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Reconnecting Exchange 2003 to a failed domain controller

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-03-20
We recently had our primary domain controller fail.  We replaced it with a new server running the same operating system as before.  We recreated the user ID's and Passwords for the domain.  We restored the data to the new server.  Since our Exchange 2003 box was a member server of the old domain how do we reconnect the exchange box to our system?  I dont want to remove it fromt he doamin until I am sure taht we will not lose any data.
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Question by:mcgowray
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 37716525
How did you create the new domain controller? From a system state backup of the old server? Or jus by installing AD and giving the same name as the old server/domain?
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by:dphantom
dphantom earned 133 total points
ID: 37716673
The link below may also be helpful depending upon how you restored/recreated your AD.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906154
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by:Amit
Amit earned 267 total points
ID: 37716699
It seems this server also holds FSMO roles. The best option here is load the Exchange again with DR switch.  Steps are easy
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Recovering-Failed-Exchange-2003-Member-Server-Using-Disaster-Recovery-Switch.html
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by:mcgowray
ID: 37716875
We created a new AD server with the old name.
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by:dphantom
ID: 37716897
well that is why Exchange is not working.  You have new SIDs, accounts etc.  The forest and domain prep have not been run so the schema is not ready for the Exchange server.

The above procedure should work.  Hopefully you have good backups of your Exchange mail.  You will need them to do a restore at the end of the recovery period.
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by:dphantom
ID: 37716903
edit my post above.  that procedure will NOT work.  It assumes AD has not been touched.
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by:Amit
ID: 37716945
As you created new AD server, now the next option for your to mimic the old Exchange step and then restore date from the backup. For this you need to use the legacyexchangedn tool, note these are advance steps and required high level exchange expert.

If you have Microsoft support, call them.
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Amit earned 267 total points
ID: 37716959
Forget to post the link, here is the tool details, you need to read the legacyexchangedn tool section. This kind of scenario is used mainly for public folder restore. But you can use it for mailbox db also. Also wait for other EE's to reply, if they have any other suggestions.

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Understanding-LegacyExchangeDN.html
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 37717035
If you created a new domain then your in do-do!!
Did you not have a system state backup of the old domain? Did you ONLY have a single domain controller?
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by:mcgowray
ID: 37718086
The original DC failed.  We installed a new system, reloaded Server 2003 and created a new domain.
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by:Amit
ID: 37719763
As old dc is gone, that means users are also gone. Buy 3party tool like edb to pst and merge the data.
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by:Dave
ID: 37722792
" We recreated the user ID's and Passwords for the domain."

You can't, yes the names will be the same, but every user has a SID which will be different, and Exchange knows its different. Can you confirm you only had one DC? Are you sure you have no remenants, copies or backups of the DC anywhere?

In addition the exchange config is stored in AD so you have lost that as well. You need a tool to export the mail from the mailbox database EDB files to PST files with no AD in place. Make sure you copy your Exchange EDB before starting. Some tools I found which may work:-

http://www.quest.com/recovery-manager-for-exchange/

http://www.edb-pst-converter.com/buy-edb-conversion-software.php

http://www.lucid8.com/pricing/pricelist_digiscope.asp

http://www.unistal.com/exchange-recovery-tool-buy-now.html

http://www.krollontrack.com/information-management/email-management-for-exchange/

I haven't personally tried any of the above. The Quest tool is often praised in other forums, but it may be too expensive for your use. Once you are happy you have the mail backed up in PST files the you will need to re-install exchange from scratch, mail-enable the new users, and import the PST files.

Good Luck.
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