Take command of Windows 2000 Server with the Active Directory Diagnostic Tool

Ntdsutil.exe is an advanced command line tool that allows you to do a variety of tasks on your Windows 2000 Server, including diagnostics for Active Directory and database maintenance. Learn what this powerful tool can do for you.

Before Windows 2000, Microsoft was known for producing graphical user interface operating systems with poor command line support. In Windows 2000, some of the more advanced tasks can be accomplished only through command line tools.

One advanced command line tool is the Active Directory Diagnostic Tool, or Ntdsutil.exe. Administrators familiar with this tool know that Ntdsutil is not a toy. Improper use of Ntdsutil can result in a partial or complete loss of Active Directory (AD) functionality.

Ntdsutil can be used, among other things, to:

  • Perform authoritative restore of AD.
  • Transfer or seize the Operations Master roles.
  • Check the integrity and low-level database corruption.
  • Repair the database.
  • Defragment AD online or offline.
  • Move the AD database.

Some tasks, such as authoritative restore or moving the AD database, can only be done when AD is not running. This is possible in special Directory Services Repair mode, one of the Windows 2000 Server startup options.

Ntdsutil differs from similar tools because you can use normal-length words instead of cryptic commands and switches. For example, to perform authoritative restore you can use the simple &ampquot;Authoritative restore&ampquot; instead of remembering the odd command of authre.

For more information on Ntdsutil, check the Windows Server TechCenter.

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