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Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

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  • Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

    Hi all,

    My problem is that i have a win2000 Domain (3 DCs) and one of them has failed. The only "backup" available for this DC is a ghost image more than a year old (long passed the tombstoned lifetime of 60 days). Unfortunately, the DC has to come back exactly as it was (same name, same system state, same applications installed) because some of the apps on it cannot be re-installed !!
    All the FSMO roles are on the 2 healthy DCs!
    All DCs are Windows 2000 (SP4)!

    Can anyone tell me what will happen when this DC comes back online and communicates with the other DCs? I know most of the Microsoft theory about lingering objects and phantoms that will be preventing a proper replication but i have a few questions:

    1. Is there a danger of corrupting my healthy part of AD that the other 2 DCs are holding?
    2. Is there a tool/utility (MS of 3rd party) that could help me find and clean up all these "outdated" objects that exist inside the failed DC's AD replica? With Windows 2003 repadmin works fine, but what happens with Windows 2000?

    The ideal would be to let the 2 healthy DCs push all they have to my failed DC and not take anything from it!

    Thank you in advance for any answers!

  • #2
    Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

    You can perform a Non-Authorative restore.

    P.s. Just noticed that there are no other backups apart from the Ghost image.

    What programs are we talking about?

    In that case, could you consider the following: Isolate the DC, force demote, repromote. whith the following in mind.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/332199
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498
    Last edited by L4ndy; 30th October 2009, 12:20.
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    • #3
      Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

      Originally posted by L4ndy View Post
      You can perform a Non-Authorative restore.

      P.s. Just noticed that there are no other backups apart from the Ghost image.

      What programs are we talking about?

      In that case, could you consider the following: Isolate the DC, force demote, repromote. whith the following in mind.
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/332199
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498

      Unfortunately, tha apps are 3rd party and AD-dependent, so the idea of demoting and repromoting is not an option!

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      • #4
        Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

        You say the apps are AD dependent but you have 2 healthy DC's, so why not follow L4ndy's suggestion as the 2 healthy DC's should allow the apps to work correctly, no?

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        • #5
          Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

          Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
          You say the apps are AD dependent but you have 2 healthy DC's, so why not follow L4ndy's suggestion as the 2 healthy DC's should allow the apps to work correctly, no?
          Unfortunately no! the apps are installed separately on each of the 3 DCs and some elements are shared inside the AD but others are not. If i demote the failed DC there is NO guarantee whatsoever that the apps will continue to function on this DC, even if i repromote later on! Some components of these apps include the use of MSMQ and queues are stored inside the AD!

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          • #6
            Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

            It sounds like it's time to contact the app vendor for support. Certainly they've run into a similar situation with other customers.

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            • #7
              Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

              In that case, you are not making it easy for yourself then.
              I am running out of ideas, but are you restoring on the same hardware or on different ones? If different http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263532
              I am thinking, Restore the ghost image first on an isolated machine and then perform a Non authorative restore maybe or look into the possibility of reinstalling the apps but keeping the config!! hard to say without too much info about the apps and how they are configured.
              Caesar's cipher - 3

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              SFX JNRS FC U6 MNGR

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              • #8
                Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

                Originally posted by ganastas View Post
                Unfortunately, tha apps are 3rd party and AD-dependent, so the idea of demoting and repromoting is not an option!
                Why not? Ignore the apps and the errors they throw while you rebuilt AD.

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                • #9
                  Re: Restoring Windows 2000 DC from beyond tombstone lifetime

                  Surely it should be as simple as restore the DC from the Ghost Image in isolation.

                  Disable the applications services thus bringing it offline.

                  Run DCPROMO to remove Active Directory.

                  Bring the server back onto your network as a member server.

                  Run DCPROMO to install Active Directory.

                  Once all replication has completed restart your applications services.

                  As far as the application is concerned surely it shouldn't notice any differences as any changes it would have made to AD would have been replicated to the other DCs anyway??


                  Although it shouldn't be required, for cleanliness I would perform a metadata clean-up of the crashed DC before bringing it back online as a DC.

                  Last edited by Hanley; 3rd November 2009, 15:24.

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