can you transfer AD from a dead 2008 sbs to windows 2012 essentials ?

hi, I have a 2008 sbs, where windows died and we couldn't get it to boot. I managed to bodge a usb hard drive together with windows 2012 on it. to read the data and act as a temp server. no AD on it.
I have now purchased a windows 2012 R2 essentials server.

the situation I'm in now is.
Exchange moved to hosted solution
I have access to data from backups and the USB bootable windows running on the old server.
The client machines have not been touched, they are still left as being on a domain, even thou one doesn't exist yet.

I would like to make my 2012 server the new AD, Ideally I was wondering, if I could some how copy the old AD information from the 2008 sbs onto the new 2012 server, obviously I cannot migrate. Is there a way of doing it by importing files I can access on the old server hard drive ?

or I'm I best just rebuilding from scratch and adding the pc's to that.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There is a product call Utools UMove that MAY be able to migrate the AD for you from the offline server to the working server.  MAY.  I've not used it with SBS AND Essentials.   And the software is not free.  

At the end of the day, it may be cheaper and easier to build the domain from scratch.
MikeIT ManagerCommented:
Honestly SBS is so sketchy I wouldn't fully trust any 3rd party app because I'd be too concerned about wasted time, energy, and cost.

In your situation it might be wise to just build a new domain from scratch.  I'd also suggest investing in a good backup solution to avoid this problem in the future.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
total123Author Commented:
thanks for the comments, I have already request DR solutions twice in the last 3 years. I can all but hope.
Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

MikeIT ManagerCommented:
Oh, you're in one of those situations.  My condolences; been there, done that.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
I would boot an old backup as a Virtual Machine and see if AD was accessible from there.

A Backup/DR solution shouldn't be a request it should be a requirement.  Yes its expensive but at the end of the day surely its cheaper than losing data.
The only way I can see would be to somehow get the SBS running again as a VM by restoring from an old backup. Then you could promote your new server into the same domain and immediately decomission the old  VM.

If you're only looking at a small number of clients, you may be quicker just to create a new domain and join the clients again manually.
total123Author Commented:
I ended up building the AD from scratch
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Active Directory

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.