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My Windows 2003 server suddenly ceased to function as a DC (this server is the only DC of the domain). All AD related services are down. The only way I can login to the AD is physically to the machine. Everytime I access an AD-related service (e.g. "AD users and computers") I get the below error:

Naming information cannot be located because: The specified directory service attribute or value does not exist. Contact your system administrator to verify that your domain is properly configured and is currently online.

I found the below system event which matches the time when the issue started, this re-occurs everytime I reboot the server.

NTDS General | Global Catalog | Active Directory was unable to establish a 
                                        connection with the global catalog. 
Additional Data 
Error value:
1355 The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted. 
Internal ID:
3200d33 

I started the troubleshooting with DNS. Netdiag throws the below error although I think this is simply a consequence of not being able to access the Global Catalog.

The procedure entry point DnsGetPrimaryDomainName_UTF8 could not be located in the dynamic link library DNSAPI.dll.

Anyway DNS seems OK because I can ping the DC FQDN from the DC itself. I found the below solution which is supposed to help by doing some cleanup of the metadata:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216498

If I follow procedure 1 here is what I get at step 9:

no current site
Domain - DC=<mydomain>,DC=<com>
no current server
no current naming context

I can continue the procedure until step 14. I haven't tested step 15 as my understanding is that I will have to reinstall the whole AD again.

Is there any way I can recover my AD from there without having to reinstall the whole thing?

Update:

Yes, the server was powered off/on because reboot would take forever (not because I thought power cycling the unit would fix it more than a reboot).

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migrated from superuser.com Dec 20 '10 at 15:00

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Did you try turning it off and back on again? –  David Dec 20 '10 at 14:58

3 Answers 3

Start with running dcdiag on the domain controller and see if any helpful error messages show up.

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OK, the output you get from ntdsutil at step 9 is perfectly normal, as you've only connected to the domain at that point and haven't selected the site or server you want to work with until subsequent steps.

I'm not sure that you could actually proceed with step 15 as you'd be removing the server that you're actually bound to via ntdsutil. Honestly I've never tried it, so I don't know for sure.

Trying to remove AD and decommision the DC seems like a drastic step to resolve what appears on the surface to be a DNs problem. My suggestion is to start by looking at the DNS server component and the DNS client component on the server and work your way out from there.

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Sorry to disagree but there is nothing wrong with the DNS here. The AD is its own DNS. From the AD I can ping the FQDN of the DC fine. The DNS server is still operating fine and providing DNS for internet users. The event viewer isn't reporting anything wrong with the DNS. The DNS can be started/stopped without any issues. For me the DnsGetPrimaryDomainName failure is simply a consequence of the global catalog's unavailability. Anyway the AD is being restored from backup now.

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