WARNING: This is intended for use in a lab environment rather than production. Given the nature of domain controllers, all details here should be used with extreme caution as damage is HIGHLY POSSIBLE and data loss is a risk.
At various time I want to test something that I want to install on my production system at home without actually risking damaging anything. The easiest way I find is to make a copy of the virtual machine hard disks and start them up attached to a new LAB version of the machine, on an isolated Virtual network of course. This works fine for Domain Controllers also which makes it quicker to test things like Exchange with your actual configuration.
Usually after starting up the copy of a domain controller it will complain about several things. The NIC has changed so IP details need to be re-entered, then it complains about not finding replication partners, not having authoritative ownership of FSMO roles, and SYSVOL doesn’t start. All rather problematic.
Configure the Network
Pretty easy, just configure the NIC with the same IP address details that your real domain controller has. You will see a message about another “disabled” NIC having the same values, just ignore and click OK to proceed
Seizing FSMO roles
At a cmd prompt
C:\> ntdsutil ntdsutil: roles fsmo maintenance: connections server connections: connect to server <servername> serverconnections: q fsmo maintenance: seize infrastructure master fsmo maintenance: seize naming master fsmo maintenance: seize pdc fsmo maintenance: seize rid master fsmo maintenance: seize schema master fsmo maintenance: q ntdsutil: q
Cleaning out old Metadata (unwanted domain controller replication)
NOTE: The following steps assume this is THE ONLY DOMAIN CONTROLLER in your lab environment!
Open regedit Browse to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ntfrs\Parameters\Backup/Restore\Process at Startup Set the BurFlags value to D4 (Hex) / 212 (Dec) Restart the "File Replication" service