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We are running an old training system based on Windows Server 2003 and XP-clients. The solution is rather simple with four servers, two of them beeing DC:s. Everything is preconfigured and that goes for backup scheme as well. The backup software is Symantec BackupExec 2010. The scheme is a standard GF-F-S routine with full backups running once a week on Sundays. The other six days run differential backups.

Now let's say in a worst case scenario, a server crashes on Saturday and we have to restore it from backup. The last backup will then be six days old and thus it will come online with six days old configurations. Will this pose a problem for the other servers or will the recovered server "get in line" eventually?

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From my experience, the following should happen:

Restoring Clients: it doesn't matter if they have "old" configuration, as long as their information in the domain are accurate, by information I mean their GUID and hostname, make sure that those are the same and everything else will be fine.

Restoring Servers: it depends on what you're restoring, let me break it down for you:

  • Restoring the server OS (None DC): you will treat this as if you're restoring a normal client with the exception of Domain Controllers, as long as the OS you're restoring has the same GUID and name in the domain, you should be fine.
  • Restoring the server OS for a DC: you will have to restore the OS first, and then sync the Active Directory information to the latest state, to do that you will have two options, Authoritative Restore and None Authoritative Restore, in general you will need to use the None Authoritative Restore when restoring a DC server in order for the Active Directory data to be synced from other servers to the server you're restoring, once the

That sums it up to answer your question, I would recommend you to do a further reading on the types of DC restore from here.

A couple of things that you might need to look at after the restore are IP addresses and drivers if you're restoring to different hardware, but those shouldn't be an issue.

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That's not quite it.

You're performing Full backups once a week and Differential backups the rest of the week. If the system fails on Saturday you would restore the last Full backup and the last Differential backup and the system will be current up to the last Differential backup that you restore.

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