Poll: Have you ever wiped and reinstalled your DC?

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Windows Thread, DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc? in Technical; I've wiped the domain entirely Kept the same Domain name, but given the servers new names and wanted to start ...
  1. #16

    Gatt's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    I've wiped the domain entirely
    Kept the same Domain name, but given the servers new names and wanted to start a fresh
    various odd problems with old system which i hope to eliminate now

  2. #17
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Here's a thought...

    1 - Set up a temporary domain on another PC (physical or virtual)
    2 - Use ADMT to migrate everything over to it (User Accounts, Computer Accounts, Passwords etc.)
    3 - Wipe and reinstall the existing DC, create a new AD
    4 - Use ADMT to migrate everything back to the original domain

    This method should retain all user & computer accounts, passwords, permissions etc. You get a freshly installed server and a new AD. If ADMT won't handle Exchange, I've a vague feeling that Exchange has it's own migration tool. Worst case is to dump Exchange database to PST files then reimport.

    Only hassle is that to migrate computer accounts, computers must all be switched on and have some kind of agent running. I've only use ADMT myself once, so I'm hardly even a novice. Maybe someone else could comment on how practical this solution might be.

  3. #18

    Gatt's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    My only problem is going to be RIS/Ghost with these damn SiS900 NICs
    I'd rather start using RIS - but the Sis900 arent PXE enabled, and the rbfg disk hasnt got support for them.

    Might try WinPE see if i can initiate RIS or Ghost from there..

  4. #19

    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    @Gatt: You could always buy a load of decent NICs - 3COM perhaps. It would be quite easy to put forward a business case for extra funding given the amount of time that it would save you.

    You could argue that it takes you one hour of faffing per machine and you probably rebuild the boxes 3 times a year giving a total of 3 man hours. Surely you are paid more than a third of a NIC for 1 hour's work!

  5. #20

    Gatt's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Yeah gonna put it forward today

  6. #21


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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    www.rom-o-matic.com supports SIS900 - you can create a PXE bootdisk from the site

  7. #22
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    There are two tools which are free from Bill and Co. Exmerge will do a bulk export Import on mailboxes- essentialy it moves the mail boxes as .pst files. Outlook profiles will need to be re-created but not a problem if you use OWA.
    Exchange Migration Wizard - single step process from 5.5 to 2003 this tool preserves directory information (You may not want this if you are building from the ground up)

    Don't forget there is also the Active Directory Migration Tool for moving users, groups, computers etc. Create a second trusted domain and move across rebuild and put onto the domain where everything will live. Don't forget to remove the trust or you end up with two or three logon domains 1st, temp, final, local etc.

  8. #23
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    You said it started after a shuffle of IP address have you purged all of the caches?

  9. #24
    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by BooBoo
    You said it started after a shuffle of IP address have you purged all of the caches?
    Well... I change the IP range from one range - that was sort of governed by the LEA, to a private LAN range [10.0...].

    The DC took the changes and i had to erase and reinstall each computer in the end hehe but it worked lol

    The only problem is that the DC seems really sluggish ever since. I deleted and reinstalled the AD / DNS more times than I care to imagine but no success with the laggy feel to the servers - and the Hardware Firewall logs show the IP addresses still trying to do stuff... its all very confusing hehe


    but moving on......

  10. #25
    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Ok... See what you think of this.

    From what everyone has said in the previous posts, the easiest option would be to use the "swing" method and would seem to be the quickest method of seeing whether it helps things or not.

    So this is the stage I've got to so far:

    I have cleaned up the DC as much as possible and its pretty happy [so far].

    I've updated the schema [for R2 when i get the product key from the lea or MS hehe] and thats all happy.

    The server with Exchange 2003 SP2 is all happy and all MS updates have been placed on both servers.

    The new server [that will be going to the Music room and is mentioned in a different thread - ill link it later] is currently installing 2003 SP1.

    Could I use this new server by attaching it to the domain and setting it as the DC? If so, and once that has been done, is it just a matter of:

    - exporting the shares [from within the registry]
    - exporting the Group Policies using the GPMC tool
    - removing the old DC from the domain
    - erasing the C drive
    - installing 2003 SP1 again
    - attaching to the domain
    - premoting it again
    - importing the shares reg file
    - importing the group policies using the GPMC

    Have I missed anything there?
    Can I do the above in a day? [as i've only got tomorrow left and I've got to configure the new server - as mentioned in the other thread]

    Cheers
    Nath

  11. #26
    k-strider's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    I know you have said that you have been over everything with a fine toothcomb… have you expaneded every single folder in DNS and made sure there is absolutely no reference to the old ip addresses in there?

    You also have an exchange server have you tried promoting that to a AD or some other Virtual Server move FSMOs and demote the Original ? again trawl the DNS cause sometimes things get left behind.

    If that’s sorts out the Authentication ie the only connection issues then appear with connections to the server in question, then rebuilding it and moving the AD back *should* sort it out…

    The NTFS permissions on other drive volumes remain as long as you don’t Format them lol..

    File shares are kept in the registry can be exported and merged back in a reboot then they are shared again…

    If you had to rebuild with exchange in the equation that would take a long time… it must be faster surly to try rebuilding the Server first… if it doesn’t fix then I guess you have to bite the bullet and rebuild the lot..

