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Testing restore of domain controller using SDR

Created: 02 Feb 2013 • Updated: 03 Feb 2013 | 4 comments
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I am testing the restore of a domain controller (SBS 2011) using backup exec 2012. I am using SDR to recover to different hardware. In my case the actual server is a physical dell server and I am trying to restore to a ESXi virtual machine.

The restore works fine and all my files and services get restored. However, active directory only works for about an hour or so. After that it crashes and returns the error:

Naming information cannot be located because: The specified domain controller does not exist or could not be contacted.

I have 2 domain controllers in my enviroment. The main SBS 2011 one and a backup 2003 standard one. I tried the restore of both and both have the same problem.

Help would be appreciated as to why this is occuring.

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pkh's picture

The AD probably crashes because the restored DC cannot find the other DC in the domain to replicate to.  If you don't want the crash to happen then you need to restore both DC's in a test environment and make sure that they can communicate with each other.

Pawelk's picture

Both DCs are on the same subnet and both can ping each other using the IP or the hostname. If I try to connect to the server using windows explorer with the host name such as \\servername that fails. Is that part of the problem? Why would that be happening?

Just to clarify my steps. In command prompt I do this:

ping domaincontroller2

It resolves fine.

But if I type the following in windows explorer:


I get an error that \\domaincontroller2 is unavailable.

Pawelk's picture

Please ignore the above message, this appears to be a DNS issue. It is too late to try and clearly explain my problems, but I think I figured it out.  I will update my issues tomorrow. Thanks,

Pawelk's picture

Thank you for all your help, I think that was the problem as all seems to be working now. Couple of things I ran into that might be helpful for others in the future:

The time does not get restored to the current time, it appears that the time is set to when the backup was last taken. So if you have 2 domain controllers (or even 1) both need to have the time set correctly.

SDR in some cases seems to change the IP configuration of the network adapter. In my case I had a DHCP server on my lab network and it pulled the IP from there instead of setting itself back to the IP settings that it needed to.

Once the time and IP issues are fixed you need to wait some time for replication to occur or if you can get to the active directory sites commandlet on one of the domain controllers you can force a replication (which will still take some time).

Other than that things seem to be working extremely well I am very confident that our backups are working as expected in the event that something were to happen and we couldn't procure the same hardware. Infact I think I will use this procedure to migrate both physical servers to virtual ones in the near future.