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Restart the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode locally

Updated: June 8, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

If you have physical access to a domain controller, you can restart the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode locally. Restarting in Directory Services Restore Mode takes the domain controller offline. In this mode, the server is not functioning as a domain controller.

When you start Windows Server 2003 in Directory Services Restore Mode, the local Administrator account is authenticated by the local Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. Therefore, logging on requires that you use the local administrator password, not an Active Directory domain password. This password is set during Active Directory installation when you provide the password for Directory Services Restore Mode.

Administrative credentials

To perform this procedure, you must provide the Administrator password for Directory Services Restore Mode.

To restart the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode locally

  1. Restart the domain controller.

  2. When the screen for selecting an operating system appears, press F8.

  3. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, select Directory Services Restore Mode.

  4. When you are prompted, log on as the local administrator.

See Also

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