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Restart the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode Remotely

Updated: June 8, 2005

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

If Remote Desktop is enabled on a domain controller, you can use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the domain controller remotely. Remote Desktop Connection (formerly known as the Terminal Services client) is installed by default on all Windows Server 2003 family operating systems.

If you use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to a domain controller remotely and you want to restart the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode, you must first modify the Boot.ini file on the remote server so that you do not lose the connection when the domain controller restarts.

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 remotely

  1. Use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the domain controller that you want to restart in Directory Services Restore Mode.

  2. Right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Advanced tab.

  3. Click Settings for startup and recovery.

  4. Click the Edit button to edit the startup options file.

  5. Modify the default entry to include the /SAFEBOOT:DSREPAIR switch, as shown in the following example:

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="W2K DC \\ your server name " /fastdetect /SAFEBOOT:DSREPAIR

    noteNote
    The /SAFEBOOT:DSREPAIR switch works for domain controllers running Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003.

  6. Save the modified Boot.ini file, and then close Notepad.

  7. On the Start menu, click Shut Down, and then click Restart. During the restart process, the Terminal Services client reports that the session is disconnected.

    CautionCaution
    Be sure to click Restart and not Shut Down at this step. If you click Shut Down, you cannot restart the domain controller remotely.

  8. Wait until the restart process completes on the remote domain controller, and then reconnect the client session.

  9. When the client session is reconnected, log on as the local administrator.

  10. Right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Advanced tab.

  11. Click Settings for startup and recovery.

  12. Click the Edit button to edit the startup options file.

  13. Delete the /SAFEBOOT:DSREPAIR switch from the default entry in the Boot.ini file, save the file, and then close Notepad.

    ImportantImportant
    If you restart the domain controller before you modify the Boot.ini file, the domain controller remains offline.

    The Boot.ini file is now returned to its original state, which starts the domain controller normally.

See Also

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