Article Summary: This article provides information on restoring a Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 domain controller from a backup.
This article assumes that the backup was created using the built-in Windows Server Backup utility. The procedure for recovering a DC using other backup software may differ from the procedure given here. Consult the documentation for the backup software for specific instructions.
If an Active Directory domain controller (DC) running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 is unable to boot into normal mode or Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM), it may be necessary to restore the DC from a backup. The procedure for doing so has been improved since Windows Server 2003; for example, a full restore can now be performed within the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), so it is no longer necessary to install the operating system beforehand.
Note: If the only available backup contains the system state and no other data, it is still possible to restore the DC by installing the operating system, adding the Windows Server Backup feature, and restoring the system state. This article focuses on performing a full recovery of a nonfunctional domain controller, however.
To restore a DC running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 from a backup, perform the following steps:
- Boot the server with the OS media in the DVD drive and press any key when prompted.
- Choose the appropriate language options, time and currency format, and keyboard layout, and click Next.
- Click Repair your computer.
- Select Restore your computer using a system image you created earlier and click Next.
- Locate the backup image you wish to restore and click Next.
The most recent image is selected by default, but you may choose an older one if you wish.
If necessary, click the Advanced button to install a driver or search for an image on the network.
- If you wish to recreate the disk partition scheme and reformat disks that Windows can access, select the Format and repartition disks checkbox.
If you wish to prevent certain disks from being reformatted, select the Exclude Disks option and select the disks that you don't wish to reformat. Click OK.
- Click Next, review the summary, and then click Finish.
- Confirm that you wish to start the restore by clicking Yes.
The restore will begin. Depending on the amount of data being restored, it may take considerable time to complete.
After the server boots, it is a good idea to check its event logs to make sure everything is functioning properly. Note, however, that some errors can be ignored if they only happen during or shortly after the boot process.