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How to Boot a Windows Server Domain Controller into Directory Services Restore/Repair Mode



Article Summary: This article provides information on booting a Windows Server domain controller into Directory Services Restore/Repair Mode locally or remotely.


Directory Services Repair Mode (DSRM, known as Directory Services Restore Mode in versions prior to Windows Server 2012) is an operating mode of a Windows Server domain controller (DC) that roughly corresponds to Safe Mode with Networking, but without Active Directory (AD) running. DSRM is useful in situations in which a problem with the AD database prevents a DC from booting into normal mode. It is also used when restoring AD from a backup.

To boot a pre-Windows Server 2012 DC into DSRM locally:

  1. Reboot the DC if it is running.
  2. Press F8 immediately after the POST process completes to bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  3. Select Directory Services Restore Mode from the menu. The DC will boot into DSRM.

To boot a pre-Windows Server 2012 DC into DSRM remotely:
Note: The DC must be running and accessible via Remote Desktop.

  1. Establish a Remote Desktop session on the DC.
  2. Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2: Open an elevated command prompt and type bcdedit /set safeboot dsrepair.
    Pre-Windows Server 2008: Run the msconfig utility and select /SAFEBOOT and DSREPAIR in the BOOT.INI tab. Click OK.
  3. Reboot the DC. The Remote Desktop session will disconnect.
  4. Wait a few minutes, then establish a new Remote Desktop session. The DC will be running in DSRM.
  5. When you wish to reboot into normal mode, perform the following:
    Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2: Type bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot at an elevated command prompt and reboot the DC.
    Pre-Windows Server 2008: Run msconfig and uncheck the /SAFEBOOT checkbox in the BOOT.INI tab. Click OK and reboot the DC.

To boot a Windows Server 2012 DC into DSRM locally:

  1. Use one of the methods in this article to boot to the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  2. Select Directory Services Repair Mode from the menu. The DC will boot into DSRM.

To boot a Windows Server 2012 DC into DSRM remotely:
Note: The DC must be running and accessible via Remote Desktop.

  1. Establish a Remote Desktop session on the DC.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt and type bcdedit /set safeboot dsrepair.
  3. Reboot the DC. The Remote Desktop session will disconnect.
  4. Wait a few minutes, then establish a new Remote Desktop session. The DC will be running in DSRM.
  5. To reboot into normal mode, type bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot at an elevated command prompt and reboot the DC.



Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Artikel-ID: SLN155833

Senast ändrad: 09/03/2014 11:40 AM


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