Stuck in logon loop after restoring AD PDC

Microsoft Windows 2003 server - 5 users
December 17, 2010 at 08:45:21
Specs: Windows Server 2003, 2.60GHz / 512MB
Windows 2003 Server Standard SP2 with Active Directory, DNS and WINS installed.

I am trying to perform an Active Directory disaster recovery fire-drill. That is to say: trying to restore our primary Active Directory to a dissimilar hardware platform using solely Windows installation disks and an Ntbackup of the original server's system state.

I have installed a fresh install of Windows.
Patched it to a similar state as the original.
Disconnected it from the original network.
Renamed the server with the same name and IP details as the original.
Booted to Active Directory restore mode and restored the system state from an Ntbackup of the original installation.

Now I have a problem with being in a logon loop. It asks me to activate Windows before I can log on, yet when I select yes or no, it sends me directly back to the logon screen.

I have performed an inline repair but still get the activation request.

Could anyone suggest any practical remedies? Or advisories regards trying to perform this activity?

Many thanks in advance.

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December 17, 2010 at 15:26:43
"a dissimilar hardware platform "

I would suspect, since this is not the way its done, you have encounted a disconnect between the software bindings and the new hardware.

Microsoft recommends two DCs as a minimum for a reason.

Both authoritive and nonauthoritive AD restores always go back on the same system it was backed up from.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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December 17, 2010 at 15:35:53
Hi Wanderer

Thank you for replying.

I do have two production DCs, I am experimenting with a test network to see what options are available for Disaster Recovery. So while this might be an unsupported method, I simply experimenting at this stage.

This task is: can I build the old Domain from backups and different hardware.

In NT4 Domain days this procedure was a peice of cake. It is dissapointing that Microsoft have seemingly contrived to make life difficult for admins in small networks around the world.


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