Server 2003 DC AD User synchronisation

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by delta925, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    The background is I am not an IT expert but responsible for our small ( 20 users ) internal non-internet connected network

    The network has one domain and the server / domain controller is running Server 2003 and the workstations are all running XP Pro. We have a spare identical server. This is not left running rather the idea in the case of hardware or software failure, virus attack etc it can be switched on so users can log in then depending on the problem either the data drives can be transferred to the second server or it can be loaded from our off-line backup drives.

    I do realise unlike NT with 2003 there is not a formal Domain Controller / Backup Domain Controller arrangement. I can't recall exactly how as I would have been following instructions from a website but when I set up up the backup computer the user list was copied from the main system.

    The immediate issue is we have had a few changes of staff so new domain users have been added. I realised today the backup server would not have these details so switched it on expecting to find an obvious function to update the changes in the user list users from the primary domain controller.

    Perhaps I am putting the wrong words into Google but I have not found the required information.

    Hence instructions to update the backup server to match the primary server will be appreciated.
     
  2. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Thanks for replying.

    Yes using DCPROMO to make the backup system a DC sounds like the method I used.

    Both systems are Server 2003 (not R2) and 99% both have SP1 and maybe SP2 as well.
    I know more than 60 days since backup server was last on but from the names on the user list not 180 days since I promoted it to a DC.

    I only had the backup on for maybe 20 minutes today. I'll leave it longer next week and see if it updates automatically.

    The Domain was originally created in Server NT long before I joined the company.
    To move to 2003 I cloned the program drive of the NT server as insurance then upgraded it to 2003 using the 60 day trial version. I then used DCPromo to transfer the settings to the new server.

    If the backup does not automatically update is demoting it from being a DC then promoting it again reasonable option or does that create problems? Maybe I have my rose coloured glasses on but I recall running DCPROMO was straightforward.
     
  3. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Thanks for replying again.

    Thinking back since now nearly the end of September it could be over 180 days since the backup system was run.

    Anyway on the main server having found to get ADSIEdit.msc I needed to install the tools I checked the installation and I had updated to SP2 so downloaded and installed the appropriate pack.

    The tombstone life was set to 180 days so I changed it to 365 days.

    I then booted the backup server and installed the tools on it too.

    I left them for about 30 minutes and when I checked the user list on the backup had updated. :)

    What I did notice was the backup booted to the desktop in a minute or two where as the main server takes 10-15 minutes for the desktop to appear.

    On the main server the DNS is set to it's own IP with no alternative while the backup has the main server as it's preferred DNS and it's IP as the alternative.

    I'm sure I used the instructions on the petri site you linked to promote the backup to a DC as I recall the Brains (recommended, not required...) statement :D

    I can't remember if I ever actually checked the backup offline to the main server but I must make time next week to (re)try it through a small hub to a couple of systems to check they can login and see the shared folders.
     
  4. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I have missed something as workstations can not log into the backup server.

    Today isolated from the main network I connected a couple of workstations to the backup server using a 5port hub. The server had fully booted before I powered up the workstations.
    After a time the network icon in the notification area of the workstations showed ' no or limited connectivity '

    The workstations are set to 'obtain an IP address automatically' and 'obtain DNS server address automatically' ( although for the main server some workstations are slow to long in unless I set the DNS to the IP of the server )

    The backup server is configured for DHCP and as far as I can see it is active.

    Any hints to what I have overlooked will be appreciated.
     
  5. 100

    100 MDL Expert

    May 17, 2011
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    On a workstation, check the output of "ipconfig /all" in cmd. They need to have an IP address in your subnet, and the DHCP and DNS server should show your server's IP.
    If the workstation's IP shows up as 169.254.*.* there's an issue with DHCP and they didn't get assigned an IP.
     
  6. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Thanks - I'll specifically look at this when I get a few minutes but that probably will not be until next week.
     
  7. delta925

    delta925 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I finally had a few spare minutes to look at this.

    A workstation PC with a fixed IP connected but another with using DCHP did not. What I found on the backup server was that DHCP was not authorised so I did this then the PC connected.

    Thank you for pointing me to the problem.