We have 2 domain controllers, the primary DC is down and It cannot login to windows due to an error:

“Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: Directory Service cannot start. Error Status: 0x0c00002e1. Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.”

I want to restore the Primary DC and these are my options:

  1. Restore the Primary DC from an OLD system state backup (from May) then synchronize/update from the Secondary Dc to the Primary DC, Is this possible?

  2. Restore the Active directory from an Acronis Backup File (2-3 weeks ago). Note: The Acronis software is a trial version and it’s already expired. I still have the backup file and the recovery disk. My intention is to copy/paste the Active Directory Database from the backup to the damaged Primary DC. Will this work?

  3. Reinstall Windows and make it as a DC. Note: This server is x86, I want to make it x64. I don’t know if this will work because the Secondary DC still have the Primary DC’s objects in the Active Directory. Do I have to remove the Primary DC from the Secondary DC’ AD database?

What’s would be the best option in this situation?

Thank you,


I suggest you remove a failed DC, clear it´s attributes from AD with ntdsutil, install new 2003 Server, promove it to DC and seize AD roles to new server.

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