.dit file. However I have an issue how can we replace the ntds.dit from recovery meaning say if users are into crisis then what shall be my first job in case of crisis. Should I replace the AD file from the backup or what if this is with the only being DC. I know the command line ntdsutil command. Please tell me there any material on internet of such issues on exchange and AD in crash. Is there a way to replace system attendant.
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IanThConnect With a Mentor Commented:
as you have vmware you could use that to protect the server by using the fault tolerant capabilities of vmware like HA, DRS and vmotion
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
Ok, and are there any material on internet that can tell me the scenarios of exchange and AD failure. System Attendant is something I do not have detail knowledge and same in VM. Any simplifed tutorial.
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
Actually the vmware site pdf are little complex.
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kunalclkAuthor Commented:
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