Hyper-V Domain Controller Backup

Hey guys,

I need to take a one time backup of our 03 DC before we get ready to decom it soon. Is there a freeware tool that I can use one time that I will grab the system state too?
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Cobra25Asked:
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Well as its on Hyper-V. shut down the DC and then use windows server backup on the HOST to backup the VM. Job done.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
We have 2 other VM DC's also. IF something goes sour, is that backup sufficient to restore a DC?

Also do you have a link on how perform this?
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arnoldCommented:
Ntbackup within the Vm will backup the systemstate.
When you add the "new DC" and join it, you can transfer the roles.

Maintaing two Dcs provides for redundancy.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
So the current server (03) the backup fails when using ntbackup through the OS.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Never rely on a backup of a DC for anything except ABSOLUTE AND UTTER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE type events.  A restore of Domain Controller can make your environment even worse than not restoring it.

ALWAYS have multiple DC's running in your domain, preferably in different locations/floors/rooms so that you are covered for small disasters!

A restore of a DC that has been REMOVED from the domain will be of no use to anybody anyway.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
It is for preparation before making some changes on the DC in case of absoluter/utter failures. We cannot add new DC's until the issues are resolved! But i'd like to have something to roll back before i make registry changes/patches etc.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
As your on a HYPER-V environment, take SNAPSHOTS!
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Cobra25Author Commented:
How reliable is a snapshot to rollback with other DC's in the environment?
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
You can not RESTORE or ROLLBACK unless you do it to ALL DC's in the environment. You NEVER restore one DC. You rebuild it
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arnoldCommented:
There is a lot of information missing, do you have one or multiple DC's? What is the issue, out of sync DCs?

Ntbackup is included in win2k3 use it to backup the system state which can the be used if needed.

A snapshot in a multi DC environment is not supported as a snapshot restore will trigger a RId mismatch errors.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
Here is the issue - one DC is healthy to some extent (users can authenticate to it) other 2 DC's are receiving replication info but they are missing all the contents from sysvol/netlogon folders.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
the main DC thats healthy has a journal wrap error and i would like to fix it as i believe thats what caused the sysvol/netlogon folders to be empty on the other 2 dcs.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Take a snapshot of all 3 DC's and then take standard steps to remediate the Journal wrap error.  If it fails, revert ALL 3 snapshots at the same time.  This will really need to be done out of hours when NO OTHER AD changes will be made by users or admins.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
what ad changes what users make? I can take all 3 at once, thats not a bad idea.
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Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
Have you ever try do a shutdown of DC and copy all virtual machine related files as backup?
Since a DC has a tombstone time, you can not power on after 60 days without connection, but having virtual disk file, you can connect as a new drive and copy files if restoration needed. And best is totally free and no extra software required ;)
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Cobra25Author Commented:
Miguel do you have steps on it?
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Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
Pick up an external drive, connect to Hyper-v server.
On virtual machines properties, go to your virtual drives and take note where files are. Copy virtual drive files to your external drive.
If you needs files on virtual drive (recover netlogon per example) simply connect virtual drive file as a new drive on your computer (or server): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee872416.aspx
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Miguel,  that is not going to solve anything.  A snapshot in this case is for a fixed period whilst he addresses a known issue.
the 60 day limit is not an issue here, the OP is asking how to take a backup so he can TRY a fix, if it fails, revert to snapshot.

The snapshot is your option. Its safe, its quick and its free.
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arnoldCommented:
I beleive the journal wrap error is a straight forward resolution included in the event log deals with a registry entry that allows the ad to clear it I.e. Change value from 0 to 1.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
Nothing is ever safe..I cant lose this environment
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
So take three snapshots, set the reg value and test. If it fails revert the snapshots but power off the DC's before reverting so that each never sees the altered state later in time.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
OK, thats one good option. Anything else as a second option?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So snapshots should NOT be done on DCs.  The ONLY time it's safe is in SINGLE DC environments.  Restoring a DC snapshot can cause even more problems.  What I would do is shut down the DCs that are not replicating with the one that is working.  Ensure everything still works with them shut down (or just disconnect the network connection).  Once confirmed, SHUTDOWN the Working DC and EXPORT it.  That will create a usable copy of the VM.  Then TEST IT, but when you test it, MAKE CERTAIN it's on a machine that is not connected to the same network!  Take the exported copy to another Hyper-V server elsewhere and NOT on your network and test it.  Once you confirm it boots and works, you can do whatever else you want to do with the "original" install.
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arnoldCommented:
Imaging of DCs in a multi dc environment is not supported and discouraged by MS.
So long as you maintain the currently functional error free DCs loss of the environment is unlikly. The snapshot/imaging of
If the issue is isolated to the current primary. Transfer of roles is another option. Create a new VM so it is ready to be added as another DC, shutdown
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