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Performing a Full Server Recovery of a Domain Controller

Updated: April 29, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

When you perform a full server recovery, you recover all volumes from the backup set to the server. The procedure to perform full server recovery of a domain controller is the same as for any server running Windows Server 2008. Whenever you perform a full server recovery of a domain controller, you perform a nonauthoritative restore of Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

You can use these procedures to perform full server recovery of a domain controller by using Windows Complete PC Restore (a graphical user interface (GUI) tool) and Wbadmin.exe from the command line.

Full server recovery of a domain controller has the following requirements:

  • You must have a full server backup available. This type of backup contains all volumes that were on the server at the time that you made the backup.

  • You can store the backup on a separate, internal or external hard drive or a DVD. If you performed a manual backup, you can perform a full server recovery from a network shared folder.

    noteNote
    Windows Server Backup does not enumerate drives that are not attached or turned on when you start the Recovery Wizard. If you attach or turn on a drive after you start the wizard, and you do not see it in the list of backup locations that you can restore from, close, and then restart Windows Server Backup.

  • You must have the Windows Server 2008 operating system DVD or have Windows RE installed on a different partition than the critical partitions that are used by the domain controller that you are restoring.

  • If you are recovering to new hardware, the new hardware must provide enough storage capacity to recover all volumes. In other words, the hard drives that you are recovering data to must be as large as—or larger than—the drives that are included in the backup set.

You can use this procedure to perform full server recovery of a domain controller with Windows Complete PC Restore.

There are no administrative credential requirements. No authentication is performed when you start in Windows RE.

  1. Insert the Windows Server 2008 installation DVD into the disk drive, and then restart the domain controller.

  2. When you are prompted, press a key to start from the DVD.

  3. At the initial Windows screen, accept or select language options, the time and currency format, and a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  4. At the Install now screen, click Repair your computer.

  5. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click anywhere to clear any operating systems that are selected for repair, and then click Next.

  6. Under Choose a recovery tool, click Windows Complete PC Restore.

  7. If the backup is stored on a remote server, a message indicates that Windows cannot find a backup on the hard disks or DVDs on this computer. Click Cancel to close the message.

  8. Click Restore a different backup, and then click Next.

  9. On the Select the location of the backup page, perform either set of the following steps, depending on whether the backup is stored locally or on a network shared folder:

    1. If the backup is stored on the local computer, select the location of the backup, and then click Next.

      Or

    2. If the backup is stored on a network shared folder, click Advanced, and then click Search for a backup on the network.

    3. Click Yes to confirm that you want to connect to the network.

    4. In Network Folder, type the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) name for the network share, and then click OK.

    5. Type credentials for a user account that has sufficient permissions to restore the backup, and then click OK.

    6. On the Select the location of the backup page, click the location of the backup, and then click Next.

  10. Click the backup to restore, and then click Next.

  11. If you want to replace all data on all volumes, regardless of whether they are included in the backup, on the Choose how to restore the backup page, select the Format and repartition disks check box.

  12. To prevent volumes that are not included in the restore from being deleted and re-created, click Exclude Disks, select the check box for the disks that you want to exclude, and then click OK.

  13. Click Next, and then click Finish.

  14. Select the I confirm that I want to format the disks and restore the backup check box, and then click OK.

Use the following procedure to perform full server recovery of a domain controller from the command line.

There are no administrative credential requirements. No authentication is performed when you start in Windows RE.

  1. Insert the Windows Server 2008 installation DVD into the disk drive, and then restart the domain controller.

  2. When you are prompted, press a key to start from the DVD.

  3. At the initial Windows screen, accept or select language options, the time and currency format, and a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  4. At the Install now screen, click Repair your computer.

  5. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click anywhere to clear any operating systems that are selected for repair, and then click Next.

  6. Under Choose a recovery tool, click Command Prompt.

  7. At the Sources prompt, type diskpart, and then press ENTER.

  8. At the Diskpart prompt, type list vol, and then press ENTER.

  9. Identify the volume from the list that corresponds to the location of the full server backup that you want to restore.

    The drive letters in Windows RE do not necessarily match the volumes as they appear in Windows Server 2008.

  10. Type exit, and then press ENTER.

  11. At the Sources prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:<targetDrive>:

    -machine:<BackupComputerName>

    Where:

    • <targetDrive>: is the location of the backup that you want to restore.

    • <BackupComputerName> is the name of the computer where you want to recover the backup. This parameter is required, if the backup is stored on a remote computer.

  12. Identify the version that you want to restore.

    You must enter this version exactly in the next step.

  13. At the Sources prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    wbadmin start sysrecovery -version:<MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM>

    -backuptarget:<targetDrive>: -machine:<BackupComputerName>

    -restoreAllVolumes

    Where:

    • <MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM> is the version of the backup that you want to restore.

    • <targetDrive>: is the drive that contains the backup.

    • <BackupComputerName> is the name of the computer where you want to recover the backup. This parameter is useful when you have backed up multiple computers to the same location or you have renamed the computer since the backup was taken.

  14. When you are prompted, press Y to proceed with the restore process.

  15. After the recovery operation has completed, minimize the command window, and then, in the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Restart.

Be aware of the following issues when you perform a full server recovery of a domain controller:

  • Wbadmin.exe does not require that you provide the recovery target. By specifying the backup version that you want to recover, the command proceeds to recover to the source location of the specified backup version.

  • Backup files are named for the date and time of the backup. When you recover, the version must be stated in the form MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM, which specifies the name of the backup that you want to recover.

  • After the restore is completed, restart the server normally, and perform basic verification. When you restart the computer normally, AD DS and Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) automatically detect that they have been recovered from a backup. They perform an integrity check and index the database again.

  • After you log on to the system, browse AD DS. Verify that the following conditions are met:

    • All of the user objects and group objects that were present in the directory at the time of the backup are restored.

    noteNote
    Active Directory replication updates the objects that you restore with any changes that have been made to them since the time that the backup was taken.

    • Files that were members of a File Replication Service (FRS) replica set and certificates that were issued by AD CS are present.

    • The Windows Time service (W32time) is synchronized correctly.

    • The NETLOGON and SYSVOL folders are properly shared.

    • The Preferred DNS server address is configured correctly.

    • Host (A) and service (SRV) resource records are registered correctly in Domain Name System (DNS).

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