Archive: March, 2010

GPO backup

No comments March 16th, 2010

When you take a System state backup of a DC it includes a backup of your SYSVOL with all your GPO’s. If a GPO get corrupted or is accidentally deleted you have to restore the System state to get the policy back. This operation is time consuming.

With the Group Policy Management Consol (GPMC) you can take backups of your GPO’s directly from the consol (and even restore them) which is less time consuming then a System state restore.

Even better are the scripts that follow with the GPMC. With them you can i.e. schedule a regular backup of all GPO’s.

I made a script that dumps the GPO’s to a file share, using some the scripts that followed with the installation of the GPMC.

Download the GPMC here for Win2003.


‘ Backup all GPO’s in the domain
‘ author: Rune Sørensen
‘ 14.04.2009 , v.1.0

‘ Save the script as a vbs file and run it once or create a scheduled task
‘ runnning the script.
‘ \\server\share should reflect your servername and sharename

Dim fso, strPath, objShell

‘ Filepath to the share
strPath = “\\server\share\GPO_Backup\*”

Set fso = CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”)
Set objShell = CreateObject(“Wscript.Shell”)

‘ Delete the last taken backup

strExecuteBackup = “cmd /c ” & “cd %programfiles%\gpmc\scripts\ && cscript BackupAllGPOs.wsf \\server\share\GPO_Backup”‘

strQueryBackups = “cmd /c ” & “cd %programfiles%\gpmc\scripts\ && cscript QueryBackupLocation.wsf \\server\share\GPO_Backup > \\server\share\GPO_Backup\BackupLocations.txt”

strCreateReport = “cmd /c ” & “cd %programfiles%\gpmc\scripts\ && cscript GetReportsForAllGPOs.wsf \\server\share\GPO_Backup”

objShell.Run strExecuteBackup
WScript.Sleep (120000)

objShell.Run strQueryBackups
WScript.Sleep (60000)

objShell.Run strCreateReport
Set objShell = nothing
Set fso = nothing

””””””””””””””””””””” EOF ”””””””””””’

Restore an OU

No comments March 11th, 2010

Assuming you have a 2003 DC SP1< and a good System state backup. Not older than your domains tombstone lifetime.

Start the DC in DSRM (F8 at boot)


Start NTBackup

Restore Wizard > Next

Choose the System state backup file > Next > Advanced

Restore files to “Original Location”

Leave exsisting files > Next


If you have only one DC in your domain. Tick the last checkbox (fig.2). If you have more than one, don’t tick it.

Press “Finish”

Do not restart the DC at this moment.

Mark the object as authoritative (meaning the object(s) will get replicated to other DC’s because it’s authoritative)

Open cmd >ntdsutil

> authoritative restore

> restore subtree destinguishedName

ie. An OU accidentally got deleted called “Reserves” holding all the Tottenhams reserves user objects. (What the heck. They aren’t good enough for the first team, but maybe someday they will so let’s get them back).


> quit

Restart the DC in normal mode (SP1 or newer). The AD Replication will do the job to get the OU and the user objects replicated to the other DC’s in the domain.

If you have a Windows 2003 SP1 or newer DC, the ntdsutil will create two files if the restored user object have any back-links to group membership. If they do you have to restore the back-link aswell. But wait until all DC’s have got the users replicated.

Syntax: ldifde -i -f <ar*.ldf>

ie: ldifde -i -f ar_20100129-081113_links_spurs.local.ldf

If you have a Win2008 R2 domain and restore a user from the Recycle Bin you don’t have to worry about the back-links. The process will do it for you.

Domain rename

13 comments March 8th, 2010

Domain renaming is not a daily task but a task you do if the management forces you to do it! (ie. because of a company restructure, take over etc )

There are many resources on the Internet sharing a “walk through” about this job, but I made my own documentation some years ago when I was told to rename the domain. So I just go with the flow and publish it.

To do this task your domain/forest functional level has to be at least 2003 and all DC’s need at least SP1.

Exchange 2003 SP2. This is the only version that supports a domain rename. Exchange 5.5, 2000 and 2007 is not supported and Exchange can’t be installed on a DC.

Before you proceed you do have to read the official documentation and requirements from Microsoft:

– Download the domain rename tools

– Understanding How Domain Rename Works

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Domain Rename

The environment consisted of:

One forest (2003 Functional level) with three domains (2003 FL, transitive trust and a parent-child trust), six DC’s (Win2003 SP1) and four Exchange servers (Win2003 SP1 with Exchange SP1).

The objective was to rename one of the three domains. (The domain without a child).

Before we started banging on the production environment, we made a test environment to test the rename and its impact on all third-part applications like Citrix, MSSQL based applications, HP Data Protector. After a month of testing and three successful renaming, we moved over to the production environment.


To increase your chance of a successful renaming your domain have to be in a good shape.

· Your event logs should be clean on all DC’s and Exchange servers
· “dcdiag /v /e /c” should be clean
· “netdiag /debug /v” should be clean

You need to have a domain member to act as the Control station (CS). Should be at least a Win2003 SP1 server. Log on to the control station with an enterprise admin (I guess you don’t bother the “run as” in this situation) and download the domain rename tools to this server (domainrename.exe and xdr-fixup.exe).

Install by running the domainrename.exe. It will install rendom.exe and gpfixup.exe to “C:\Program files\Microsoft Domain Rename Tools”

Copy both these files to “C:\Rename”

Now it’s time to take some System State backups of your domain controllers and keep them in a safe place.

