Online defragmentation does a good job of defragmenting the object inside the Windows 2000 Server Active Directory database file (Ntds.dit). In most cases, you won't need anything else, but in certain scenarios you might want to do an offline defragmentation.
There are two important differences between online and offline defragmentation: You have to stop the Active Directory to perform offline defragmentation, and offline defragmentation lets you reclaim free space, something online defragging won't do.
The work is done by the Ntdsutil.exe utility, located in the Support.cab file in the \support\tools folder on your Windows 2000 Server CD. To initiate offline defragmentation, follow these steps:
- Reboot the domain controller.
- On the Boot menu, press [F8] and select Directory Services Restore Mode.
- Run Ntdsutil.
- Type files.
- Type compact to directory (where directory is the directory where you want to place the defragmented database). Ntdsutil will then create the defragmented database in the directory you specified.
- Copy this defragmented database to the \WINNT\NTDS directory. This replaces the previous Ntds.dit file and deletes all log files.
The Ntdsutil utility doesn't just overwrite the old (fragmented) database file; rather, it creates a separate (defragmented) copy of the database. The idea behind this is that your original database stays intact in case something happens during the defragmentation process.
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