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Windows Server 2008 Thread, Full system restore and AD woes in Technical; ...
  1. #1

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Full system restore and AD woes

    I've already given up on this issue and initiated a full server rebuild and restore from scratch, but this baffled me and I'm adamant I'll found out what it is!

    Story is as follows (sorry, no TL;DR version)

    Server arrives with a HDD failure, one of 4 in a RAID10 (SATA drives on ICH9r controller with Adaptec hardware interface, onboard) had gone. No worries, replace and it'll rebuild. Unfortunately the people that got hold of it before me neglected to check the backup tapes worked/contained good backups, and proceeded to *format and rebuild the entire array*

    At this point I butt in and tell them I'll sort it out. Wanted to rebuild as Raid5 with a hotspare but chipset didn't support it (HP ML150 G5 - real POS). Rebuilt array to start from a clean plate, installed plain OS (Server 2008 x64) and cobbled together a workable system from 4 different backups. Finally booted into DSRM and recovered systemstate and AD successfully. Tested, all working OK - DHCP, DNS, AD, all working 100% perfect. Over the moon and left it in the storeroom until it would be delivered after Christmas.

    So I return this week and decide to give it another test session before sending it back to site. Hangs on detecting the HDD - bugger, that's another one gone. Another HDD arrives, wang it in place of the faulty unit, add as a hotspare, restart, lo and behold it builds into the array and it looks happy. Restart server and get to logon prompt.

    "Wrong username or password"

    No, it's not. Reboot into DSRM.

    "Wrong username or password"

    Reboot into Safe mode. It logs in! Don't understand. Rebooted into normal mode and leave it at login screen. We also have a member server in from the same site, so hook it up to a switch with the main DC (being recovered). I can log in fine. AD is surely working. So to make sure it wasn't a cached resource, I used the Utilman.exe hack to get me to the command prompt on the DC. Created a new user, lo and behold I can log into it from the member server. But still can't on the DC.

    Also reset the admin password from the same utilman hack with net user administrator password - this change takes effect on the member server (no AD or replication, mind) but not on the local machine.

    Could only think that AD was generally naffed, but backupexec then stopped working and refused to let me restore systemstate & AD. At this point I ghosted the entire machine as it stood and left it as it is now, doing a full rebuild from scratch.

    Any ideas why this would have happened? Degraded array shouldn't cause that surely?

  2. #2

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    So the long and short of this is failed Hard Disk was replaced, then you wanted to use DSRM for which you think you have the password for but it doesn't work. Am I right? If so......

    I'm certain that when you add a Server to any Domain it prompts you for DSRM password before it continues installing AD onto the Server, which can be different (user specified) to the Administrator account password specified at server initial build stage (long time since I've done it so not 100% sure). Maybe the password entered for DSRM at the time AD was added isn't the password you have! Which would explain you using Administrator password and getting nowhere.

    Just a thought?


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