In this documentation I will use theses domain names:

Old domain name:
New domain name: spurs.local

Create a new DNS zone:

· Open the DNS management consoll (dnsmgmt.msc)
· Right click “Forward Lookup Zones” > “Add new forward lookup zone”
· Call it “spurs.local” (without quotes)
· If you have a trusting domain, create the same zone as a secondary zone in the trusting domain

DNS suffix:

When you rename the domain the DNS suffix in the domain will change. Two conditions must be checked:

· The computers DNS suffix should be configured to change when the domain membership changes (default)
· No Group Policy must configured to set the primary DNS suffix to computers.

Do the renaming procedure:

Open cmd and change the directory to “C:\Rename”.

1. rendom /list

· This will create a list of the directory partitions in the forest
· Copy the “domainlist.xml” file to “domainlist-save.xml”
· Open “domainlist.xml” in Notepad and change it to the new forest description

2. rendom /showforest

· Verify that it reflect the new domain name

3. rendom /upload

· Generates the domain rename instructions
· Pushes the rename instruction to all DC’s
· Force a replication. “repadmin /syncall /APed”

4. rendom /prepare

· Verify that all DC’s are ready
· You should get an answer from all DC’s and they should NOT return an error. If they do, open “dclist.xml” (that was created in step 3). The DC’s that have reported errors will not be tagged with <state>prepared</state>. You have to troubleshoot any errors. DO NOT set the state to “prepared” manually in this file for any DCs!

You should fix any errors and re-run “rendom /prepare” until all DCs are in the “prepared” state.

5. rendom /execute

· If everything goes as planned you should get an answer from all DCs. The DCs will reboot automatically. When the DCs are back online the domain name is changed, but not the DNS suffix on the DCs itself. This has to be done manually on each DC in the renamed domain:

Add the new DNS suffix:

· netdom computername /add:dc01.spurs.local

Change the primary DNS suffix:

· netdom computername /makeprimary dc01.spurs.local

Reboot the server.

Remove the old DNS suffix:

· netdom computername dc01.spurs.local /

Reboot the CS twice!

5.1. Exchange

(still working from the CS):

Before you proceed to the Exchange specific tasks, you got to be sure you are not going back with a domain restore.

· xdr-fixup /s:domainlist-save.xml /e:domainlist.xml /trace:TRACEFILE /changes:CHANGESCRIPT.ldf

This will create two files. changescript.ldf and restorescript.ldf. You run this command only one time (not one time per Exchange server).

· ldifde -i -f changescript.ldf

(to revert, run “ldifde -i -f restorescript.ldf”)

· Restart all Exchange servers twice

6. rendom /end

· this will unfreeze the forest

Side steps:

Reestablish external trusts and validate:

· “nltest /” (from a DC in the renamed domain)

· “nltest /sc-query:spurs.local” (from the trusting domain)
Fix DFS topology (if you use DFS)

Fix GPO links:

gpfixup / /newdns:spurs.local /oldnb:tottenham /newnb:spurs /dc:dc01.spurs.local /user:administrator /pwd:password 2>1 > gpfixup.log

Look for errors in the created log.

Take a new System state of the DC’s.

Restart all other servers twice.

Verify the Exchange rename:

· xdrfixup /verify:restorescript.ldf /changes:verifycorrections.ldf

this should give you:

Verified that the server was renamed to exch01.spurs.local. Verify pass has completed.(it should list all Exchange servers involved in this output)

Verify/update the Recipient Update Services (RUS) which DC it should use.

If applicable, update the Active Directory Connector (ADC)

Reboot every computer in the domain twice. When it’s done. Do the last step **:

7. rendom /clean

Side steps:

· Authorize the DHCP server
· Delete the old Forward Lookup Zone from DNS
· dcdiag /v /e /c
· netdiag /debug /v
· Check Event logs

** If you have many domain member laptops out of the house during the rename, you can wait with step 7 until they have logged on the domain and rebooted twice. I think I waited a week before I ran step 7.

If you run step 7 and there are members that have not been booted twice you have to rejoin them to the domain. I made a script to keep track of computers that have not been updated with the new domain name.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Save me as a vbs file '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

On Error Resume Next


Set objFSO = CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”)

””” Create a text file with all computers holding the old domain name

Set objResultsFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile(“C:\temp\tottenham.txt”, True)  Set objConnection = CreateObject(“ADODB.Connection”) Set objCommand = CreateObject(“ADODB.Command”) 

objConnection.Provider = “ADsDSOObject” objConnection.Open “Active Directory Provider” 

Set objCommand.ActiveConnection = objConnection objCommand.Properties(“Page Size”) = 1000 objCommand.Properties(“Searchscope”) = ADS_SCOPE_SUBTREE  

””’ Modify the query so that it responds to your domain 

objCommand.CommandText = _ “SELECT dnsHostName, distinguishedName FROM ‘LDAP://dc=spurs,dc=local'” & _ “WHERE objectCategory=’computer’ AND dnsHostName=’*'”

Set objRecordSet = objCommand.Execute

Do Until objRecordSet.EOF 

objResultsFile.Write objRecordSet.Fields(“dnsHostName”).Value & ” –> OU: ” objResultsFile.Write objRecordSet.Fields(“distinguishedName”).Value objResultsFile.Writeline objRecordSet.MoveNext Loop

Wscript.Echo objRecordSet.RecordCount objResultsFile.Close

'''''' EOF ''