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My old Windows 2000 domain controller was about to die so I set up a backup domain. It died but I was OK since I made the new domain picked up all the FSMO roles.

Now, the new DC hard drive all I have is the actual hard drive from the original domain controller.

What's the best way to get a new domain up and running again.

Right now, I'm building a Win2k server VM and I'm hoping that I can just do a back up from the old domain hard drive (attached via USB) and then do a restore in the VM.

Will that work? Is there a better way?

thank you.

additional comments: I had an old w2k domain from 2002, it was never able to migrate it up to 2003 so I set up a w2k backup DC and moved the FSMO roles to it. The old DC died and I was using the new one.

I tried to P2V (using VMWare) the old hard drive before but I get a BSOD. Trying to boot the old drive in a new machine...BSOD.

I believe the problem is that the old DC is a mess of hodge-podge hardware.

share|improve this question
When you say backup domain, do you mean backup domain controller? When you say about to die, do you mean hardware failure? It's unclear whether you mean there are two separate domains in play here or just the one, and how things broke. If it's just one domain and two domain controllers, and the first one died of hardware failure, it's very likely you should be able to P2V the hard disk of the old server so you won't have to restore it as a backup, it will run exactly as it did. It sounds like you seriously need to invest in your infrastructure. Clarify my points and I will try to help. – Alex Berry Aug 30 '12 at 16:56
yes. I had an old w2k domain from 2002, it was never able to migrate it up to 2003 so I set up a w2k backup DC and moved the FSMO roles to it. The old DC died and I was using the new one. – Iunknown Aug 30 '12 at 17:00
I tried to P2V the old hard drive before but I get a BSOD. Trying to boot the old drive in a new machine...BSOD. BTW...thank you Alex for trying to help me. – Iunknown Aug 30 '12 at 17:04
What virtualisation software are you running? If you are using esxi I know for a fact it is quite easy to do, if not it's possible but may be more complicated. – Alex Berry Aug 30 '12 at 17:04
The BSOD is most likely down to the virtual storage driver you have chosen, please post the exact spec of the old machine if possible. Also, try to update your question with all of your comments here, it will make it easier for others to help you. – Alex Berry Aug 30 '12 at 17:06
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Build a new domain, start it on a recent version of Windows Server this time, and always have at least two running Domain Controllers this time, too. And make sure one of them is on a physical machine, as having all your Domain controllers virtualized causes more problems than it solves.

In the time it'll take you to try to restore that old 2000 domain onto a fresh Windows 2000 install (eewww) and get it working like it used to, you could build a new one that works better from the start and have "created new AD forest and domain" on your resume. Might want to leave out how you to the state of having to do that, but most admins don't get to stand up a new production forest, and as such, it's valuable experience.

So it might work, but I probably wouldn't waste too much of my time trying to make it work. At best, it would be a temporary thing: "use this for a few days while I create the new domain."

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Although I'm willing to try and help you get the old domain up and running, I happen to agree with @HopelessN00b, unless you really have no budget to upgrade I would steer clear of 2000. – Alex Berry Aug 30 '12 at 17:16
I would also suggest ensuring you have, at the very least, RAID 1 implemented from now on. Having no redundancy ends up in situations like this. – Alex Berry Aug 30 '12 at 17:25
Right, right. And just to be clear, @Iunknown I'm not unwilling to help you if you have to go with a Windows 2000 restore either... but your question seems to already be ballooning into multiple issues, for each of which you should hunt for an answer for (and failing that, ask a question for) separately, as you run into each one. Might I recommend starting with a search on, or question for, getting your virtualization platform and Windows 2000 to play nicely with each other? – HopelessN00b Aug 30 '12 at 17:27
AlexBerry,HopelessN00b Redundant hardware, and additional domain controllers are nice, but not as important as a good backup. Without a backup, one wrong mistake could trash everything on all computers/drives since everything replicates. You should have NTBackup/Windows Backup running and capturing the system state to some external storage automatically, and frequently. IMO setting up a reliable backup system is the first priority above anything else. – Zoredache Aug 30 '12 at 17:59
@Zoredache Well yeah, but before backing up the system, he needs to set up the system in the first place... to have anything to back up. :) And since we're on the setting it up part of the query, the first priority is getting set up properly. Once it's setup, then the first priority becomes backing it up. – HopelessN00b Aug 30 '12 at 18:13

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