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domain controller restore failing

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I'm using Retrospect 6.5 Multi-Server for Windows. About a week ago we noticed our only server, which was the only domain controller for our domain(just a single department) and served up file shares was causing clients to hang when trying to access the shares. After about a day and a half of troubleshooting various things I decided the problem might lie within Active Directory and to try restoring to a point from the previous week when things appeared to be working correctly. The reason of suspecting AD was that the only error messages in the Event Viewer had to do with accessing Group Policy objects. Nothing had changed on the server since the prior week except for nightly Virus Scan updates and I had upgraded our Ghost console software. Before performing the restore from tape I quickly promoted an old server I had just managed to get upgraded to Win2k3 to a domain controller so that logins could be handled.


To be sure that everything was gone prior to the restore I reinstalled Windows Server 2003, selecting to delete the C partition where the OS was installed and reformat it using NTFS. Everything went fine with the reinstallation of Windows and the restore from DLT tape. However, when I rebooted Active Directory services failed. At first I did not realize I was supposed to let the server boot in to Active Directory Services Restore mode to allow the Retrospect helper to finish it's job. When I found documentation to that effect I attempted the restore several more times each failing but using 2 different backup sets. In each of these restores I did allow the server to first enter AD restore mode and the Retrospect Helper service did run and check off items as it restored them. On reboot this time I still received an error message about the SAM having a problem and running ntdsutil commands to check the db integrity within restore mode indicated that the AD db was corrupt.


At this point I have just gone ahead and reinstalled Windows 2003 Server on this machine and I'm looking at moving forward from here. However, I still have looming questions about why this failed and what I need to look for as far as checking that Retrospect is backing up the Windows System state. When I checked the storage set properties of the backup sets I used they both indicated that NTDS as well as other items with respect to the system statate were being backed up. If I tried to navigate the contents of the storage set and look for ntds.dit in the c:\Windows\NTDS folder I did not see that file among the list of files backed up. Should I have? I assumed I could not see it because it was part of the "system state". During all of these backups AD appeared to be fine. Can AD actually get corrupted but still be running ok on the server?


Any information anyone can give me is appreciated. I'm trying to find a time to attempt another restore and then to call Dantz support to troubleshoot the failed system. However, I'm having a rough time finding a time when I can take away user's access to shares on the server so I'm not sure I'll be able to make it happen.




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