Directory Services

Backing Up and Restoring Active Directory

Microsoft® Active Directory® provides functions for backing up and restoring data in the directory database. This section describes how to back up and restore Active Directory. For more information about backing up Active Directory using the utilities provided in Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server and the Windows® Server 2003 family, see the applicable Resource Kit.

Backup of Active Directory must be performed online and must be performed when the Active Directory Service is installed. Active Directory is built on a special database and exports a set of backup functions that provide the programatic backup interface. The Active Directory backup does not support incremental backups. A backup application binds to a local client-side DLL with entry points defined in Ntdsbcli.h.

Restoration of Active Directory is always performed offline.

Although the topics in this section describe only how to back up and restore Active Directory, be aware that Windows® 2000 and the Windows® Server 2003 family have several "system state" components that must be backed up and restored together. These system state components consist of:

The system state can be backed up in any order, but restoration of the system state must occur in the following order:

  1. Restore the boot files.
  2. Restore SysVol, Certificate Server, Cluster database and COM+ class registration database, as applicable.
  3. Restore Active Directory.
  4. Restore the registry.

For more information about backing up and restoring Certificate Services, see Using the Certificate Services Backup and Restore Functions.

For more information about backing up and restoring Active Directory, see