Even though you can use several fault tolerant mechanisms, such as RAID arrays, there's no real substitution for actual backups with Windows 2000 Server. Backups are extremely important, and you should do them regularly.
To back up your Active Directory (AD), use the Backup utility included in Windows 2000 Server. This tool lets you back up AD while the domain controller is online, as well as back up AD and all other information located outside the AD database files, with batch commands. Also, this new Backup utility will allow backups not only to tape drives, but also to CDs, hard drives, Zip drives, network drives, and other removable media.
Because AD is dependent on many files, data, and other components, backing up AD doesn't represent just backing up the database files located in the \winnt\ntds folder. All dependent data, folders, and AD database files are known collectively as System State data. So, if you want to properly back up AD, you'll have to open the Backup utility either by running Ntbackup.exe or by selecting Backup via Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools. The Backup Wizard will guide you through the process.
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