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pcguy-za

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Recreate AD on an SBS 2008 - Can it be done?

Experts,

This is an unusual one, but I would love to avoid rebuilding this server.

It is a SBS 2008,  only about 10 users, but big mailboxes and hosting a complicated production website.

Approximately 6 months ago something happened to the  NTDS.DIT file.  It carried on working though and I only discovered now that there is a problem - too late for backups to be useful.  If I try to add a user it fails and generates an error, besides that it works perfectly.

NTDSUtil says the file is corrupt.  I have tried all combinations of NTDSUtil and ESENTUTL.  This will not fix the file in such a way that the AD service will start (even when NTDSUtil gives the file the all clear).

In a non-SBS situation it would be straightforward to add another DC, promote it and remove AD from the problem server, then add the original DC server back again. I think this would work here because the data in AD is all readable.

But I have read that with SBS it could be problematic to follow this route, because it wants to be the only DC.  SO my question is could I do this, and if so how?

Thanks.
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Lee W, MVP
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pcguy-za

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Thanks, good advice.  A migration would give me more leeway to do it slowly and without downtime.  Assuming the AD propagates.  I have done plenty of SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 upgrades, so quite familiar with the process.

I have been managing 20+ SBS's for years,  just always kept them in good shape so have never had an AD fail like this.  Very annoying.

The site is a development copy.  The production site is hosted at a data centre - so that is OK.

If the AD propagation fails will I be able to backtrack.  Maybe a swing migration would be safer?
You can backtrack by simply transferring the FSMO roles back to the SBS server.
Thanks for the advice, I am going to try to a migration.