I've just had a bad experience with SBS2008 backup which failed to backup and restore the Active Directory (the NTDIS.dit file wasn't restored). Given the importance of this file, I now regret not backing it up independently, using a file-based backup with multiple levels of redundancy.

Going forward, which files in SBS2008 are so vital that they should be backed up?

<edit>In case it wasn't clear from my question, the backup/restore which failed wasn't just a backup of Active Directory, but a full system backup using SBS2008's built in backup. I want to know which files I should back up in addition to a full system backup.</edit>


You should be doing full backups combined with incrementals, which include every file on the file system plus system state. You can't restore a Domain Controller just by putting ntds.dit back. It is backed up as part of a system state backup, though.

There is a very specific process for restoring objects in Active Directory.

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  • I'm sorry if my question wasn't clear. I did a full backup that was supposed to have backed up every file plus the system state. The point was that for some reason it failed to restore ntds.dit, and therefore blue screeens. Having been bitten once, I want to find a backup process whereby if the system state fails to restore correctly, I can at least have a bootable system. – Mark Barnes Feb 11 '13 at 12:22
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    If you had a full backup with system state and it failed then there's really not a whole lot to do. Any backup tool on the market is just going to grab the system state and shadows of the files on the file system. It sounds like you just ran into a corrupted backup. This is why larger organizations always test their backups from time to time and archive more than one backup. Corruption happens. Unfortunately in a small business it's not always possible to have the hardware to test restores on :( – MDMarra Feb 11 '13 at 13:04

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