Sunday, 27 April 2014

How to do a Authoritative restore in server 2008- Restore before deletions have Replicated

Understanding the concept

An authoritative restore is most commonly used when you want to revert the changes that is made within the directory. Consider the scenario you have deleted an organization unit or any of the objects by mistake and you want to get it back. This process restores the DC from the backup and then overwrites all other domain controllers in the network to match the restored DC (through replication). Even if the authoritatively restored replica set is older than the current replicas, the older data is replicated to all of its replication partners. The especially valuable thing about this is that you can choose to only make certain objects within the directory authoritative. For example, if you delete an OU by mistake you can choose to make it authoritative. This will replicate the deleted OU back to all other DC’s in the network and then use all other information from other DC’s to update to the newly restored server.

You can perform authoritative restore depending on your network status,
A) Restore Before Deletions Have Replicated
B) Restore After Deletions Have Replicated

If the deleted object and its status is replicated to another DC, you need to perform slightly different method. That is from the recent backup you need to perform non-authoritative restore and authorize the deleted object. For more information please follow the below link,  

In this article I will describe about restoring the object before replication has occurred across the domain. In this case you do not want to initiate the non- authoritative restore but need to turn off the inbound replication and make the deleted object as authoritative.
Let us consider the scenario that I have accidently delete one user, named as 'Livin' which is under the default container 'Users' and I want to restore this object to the domain. Note that my domain name is ''.

1.  Make sure that the replication has not occurred after the deletion is occurred. Use the command repadmin /showrepl in cmd to determine the date and time of the latest inbound replication of the domain directory partition where the deletions occurred(By default, intersite replication across each site link occurs every 180 minutes (3 hours). You can adjust this frequency to match your specific needs). After confirming that the replication is not occurred we need to stop the inbound replication. It can be achieved by the command line repadmin /options <ServerName> +DISABLE_INBOUND_REPL. Whereas <Servername> is the NetBIOS name of domain controller.

2. Reboot the server in Directory Services Restore Mode

You can reboot the server in Directory Services Restore Mode using three methods.

  1. If you can manually reboot the server, press F8 at the time of boot to get the advanced boot option and select directory service restore mode, press ENTER.

  1. Edit the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). In order to edit the BCD open command prompt and type bcdedit /set safeboot dsrepair and press ENTER. Now restart the server and wait for this to come up.

  1. Edit the boot option from System configuration. Type msconfig in run and press ENTER->Under the Boot tab tick the check box safe boot and select Active Directory repair->Appy->OK and on prompt to restart select restart.

You can select any one of the above option to reboot the server in directory service restore mode.(If the server is in remote location you can prefer to have ii or iii option). Remember that you will need to supply the DSRM password that you set when promoting the server to a DC. The username for DSRM is Administrator and you may have different DSRM password for different DC.
3. Once you are logged on, you need to mark the deleted object as authoritative. Perform the below steps to achieve it.
    Open command prompt, here the command line tool ntdsutil will help you to go further. Now type ntdsutil and press ENTER.
4.Now you are at ntdsutil prompt, type activate instance ntds and press ENTER.
5.At ntdsutil prompt type authoritative restore and press ENTER.

Generally we will use two commands here that are restore object and restore subtree. The restore object comes in use, when you want to restore an object that is deleted (User, computer etc)and restore subtree is when you want to restore an entire OU or a container.
The syntax will be restore object <distinguished name of the object>(Eg: restore object CN=deleted object name,CN=deleted objects OU,DC=your domain name,DC=your DC extension)                                                                                      
The syntax will be restore subtree<distinguished name of the object>(Eg: restore subtreeCN=deleted OU,DC=your domain name,DC=domainroot)

6.As discussed earlier I want to recover one of my deleted user 'Livin' under the OU 'users'.
So type restore object  CN=Livin,CN=Users,DC=serverlabs,CN=com and press ENTER.
7.Click YES on authoritative restore confirmation dialogue to start the process.

8.Once the process is completed you will have the success message and the windows will be as follows. The log files that indicates the restored object will be available in the current working directory specified in command prompt.

This operation increments the update sequence number (USN) of this object so that all other DCs consider it the most recent change.
9.If you were initiated the server to reboot into directory service restore mode(DSRM) as per the steps 1ii and 1iii the server will again boot into DSRM mode. In order to boot the server as normal, after initial reboot login with DSRM user name and password. You will have the below prompt now, press ENTER to close the window.

Now change the boot option of your server to normal.
If your option was as per the steps mentioned in 1ii.
Open a command prompt and type bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot and press ENTER. You will have a success message as below and you can reboot the server once again. Now it will boot the server in normal mode.

If your option was as per the steps mentioned in 1iii.
Type msconfig in run and press ENTER->Under the Boot tab tick the uncheck box safe boot ->Appy->OK and on prompt to restart select restart.

10. Once the server is rebooted in normal mode you can synchronize this DC with its replication partners. So open command prompt and type repadmin /syncall< DCName> /e /d /A /P /q and press ENTER, whereas <DCName>  is the name of the domain controller on which you want synchronize replication with all partners. Make sure that the synchronization is completed successfully(You can get mode help on

11. Now we need to run the LDIF file to recover back-links in this domain(This file is automatically generated after authorizing the deleted object, here we have done that on step 8. It will be available on the current working directory of command prompt). So in order to restore group membership, on command prompt type ldifde -i -k -f <file name> and press ENTER. Whereas <file name> is the LDIF file that is generated in your network(More help:

Note: Remember to locate your command prompt to the directory where your LDIF file is available and you must specify the LDIF with its extension(ldf).
12. As we have initially disabled the inbound we need to enable that. 
     On the command prompt type repadmin /options <ServerName> -DISABLE_INBOUND_REPL and press ENTER. Whereas <ServerName> is your current domain controller name.

So that’s it the operation of authoritative restore before deletion have replicated

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