  12. #27
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Thanks for the reply... lemme break it up a bit...

    Quote Originally Posted by k-strider
    I know you have said that you have been over everything with a fine toothcomb… have you expaneded every single folder in DNS and made sure there is absolutely no reference to the old ip addresses in there?
    I've removed the DNS and installed it again, plus I've also removed *all* the entries from it as well - so unless I'm blind, I cant see it there.

    You also have an exchange server have you tried promoting that to a AD or some other Virtual Server move FSMOs and demote the Original ? again trawl the DNS cause sometimes things get left behind.
    Well, the change of IP range & "slug" problem [hehe] was about a year before I setup the Exchange 2k3 server so it isn't that. And no, I've never tried anything remotely like that with the Exchange server.

    It was just a very simple setup on a new 2003 SP1 server FYI. The schema update kinda threw up probs with the 98 clients but that was a different matter hehe

    If that’s sorts out the Authentication ie the only connection issues then appear with connections to the server in question, then rebuilding it and moving the AD back *should* sort it out…
    um....

    The NTFS permissions on other drive volumes remain as long as you don’t Format them lol..

    File shares are kept in the registry can be exported and merged back in a reboot then they are shared again…
    I know... have done a old NT4 domain > 2003 new domain setup [with a move of HDD with the homedirs on them so yep, I know that one - thus why I ask about the shares, because with the NT4 exported shares brought into the 2003 server back then, it worked great hehe [after I used the ADMT tool of course hehe]

    If you had to rebuild with exchange in the equation that would take a long time… it must be faster surly to try rebuilding the Server first… if it doesn’t fix then I guess you have to bite the bullet and rebuild the lot..
    rebuilding the DC - AD, DHCP, DNS, FileServer - is what I'm after. The easiest and quickest method, but as the LEA have kind of delayed me, I'm not going to get around to it.

    ...and it isn't something i probably want to rush in a single day either i guess lol

    Cheers
    Nath

  13. #28

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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    You really do need to set-up a second DC, I did this for client a while ago but they had 2 DC's and wanted them both rebuilt!

    Sounds like a DNS issue to me, I re-scoped a domain with an exchange server recently and had the same issue at first but found a reference to the IP in the active directory somewhere and after correcting this all was ok.

    I can't think for the life of me where I found it, my have been sites and services.

    If you do set-up a second DC make sure you remember to transfer all the FSMO rolls over.

  14. #29
    k-strider's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Sorry i don’t think i was being overly clear... Like djm968 says you really need to promote a second DC in your domain.

    What I meant regarding the exchange server was that you could use that as your second DC. Or use a workstation that’s spare (or a virtual server on vmware/virtual pc) and put 2k3 on it. I have done this before.. move all the FSMO roles over to the new DC whether this is the Exchange Box or another PC.. (personally I wouldn’t use the exchange box, but I have dc-promo’ed and demoted an Exchange 2003 server and it was ok)

    I though I read in your posts that sometimes people couldn’t access the server until it was restarted... perhaps I read wrong... so what i was trying to say was if you move the DC operations to another server then you could eliminate the Authentication / GP Processing away from access to actual files (work).. what I was thinking... was if the server “crashed” ie no access did the workstations also fail to login (domain x is not available) as well as fail to have access to the files/data... you see what I mean you could establish if the issues were AD related or Server Machine related.

    Iif you actually want to destroy and recreate your directory I think I am right in thinking you are effectively going to have to export all your mail boxes and probably rebuild your exchange server as well.. whereas by trying to move the directory onto another PC and rebuild the file server would be much simpler if it works because you won’t need to fiddle with exchange at all. It would also have minimal impact on availability of your domain if you just move the Directory, even if it doesn’t fix the issues if I was in your position I’d be inclined to try and move the DC operations over to another Server before effectively destroying the domain, because rebuilding AD will effectively mean that.. I’ve never had to recreate a domain that has an exchange server involved.

    I too still think it’s likely to be DNS related. In the forward lookup zone under the _msdc.yourdomain.whatever there are lots of folders like dc, domains, gc, and pdc which have service location pointers that point to the DC... when you create a new DC you will notice new records appear and when you demote the older one the references to that will disappear. Have you tried to repair your AD DNS?
    A quick google brought up this not explicitly related http://www.petri.co.il/troubleshooti...omo_errors.htm
    It suggests using a tool called netdiag /fix part of the windows 2000 Resource Kit... it might be worth looking up. or seeing if there is a server 2003 equiv. tool

  15. #30
    k-strider's Avatar
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    Re: DC wipe - how to backup the users / AD etc?

    Re your plan some reason i must have missed / not read this

    Could I use this new server by attaching it to the domain and setting it as the DC? If so, and once that has been done, is it just a matter of:
    - exporting the shares [from within the registry] - Yup
    - exporting the Group Policies using the GPMC tool – these would replicate to the new DC so not required
    NEW STEP move the FSMO roles over to the new server there are 5 i believe... google it.
    - removing the old DC from the domain –yes but DC Promo it to demote it.
    - erasing the C drive -yup
    - installing 2003 SP1 again -yup
    - attaching to the domain -yup
    - premoting it again -Yup
    - importing the shares reg file - Yup
    - importing the group policies using the GPMC – not required this will replicate back from the other DC..

    Personally i’d leave both servers as DC and put the GC on them both.

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