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How to do a AD recovery with the backed up system state for w2k3?

Posted on 2014-04-26
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
This is running a w2K3 server as a single DC. My management is worry if the server (especially server hardware) is down, we do not have any backup and how can we recover the system so as business as usual. We only have a monthly backup on system state. If this DC is down, can we restore this system state on a different server, and all the users can logon to the domain as per usual?

Or any other suggestion as long users can logon to domain.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:MichaelBalack
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7 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Dave
ID: 40025487
Whilst restoring AD from a Windows/2003 backup is pretty simple, providing the machine name and OS versions are the same, and finding a spare machine with Server 2003 installed might be challenging these days, as the Microsoft instructions here :-

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758435(v=WS.10).aspx

However if its a month old, then it may not be much use to you. So all the passwords will be a month old, all the groups membership will be a month old... One of the biggest issues you may have is that each machine that's a domain member has a password that it keeps updated at least every 30 days, so these will all be different on the machines and you will have to rejoin all the machines to the domain.

You can change the period by policy:-

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj852252.aspx

but that opens things up to attack.....

Best practice would be to add the DC role to another "server". Then if one fails most apps will just fail over to the second.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Khawaja
ID: 40025596
Have more than one DC and if hardware is an issue then ensure you one DC as a VM and ensure it is a Global Catalog server.  You should always have more than one GC server.
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Expert Comment

by:rick81
ID: 40025618
if you're worried about a physical DC you should have recent backups, a spare server (to run as additional DC) either physical or virtual.  Also having onsite hardware warranty/support from manufacturer can usually be a life safer if you ever run into trouble with the hardware.  another option is to use imaging software that will allow you to restore the DC to different hardware.  Acronis or Shadow Protect offer this.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave
ID: 40025669
Cloning is great unless you have a BIOS Locked OEM image of windows, in which case it may not run in a VM.
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VirastaR earned 500 total points
ID: 40025807
Hi,

Check whether this step by step answers your question.
Restoring Windows 2003 Active Directory in a Disaster Recovery Situation.

How to Recover from an Active Directory Failure
http://www.packtpub.com/article/how-to-recover-from-an-active-directory-failure

Hope that helps :)
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:MichaelBalack
ID: 40025891
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate.

Hi VirastaR,

Your articles look promising. Let's me read through the whole article and update you later.
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Author Closing Comment

by:MichaelBalack
ID: 40047483
It works perfectly
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