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Is it possible to backup the users (with passwords) on Windows 2003 Server?

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How do you plan on restoring them? Or what exactly are you trying to accomplish? –  Zoredache Apr 25 '10 at 22:50
    
We are deploying a SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services server without a domain controller, so we will be creating users accounts on the server itself. Users and passwords will be the only thing to backup on that server, besides the SQL Server databases. –  jr Apr 25 '10 at 22:55

3 Answers 3

A system state backup will include the account databases in addition to other critical system files.

Passwords are normally only stored using a one-way hash. There is no way to reverse the hash.

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Please see my comment on the question clarifying my intentions. It's to much overhead to backup 500MB+ data only to backup our users logins. –  jr Apr 25 '10 at 22:59

Users and Passwords on windows server are stored in active directory (usually). There are good things and bad things about using Active Directory, but one of the good ones is that it supports replication. So, you can setup a second windows server, and replicate all the data to it automatically. If the first server goes down, the second can take over. But this is improved resilience, not strictly a backup.

For a backup, the standard windows backup tools should help. Veritas Backup Exec and similar third-party tools can take a smart backup of Active Directory stuff. If you want a much more DIY-type solution, you can use command line tools to dump active directory's data in LDIF format. You'll probably lose some fine details that way, but it should include basics like names and (hashed) passwords.

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I believe that, if you start a system state backup, and then cancel it after the state changes to "Backing up files from your computer…" then you can just backup the SAM file from %systemroot%\Repair.

If that does not work, then the only way I know to do what you want is to boot to another operating system and backup %systemroot%\Config\SAM.

HTH,

Glenn

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