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Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

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  • Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

    Hello,
    I'm testing different disaster recovery scenarios, I'm attempting to restore my Active Directory config from tape to differnt hardware in my test lab. I know there are better ways to accompish this (i.e. dcpromo), but I am trying to recreate the situation we will be in, in the event of a disaster to our cold site out of state. Is there a way to restore AD and bypass the registry and HAL problems associated with different hardware? I'd greatly appreciate any advice you could give. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

    Originally posted by killerboots
    Hello,
    I'm testing different disaster recovery scenarios, I'm attempting to restore my Active Directory config from tape to differnt hardware in my test lab. I know there are better ways to accompish this (i.e. dcpromo), but I am trying to recreate the situation we will be in, in the event of a disaster to our cold site out of state. Is there a way to restore AD and bypass the registry and HAL problems associated with different hardware? I'd greatly appreciate any advice you could give. Thanks!
    The usual way is to get a backup (ntbackup) from the old machine first. (at least system-state plus the system volume). Then, build a new machine with the same partitioning and SP/patch level. Finally, boot to DS restore mode, en restore the old server.

    > bypass the registry and HAL problems associated with different hardware

    Sounds like imaging. A definite NONO for DC's.

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    • #3
      Re: Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

      wkasdo, thanks for your response. The scenario I'm testing here is to restore a DC to new hardware. I'm simulating the scenario my company would be in if we had to relocate to our disaster recovery site. The contract we have with the site is EXTREMELY limited. So much in fact that the only thing we can bring in to it is a backup tape. They supply the servers and we have no say as to what brand, model etc. So we would have to restore one of our DCs onto a completley seperate box from tape. When I go into DS restore mode and attempt to restore with a backup (from the old box) onto a new box, it of course restores the registry along with the AD info. Since the reg files are from the old box, it immediatley goes into a BSOD loop. Is there any kind of tried and true method for doing a restore like this? The server version I'm working with here is 2003. Thanks for your help!

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      • #4
        Re: Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

        > They supply the servers and we have no say as to what brand, model etc.

        You know, this backup procedure should go fine in most cases. It is sensitive to the HAL, as you noticed. Can you boot into safe mode? If so, you could replace the HAL.

        Again, make sure that partitioning and the location of system folders is the same, as well as SP level and so on.

        Alternatively, if you have another DC running in the same domain you can do the dcpromo from media. That has no hardware requirements at all, and is pretty fast.

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        • #5
          Re: Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

          If you have the time, you may try something like this:

          I understand this may or may not meet your needs of a complete disaster recovery.

          Take regular backups of your DC's system state.
          Restore the backup to an alternate location.
          From a newly built server with same OS and patch level,
          run DCPromo with the /adv switch and specify the alternate location folder.
          DCPromo will promote a new DC using the restored system state information.

          I haven't tried this method after a complete loss, it's more of a method to create a DC on a remote site with slow network connection. You may need to sieze FSMO roles afterwards or it may not work if it can't locate your domain to begin with, but it is an option for you to test.

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          • #6
            Re: Server 2003 AD restore to different hardware

            AFAI know there should be no problem restoring to different hardware as long as the HALs are the same. I suggest you remove the Automatic reboot in Startup on the old machine so at least you can stop the BSOD loop and see what the problem is.
            Also are you restoring SCSI to SCSI or SATA to SATA? Find out what I/O system is on the recovery site and add the required driver in to your existing system IE if the recovery system uses an Adaptec U320 SCSI adaptor, add its driver in to your current set-up. That way when you recover, it will have access to the disk subsystem.
            TIA

            Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
            http://www.wintra.co.il/
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            Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

            We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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