Server 2003 Active Directory Recovery and Domain Rebuild
Initial Diagnosis and Environment: A Boston, Massachusetts-based marketing company reached to All IT Supported with an emergency need. Its existing IT Service Providers were independent
consultants that had acquired full time employment and had difficulty being available when the client needed them to be. Additionally they did not have weekend hours of availability.
All IT Supported arrived onsite within 4 hours of the call, on a late saturday morning. The client had 10 workstations, and 2 windows 2003 servers on 2 different domains, due to the
fact that they were running 2 different legal entities and the previous provider chose to create 2 different domains without any transitive trust between them. One of the domain controllers
sustained an operating system failure and was not booting into windows. Despite multiple attempts, using BART PE, and MS DART ERD Commander Startup Recovery tools, All IT was unable
to restore the Active Directory Services, despite getting the Server to boot almost all the way through. Upon searching, no Active Directory backups were available, despite there being
a current online backup of critical data.
Challenges: The main 2 challenges was preserving user settings and maintaining the exact user environment while restoring the domain controller Active Directory role.
Solutions: It was decided to rebuild the domain from scratch and perform a restore of data from online backup. The server received a fresh installation of Server 2003, and all data
files were successfully restored. Network Printers were mapped properly to the server as well. Once all drivers and software updates were installed and the server was fully backed up,
All IT Supported began unjoining the workstations from the old domain and joining them to the new domain. In the process, several of the workstations required a reset of the local Administrator
password using ERD Commander and MS DART tools. Once the workstations were unjoined, and then rejoined, the old domain profile was backed up to a special folder, and then transferred over to
the new domain account. Each computer was tested for network printing, and network file sharing capability. Once all computers were done, the security software on each machine was
evaluated for currency, and Avira Antivirus was recommended for the entire network.