System State Recovery for Domain Controllers

Performing a System State recovery for a domain controller is similar to the recovery of a member server, but a few more options are presented during the selection process and the domain controller needs to be booted into Directory Services Restore mode. Recovering the System State of a domain controller should only be performed if objects were deleted from Active Directory and need to be restored and the Active Directory Recycle Bin is not enabled, or if the Active Directory database on the particular domain controller is corrupt and the Active Directory Domain Services service will not start properly, or if data in the SYSVOL is missing or corrupted and needs recovery.
Before a domain controller can be booted into DSRM, the DSRM password will be required. This password is configured when a system is promoted to a domain controller and is stored locally on each domain controller. The DSRM username is administrator with no domain designation and the password can manually be changed on a working domain controller by using the NTDSUTIL utility. To restore the System State of a domain controller, perform the following steps:

1. Log on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller system with an account with administrator privileges.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select System Configuration.

3. Select the Boot tab. In the Boot Options section, check the Safe Boot check box, select the Active Directory Repair option button, and then click OK.

4. The System Configuration utility will ask for a reboot, and if there are no additional tasks to perform, click the Restart button to boot the system into DSRM.

5. When the system completes a reboot, log on as administrator with the DSRM password. Make sure to specify the local server as the logon domain—for example, server10\administrator instead of companyabc\administrator.

6. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select Windows Server Backup.

7. In the Actions pane, select Recover to start the Recovery Wizard.

8. On the Getting Started page, select This Server (Servername), where Servername is the name of the server to which Windows Server Backup is connected, and click Next to continue.

9. On the Select Backup Date page, select the correct date and time of the backup you will use to restore the data, and click Next to continue. Days with a successful backup are formatted in boldface.

10. On the Select Recovery Type page, select the System State option button, and click Next to continue.

11. On the Select Location for System State Recovery page, select the Original Location option button. Do not check the Perform an Authoritative Restore of Active Directory Files check box unless the sysvol folder and content will be marked as the definitive/authoritative copy and replicated to all other domain controllers. For our example, we will recover the System State but not mark the SYSVOL as an authoritative restore. Click Next to continue.

12. A dialog box opens that states that this recovery option will cause the server to resynchronize after recovery; click OK to continue.

13. On the Confirmation page, verify that the System State is listed and that the check box to automatically reboot the server is not checked. Click Recover to start the System State recovery of the domain controller.

14. A dialog box opens, detailing that once the recovery is started, it cannot be paused, and a restart will be required to complete the recovery. Click Yes to start the recovery. System State recovery can take a long time to complete; please be patient.

15. Once the System State restore completes, even if the check box to automatically reboot is not checked, Windows Server Backup will present a dialog box with a Restart button and no other option. Restart the server now.

16. Once the server reboots, it will reboot into DSRM again. Log on with the DSRM local username and password.

17. Once logged in, a wbadmin command prompt opens, stating that the restore completed successfully. Close the command prompt.

18. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select System Configuration.

19. Select the Boot tab. In the Boot Options section, uncheck the Safe Boot check box and click OK.

20. If an authoritative restore of Active Directory objects is not required, click the Restart button in the dialog box and allow the server to reboot normally.

21. If an authoritative restore is required, click the Exit Without Restart button in the dialog box.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed


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