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What I'm trying to accomplish might be the best way to start this.

I have to do a DR test. I'm given 2 days to rebuild AD, Fileserver and SQL from scratch from Dell/IBM hardware to HP Server DL380 Server.

What I started out doing was building a windows 2003 Server with SP2 and trying to do a system state restore over it using different hardware. This Fails. I tried putting server 2003 and AD named the same but it still fails because of the hardware.

I've tried to use a tool named ADix to export the AD database and restore it again. I'm yet to get this to work.

I need a 3rd option. If I build a 2003 server as a test box and join it to our domain and do a DCpromo on it and then take it to the DR site How do I make it the PDC. How do I restore the RID,PDC and Infrastructure databases?

If someone has an Article with a step by step guide how to do this can you please send me the link.

Other than these options I'm open to suggestions.

But I have limited hardware so virtual envoirnments arent going to work as far as I can see.



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Do you have a budget for this? Are you allowed to use 3rd party tools? – DanBig Jan 29 '10 at 21:14

This is one of the worst thing in Active Directory, yet it's sad but true: AD backups are made exclusively through a system state backup on a domain controller, and a system state backup can only be restored on identical hardware.

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Thanks for that any idea's of a solution to my predicament? – David Gargan Oct 12 '09 at 13:00
I'd be quite happy to find one... – Massimo Oct 12 '09 at 13:24
If anybody from Microsoft is on here and reads this: GIVE US A BETTER "RESTORING SERVERS TO DIFFERENT HARDWARE STORY". The current "state of the art" sucks. – Evan Anderson Oct 13 '09 at 15:07

I assume that since you are able to restore system state, that you have all of the backups available to you for this disaster recovery.

Have you considered setting up a backup Domain Controller as a virtual machine, and backing up this virtual machine along with your regular backup set? That way when you need to do disaster recovery, you can temporarily promote the virtual machine to FSMO until you're able to get a physical machine set up to re-take over the FSMO role.

I am facing almost exactly the same scenario as you, so I would be curious to hear how you end up solving it.

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