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I have to repair a Windows domain controller, what can't boot. Secondary domain controller doesn't exists. Is there a way to install a new domain controller and bring the AD from the old offline DC with hard drive access ?

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2 Answers 2

You need a valid system state backup of the domain controller in order to recover it. Quite how you get that could be any number of ways, including booting into safe mode, or bringing the server online using the original disks in replacement (but very similar) hardware. Or safe mode.

Without a valid system state backup in your hand I believe you either have to recover the original server somehow, or start again from scratch and re-add all your machines to the new domain.

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There's no backup from that server. Unfortunately the IT group doesn't work well there. Maybe the boot of the machine would be possible, but it seems not. I tought I copy the sysvol share contents or something, we'll see. –  Glendyr Apr 8 '11 at 12:38
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Unfortunately with no system state to restore from and no other domain controllers in the forest, your only option is to create a new domain and join your computers to it. It should be a completely different DNS name to the previous domain. The very worst thing you could do at this point is create a brand new domain with the same name as your previous domain. –  Chris Thorpe Apr 8 '11 at 12:42

Winternals used to have a product called "Remote Recover" that, I believe, would allow you to recover this information. However, since Microsoft bought them, that product has not been available. Maybe there's something in the Sysinternals subsite, or elsewhere on Microsoft's site, that would allow similar access?

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