Replace system drive in Domain controller
Posted on 2016-11-14
I've got a client on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain. The have just the single domain controller and the onboard RAID is acting up. They have a RAID 1 and if both drives are plugged in the server runs extremely slow. If either of the drives is unplugged however, it runs normal. It is run off of the onboard Intel RAID controller. So my thought is rather than trying to add a RAID card and rebuild it with the two drives, what if instead I just install a single SSD? From what I understand they are much more reliable and they are frequently replacing RAID systems these days. So my first question is would that be a good idea? Offsite backups are maintained and there isn't much data on the computer anyway as it's a DC.
My second question (and I assume I would have to do this whether I replace the drives with an SSD or buy a new RAID card and set them back up) is how do I re-install an OS on a DC? Do I need to first remove all the PCs from the domain, reinstall, then add them back? There are only 11 client PCs so it's not a ton. Or is there some sort of backup and restore procedure that will maintain the domain structure correctly? I've always heard that it's not a good idea to image a DC so I assume I shouldn't clone the drives but if that's not true that seems like the easiest option for sure. And I understand I can't add a temporary server and promote it to a DC while I reinstall the original because of it being an Essentials domain instead of the full blown windows server.
Any guidance would be much appreciated!