Quick and Dirty DomainController Restore/Recovery

Posted: October 18, 2014 in Active Directory, Information
Tags: , , , ,

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s