Best method to backup Active Directory with 2003 functional level?

Posted on 2014-07-14
Last Modified: 2014-07-18

Could someone point me in the right direction for simple instructions on how to backup/restore Active Directory please?

We have a mixture of 2003 and 2008 DC's, but a functional level of 2003

Can we use the "Windows Server Backup" feature that comes with 2008 for this?

Thanks in advance
Question by:Tony
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
    Yes you can use Windows backup on Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 to backup your server. How many DC´s have got? Try backing up server had FSMO roles:
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    In general, in a MULTI-DC Environment I do not want to restore AD - I do back it up in case the whole thing gets horribly corrupt, but if that happened, I would KILL every DC and then restore ONE (ideally the one with the FSMO roles).  Since AD replicates, if any one DC dies, I would simply remove it from the domain and then reload it. It's easier and less risky that way.  Otherwise, use a third party OR the technology included with the server to perform your backups.  Each will backup appropriately.  (you're looking at System State backups in 2003).
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    And BTW, TEST your backups and if you've never done restores before, build a test network and do some!  Learning when the server fails is not a good time. Also, review this:
    Backing Up and Restoring an Active Directory Server
    and it's sub pages.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    We are about to perform a Schema update and our method looks like this, could anyone confirm:

    1)  Transfer master schema role to another dc.  This is is a dc in the same office and easier to gain access to if something goes wrong

    2)  stop outbound and inbound replication on this dc

    3)  perform the schema update

    4)  restart replication

    The idea being that if something goes wrong during the schema update, we only have to rebuild that one DC.  What happens if everything looks ok, replication pushes out the changes to all the other dc's and we later find out its corrupt?

    Do we need to backup the system state on all dc's?  we have around 50 of them.  If it all goes wrong, how would we restore the entire AD?

    This is a schema update for Exchange 2010 SP3
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your help, this is now all resolved

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