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restore active directory on server 2003 on different hardware

By ranj ·
Dear All

I been thinking a lot about disaster recovery at the moment and was thinking what would I do if i had a major disaster at the school I work at. i.e. all servers down due to a natural disaster water, fire etc.

So i decided on a little project for myself with restoring the schools active directory on a test server using VMware to see the results. If I manage to get that working I was then going to restore the whole of exchange on there as well. Basically more or less a replica of our main DC but in a test environment.

I wish I hadn't started because from day 1 I been having problems. I think the issue is because I am using different set of hardware to restore AD.

From my knowledge I know if you want to backup AD you need to backup the system state of one of your DC's which I have done. The problem is with systemstate it does everything such as HAL, registry as well as AD of that particular server you take the backup from.

Problem is when your restore that you get all sorts of problems. Everytime I have tried all I have been getting is BSOD (blue screen of death) errors once I restart the test server.

I have followed some whitepapers from Microsoft and I get the feeling that Microsoft dont really recommend restore AD onto different hardware, in fact they don't seem to support it. All the Server 2003 books I own dont really have much useful information on this either.

So I was wondering if fellow managers and technicians have addressed this problem with restoring AD on different hardware. Microsoft recommend that when you restore AD you should have another DC in the domain so the new server can replicate from that. In most situations that would be fine. Where I work we have 3 DC's and if a server fails I would normally follow that route but if you have a big disaster and you effectively have to start the network from scratch using nothing but NT backups what do you do?

Any sort of advice anything can offer would be recommended. I hope I can start a useful discussion on this topic...

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restore active directory on server 2003 on different hardware

by j_p_76 In reply to restore active directory ...

I was able to restore AD to a different computer by running the repair option on the 2003 Server CD after restoring and getting the BSOD. This reloaded all the drivers from the installation disk and allowed the system to boot without any issues.

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restore active directory on server 2003 on different hardware

by moiz74 In reply to restore active directory ...

Have you got the solution? please share your experinece as I am also trying to achienve this DRP.

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universal restore is for server system restore onto another computer

by Conselyle In reply to restore active directory ...

I think all your requirement is based on the new restore feature, universal restore. It restores a system onto many other computers with the same system state, installed applications and programs, and everything.
easing todo backup and true image are the both two best utilities.
The only differences between these two are the price, the former one is cheaper than the latter. How about the availability? I think these two can reliablly meet to safely restore system to different computers.
I tried to find a step by step instruction, only find todo backup with detailed description
here is the link:

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Restore Active Directory and Domain Controllers Help

by NetstairComm In reply to restore active directory ...

Guys, My SB Server windows 2003 got the active directory, group policy and domain controller lost by a power outage I can login as an administrator and see the 2 volume hard drives instact
data still good in hard drives but no one can login into the server is there any way or tools that allows me to restore the active directory fast and with no future issues.


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