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If I back up a system state and restore it in Directory Services Restore mode, will it boot?

My Windows 2000 server with AD has 60GB HDU (2GB c: and rest d:). A RAID system has been introduced to replace the IDE HDU. (Level 5 3x36gb giving approx 70gb). Partitions (2gb and rest d:) are set up and data (d:) have all been moved, 2000 reinstalled and everything works fine.

Q: If I back up a system state and restore it in Directory Services Restore mode, will it boot okay? I basically want just Active Directory backed up and restored--can I just copy the NTDS folder?

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If you want to backup the Active Directory, you should back up the SYSTEM STATE. Here is how:

Click Start | Programs | Accessories | Backup
Click the Backup Tab
Check the next to System State under My Computer
Make the Backup Destination a FILE
Browse to a location (preferably NOT on the C-drive) and give the file a name.
Click on Backup

You can also schedule this to occur regularly. I typically advise folks to backup the System State on machines to a file just prior to doing tape backups. The tape backup will then back up the System State backup file that can then be restored. Generally this gives you more restore options and allows you to restore quicker. The restore from the file can occur on a domain controller only when it is in Directory Restore Mode. You enter this mode when you hit F8 during the boot process.

This was first published in January 2004

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