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Recovering Crashed Domain Controllers

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Patrice Clement

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Posted: 8 Jul 2002

The dilemma:
We have each dilemma of our NT 20 servers as a domain controller, without backups (because of whatever)...

We are implementing NAM (Novell Account Management) so we can control our domains with eDirectory. We were wondering (sweating bullets, actually) if one of the servers crash, can we recover the domain, the users, the groups created, and the associations with the info that is stored in eDirectory?

The right answer:
If one domain controller crashes, yes you can recover the domain information. Actually, it does not make a difference whether the domain is redirected into NDS with NAM21 or not. Indeed, the standard procedure to recover, in this case, is to promote a BDC (backup domain controller) to the PDC (primary domain controller)(in case the server that crashed was the PDC) and then to install a new BDC server into the Domain.

The only time where having the domain redirected into NDS allows you a better recovery option than when it is not redirected is when you only have the PDC (and no BDC). This is not recommended of course, but in that case, you can still recover your Domain since all the information is stored in eDirectory.

Here is a TID detailing this procedure:

For this procedure to work, you MUST have the Emergency Repair disk of your NT server (to recover the SID of the server). Without the Emergency Repair disk, there is no way to recover from a crashed PDC, even when it was redirected into NDS.

In any case, the recommendation is to have at least one or two BDCs next to your PDC.

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