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Server 2008 rebuild

Posted on 2014-03-29
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Up until Thursday night had two servers running in domain - one SBS 2003 (with FSMO roles) and one Server 2008  (Exchange 2011 running on this machine).

Sometime Thursday night SBS 2003 went belly up and is beyond repair.

Tried seizing FSMO roles on Server 2008 - what I have left there is AD, DNS, DFS and group Policy issues all over the place - I've got to think at this point doing a clean install of Server & Exchange has got to be easier than trying to fix this mess!

Assuming a clean install (I still want / need to use the same domain name) what do I need to do for workstations in the domain?  They aren't really connecting to the domain now so I'm not sure they can be removed from the domain.

The Exchange mailboxes  (Exchange Mgmt Console on the server cannot connect to the Exchange instance) - anyway of saving them and importing them back into the fresh install?
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Question by:Lisaa_G
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by:Tony Giangreco
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by:Tony Giangreco
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After the process is done, set all workstations in the domain to point to the 2008 server for dns.
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
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You have to ensure that in the new environment both DCs are GCs and then you could seize FSMO roles.  My guess is that you only had one GC.
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by:Lisaa_G
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TG-TIS   Are you suggesting I try again to seize roles and fix the mess on Server 2008 (which will become only server in domain)?  I assumed on fresh install I would have to configure the dc/ gc....

Thanks,
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by:Tony Giangreco
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Yes, that is what I suggested.

After this is completed and Exchange works properly, you can rebuild the 2003 server or replace it and have your 2nd DC again.
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by:Lisaa_G
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Not intending on replacing SBS 2003 server - 2008 will be the only one live!
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
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Seizing roles may not work if the working DC is not a GC. Once you have your DC running, ensure to backup system state to ensure you can recover your AD.
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by:Lisaa_G
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I'm getting confused - if I do a clean install won't I be configuring DC and GC on the 2008 Server from scratch?

I'm considering the fresh install because the AD currently seems to be beyond repair - Group Policy not running, workstations not connecting, Exchange server not connecting....
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by:Tony Giangreco
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If the server is in that bad of condition, then a fresh install may be the best approach. Hope you have a backup for Exchange and file share data.
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by:Lisaa_G
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File share data is not a problem - it is the exchange that I was wondering about....  possible to create a backup with current AD issues?

I had considered if nothing else making sure I had .pst backup from each workstation but that is not really the ideal way to go
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Tony Giangreco earned 500 total points
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If you don't have a back, I'd run Windows Server Backup or use another app. I use Backup Exec and have a separate backup job for Exchange that runs nightly.

If you can log into Outlook but can't backup exchange, then I would move the user emails to PST files so that mail could be moved back into the user accounts after reinstalling everything fresh.

Take a look at the details before performing a fresh install. The install can be done in one day. I assume you have your server documented for DNS, IP's, user accounts and passwords. It sounds like a fresh network install is in the plans.
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by:Lisaa_G
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All documented!  We've been backing up full system images with Acronis which won't help in this case since (just put us back to trying to seize roles).  Unfortunately no separate backup of Exchange (lesson learned for the next time!)
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by:Tony Giangreco
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It sounds like the next step is to get the DVD's and run a full install. I suggest setting up Acronis with the GRT level Exchange back. it allows the most flexibility for a recovery.

Good Luck and plan for next time. With servers, disaster planning is a high priority.
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by:Lisaa_G
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Thanks!  Will post back and let you know how it goes!
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by:KCTS
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You won't be able to seize the roles as the other machine is not an SBS server.
If you rebuild the SBS machine you will need to re-create all the user accounts and re-join all the workstations to the domain (even if the domain name is the same).
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by:Mahesh
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by:Lisaa_G
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Fresh install complete and  running smoothly.

Was able to run a Windows Server Backup for Exchange but am having difficulties restoring it to new Exchange installation.

Aside from that just a few minor issues - thanks for the support!
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by:Tony Giangreco
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Glad I could help. Make sure you take regular backups. We backup every server nightly.
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