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Use Ldifde.exe and Csvde.exe data export tools to create Active Directory objects

A reader explains how to use the Ldifde.exe and Csvde.exe data export tools to create Active Directory objects.

Ldifde.exe and Csvde.exe are two data export tools for creating Active Directory objects, through the use of clean formatted data presented in LDIF or CSV format. They can export data based on its location in the directory, OU membership and object class, such as user, group or computer.

These tools can also specify which attributes to export. Although the tools are fairly limited as far as specifying certain attributes, they facilitate Active Directory management because once the script is ready, an admin can save time by using it to import or export multiple users at a time.

To create an export file of every object in the user's container of test.com, with Ldifde.exe, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to a workstation or server in the test.com domain (or if you're an admin of Microsoft, it would be microsoft.com) with an account that has Domain Admin rights.

  2. Choose Start, then Run.

  3. Type cmd.exe. Click OK to open a command prompt.

  4. Type "ldifde -f UserContainer.txt â "d "cn=users,dc=test,dc=com" and press Enter to execute it. This command creates a file containing all the attributes and values of the user container and all the objects within it.

  5. To open the output file to see what the LDIF format looks like in the command-prompt window, type the filename to open it in Notepad.

You can also use these tools to perform directory imports if necessary. However, you cannot set the initial password using these tools.

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