Moving Active Directory from Server to Server

To move an Active Directory database, you use the ntdsutil.exe command-line tool in Directory Services Restore mode. In the event that you experience a corruption of a drive or a drive failure, you would need to move Ntds.dit or the log files to another drive.

To move the Active Directory database to a different file system on the same server or to a different server, follow these steps:

1. First and foremost, back up the Active Directory database. Windows Server 2003 Backup will handle this for you if you choose to back up the entire system. If you don't want to back up the entire machine, at least back up the System State, which includes all the Active Directory database information.

2. Restart the domain controller and then press and hold F8 until the Windows Server 2003 Advanced Options menu appears.

3. Choose Directory Services Restore Mode as you did earlier when you defragmented the Active Directory database.

4. Log on via the Administrator account by using the password defined for the Local Administrator account in the offline SAM.

5. From the Start menu, choose Programs O Accessories O Command Prompt.

6. At the command prompt, type ntdsutil.exe and press Enter.

7. Type the word files and press Enter.

8. Type info to display the path and size information of Active Directory and the log files. Write this path information down because you will need it later.

9. Find a location that has enough drive space to hold the Active Directory database and the log files.

10. Type move DB to <drive>:\<directory> and press Enter (<drive> and <directory> represent the location of the database and log files you wrote down earlier). The Ntds.dit database file is moved to the location you specified.

11. Type quit and press Enter. To return to the command prompt, type quit again and press Enter.

After you have completed these steps, you can restart the computer as you normally would.

Note You can also move log files from one location to another by using the move 1 ogs to com mand, which moves the files and updates the registry entries to point to the new location of the log files.

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