How do I restore Active Directory?

A. You can’t restore Active Directory (AD) to a domain controller (DC) while the Directory Service (DS) is running. To restore AD, perform the following steps.

  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. At the boot menu, select Windows 2000 Server. Don’t press Enter. Instead, press F8 for advanced options. You’ll see the following text.
  3.  OS Loader V5.0<br><br>
    Windows NT Advanced Options Menu<br>
    Please select an option:<br><br>
    Safe Mode<br>
    Safe Mode with Networking<br>
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt<br><br>
    Enable Boot Logging<br>
    Enable VGA Mode<br>
    Last Known Good Configuration<br>
    Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only)<br>
    Debugging Mode<br><br>
    Use | and | to move the highlight to your choice.<br>
    Press Enter to choose.
  4. Scroll down, and select Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only).
  5. Press Enter.
  6. When you return to the Windows 2000 Server boot menu, press Enter. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see in red text Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows NT domain controllers only).

The computer will boot into a special safe mode and won’t start the DS. Be aware that during this time the machine won’t act as a DC and won’t perform functions such as authentication.

  1. Start NT Backup.
  2. Select the Restore tab.
  3. Select the backup media, and select System State.
  4. Click Start Restore.
  5. Click OK in the confirmation dialog box.

After you restore the backup, reboot the computer and start in normal mode to use the restored information. The computer might hang after the restore completes; I’ve experienced a 30-minute wait on some machines.

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