Are you planning a server downtime or anticipating the replacement of an old, tired server? If your NetWare server is going to be down for more than a few hours or permanently removed from the network, you should remove Novell Directory Services (NDS) from the server before taking it down. This recommended method helps prevent synchronization problems, cleanly deletes the Server and Volume objects from the NDS tree, and removes other references to the objects.

Have a backup
Because the Server and Volume objects will be deleted once you remove Directory Services, all references to these objects will also be deleted. Unfortunately, these references are not created for the new objects. This means that you will have to restore trustee assignments from tape backup, recreate the users’ home directory assignments, and reconfigure any print queues that referenced the server.
Before removing Directory Services, ensure that you have a good backup tape and a plan to reconfigure the home directory assignments and print queues.
Since Directory Services is being removed from the server, there shouldn’t be any time synchronization errors to correct. You should verify this, however, by loading DSREPAIR and choosing the Time Synchronization menu selection. If the server that you are removing is a time provider, designate another server to take its place.

Once again, since you have planned to remove Directory Services from the server, there will probably not be any partition or replica errors. However, you should verify that “All processed=Yes” on the DSTRACE screen.

If the server is holding a master replica, you can change the replica to a read/write replica and designate a new master replica. This action can also be performed during the procedure to remove Directory Services from the server.

How do I do it?
Once you are certain that time is synchronized and the partitions and replicas have no errors, you are ready to remove Directory Services from the server. You should not make any partition or replica changes once you have started this procedure.

  1. At the server console, type LOAD INSTALL.
  2. Select Directory Options.
  3. Select Remove Directory Services From This Server.
  4. Confirm the action.
  5. Log in to the server as Admin or a user with Supervisor object rights.
  6. If the server is holding any master replicas, you will be prompted to select a server to hold the master replica. Select Designate Which Servers Yourself, and choose the read/write replica that you want to become the new master replica.

Once you have completed working on the downed server, you can reinstall directory services by following these steps:

  • At the server console, type LOAD INSTALL.
  • Select Directory Options.
  • Select Install Directory Services Onto This Server.
  • Restore the trustee assignments from the tape backup, recreate the users’ home directory assignments, and reconfigure the print queues.

Removing Directory Services can protect NDS from having problems during planned downtimes. If you do your homework and plan carefully, you should be able to minimize the effect of removing a server temporarily, or permanently.
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Steve Pittsley is a desktop analyst for a Milwaukee hospital. He enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.