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Reinstalled Server 2003 on PDC - How do I reconnect desktops?

Posted on 2014-07-20
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Last Modified: 2016-06-09
What am I missing? So, my PDC crashed. I reinstalled Server 2003, set it up as the PDC with all the same settings, IP, AD accounts, etc... But now my desktops can't find the domain name. The server is visible on the network, they just can't into it. Unless, I log into their machines local account, remove them from the domain to a workgroup, then rejoin them to the domain. However, doing that causes Win7 to create a new user profile on the machine, and I have to go through all kinds of loops to get them into their original user profile.

I assume it's something easy, and because I've never done it before, I'm at a loss... Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Rootwitch
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Lee W, MVP earned 168 total points
ID: 40207584
Sorry, you're doing exactly what you have to do.  Under the hood, Windows uses GUID (Globally unique IDs) and SIDs (Security IDs).  When you first install a computer, a random GUID is created to identify it that is NOT related to the name.  YOU cannot change that GUID.  When you reinstall, you get a different GUID so systems on the network see it as a different system.  (Otherwise, I could easily build a computer to impersonate one you have and potentially steal all your information)

If you didn't have backups or a second DC, then rebuilding your existing one created a new domain, regardless of what you named things.  The workstations won't see it.  The users also use GUIDs and they will be different since it's a new domain.

(One reason BACKUPS ARE IMPORTANT!)

At this point, you can continue doing what you're doing and have everyone start fresh.  You Can PROBABLY use the Forensit User Profile Wizard (www.forensit.com) to copy your profiles from the old users to the new users... its worked for me MOST of the time, but there have been occasions where certain things don't work (I rarely have to use it and don't recall what they might be).
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by:Patricksr1972
ID: 40207601
Lee W is completely right... so unless you have some bare metal backups lying around you are on the right way.
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by:Rootwitch
ID: 40207616
Ok - So... I still have the original server OS restored to different hardware. Long story short, I can't really use this backup on the original hardware or anywhere else, as there's something corrupt in it that causes a BSOD on boot - But, I can boot once and only once successfully.

So, I've restored to a testing server, and haven't rebooted. What are the chances that the testing server would retain the same GUID's, and I could export from there (I'd need help with that too...)

Failing that, what's the best way, (after leaving and rejoining the domain on the desktops), to get the user into their "pre-crash" profile? Thanks.
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by:Patricksr1972
Patricksr1972 earned 166 total points
ID: 40207633
The GUID's never change so this is no hazard. The only problem in restoring a physical servers image to another pizzabox is the fact the image is bound to a NIC (causing the BSOD's).
So the best chance is to delete the NIC from the restored server (or from the server that boots once) and run a backup. Restore that image and boot up.
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by:Rootwitch
ID: 40207670
Where is the GUID located / stored?
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by:Don Thomson
Don Thomson earned 166 total points
ID: 40207673
Try using ProfWiz  Log them in to the local machine then run the Profwiz program - you get to chose which profile to use while adding them to a new domain.  

Takes less than 1 minutes and the only thing you may have to do is to remap their drives on the new server - in most cases you don't even have to do that
http://www.forensit.com/downloads.html

It's the first download
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by:Don Thomson
ID: 40207677
Sorry Lee - Didn't see your mention of the Profwiz
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by:Rootwitch
ID: 40207686
That's what I used last year... If I remember correctly, I also had to re-setup their Outlook. Perhaps it's been updated since then. Thanks.
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by:Rootwitch
ID: 40207769
Speaking of tools, is there a quick and easy one for exporting AD users off my pooched PDC and importing them into my fresh Server install? Can't use ntbackup, because that pooches the fresh install...
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by:Lee W, MVP
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How is the old DC (PDCs died with NT4 - they don't exist anymore) "pooched".
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by:Rootwitch
ID: 40212219
Sorry. I still use old-school terms...

The old DC OS apparently had corruption in the system Reg, that we're apparently present as far back as June 1, 2014 - my oldest hd image. Image restore, even ntbackup restores on a fresh install would initiate the BSOD loop. Ended up rebuilding from scratch and rejoining all the desktops with Profilewiz. It was a long day...
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