Disk integrity is probably the single greatest cause of server failure. Files can become corrupted, disk sectors can go bad, or any number of things can cause disk integrity problems. By regularly running Scandisk, you can identify and usually repair file corruptions. Similarly, Scandisk can detect bad sectors on the physical disk and mark them as unusable. This reduces the chances of system failures due to corrupted drivers or system files. Scandisk has improved significantly over the years and is now several times faster than it was in the Windows NT 4.0 days.
To run the integrity check on the database, simply boot the server into directory services restore mode and run the NTDSUTIL command from a command prompt. Type files and then type integrity. After the completion of the test, simply type quit. This will alert you to any corruption in the Active Directory database. Interesting to note is that this function actually calls a separate program called esentutl.exe. It is not recommended that the esentutl.exe application be run on its own. Instead let the integrity check called within NTDSUTIL do it for you.
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