Windows Server Troubleshooting - NTDSUtil

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Major Topics
Methodology
Architecture
Tools
Memory
Processor
Registry
File System
Network
Active Directory
Contents
Other Topics
Logon
FSMO
NTDSUtil
RepAdmin
Garbage Collection
RootDSE
Distinguished Name
Sites
DNS
Replication
REPLMON
Restore the AD
Log Files
Global Catalog
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2003-2006 Team Approach Limited
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NTDSUTIL has many AD maintenance functions. This book mentions the following.

Section Topic
Active Directory Defragmenation
FSMO Seizing FSMO roles
Restore the AD Authoritative restore

NTDSUTIL is a command line utility that has an interactive hierarchy of menus. Command line utilities can easily be run in the startup Directory Service Restore mode as is required for offline defragmentation. Each menu is identified by a unique command prompt to help the user determine the current location in the hierarchy. This doesn't help much and it is easy to get lost. Each menu has a different set of commands. To determine which command are available enter '?' and an annotated list of command and submenus is presented. The quit command takes you up one level in the menu hierarchy.

Complex commands can be shortened, provided they remain unique. For example,
   
select operation target can be shortened to s o t

An administrator can interactively navigate the menu hierarchy, or all of the commands can be typed on one line.  For example consider the following command to list all domains on srvr.newdomain.com.

ntdsutil "domain management" connections "connect to server srvr.newdomain.com quit "select operation target" "list domains" quit quit quit

or shorten to

ntdsutil "d m" c "co t s srvr.newdomain.com" q "s o t" "l d" q q q

Typing NTDSUTIL ? will provide basic help information as shown below.

Microsoft(R) Windows(TM) Directory Service Utilities Version 2.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1991-2002. All Rights Reserved.

NtdsUtil performs database maintenance of the Active Directory store,
management and control of the Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO),
and cleaning up of metadata left behind by abandoned domain controllers,
those which are removed from the network without being uninstalled.

This is an interactive tool. Type "help" at the prompt for more information.

? - Show this help information
Authoritative restore - Authoritatively restore the DIT database
Configurable Settings - Manage configurable settings
Domain management - Prepare for new domain creation
Files - Manage NTDS database files
Help - Show this help information
LDAP policies - Manage LDAP protocol policies
Metadata cleanup - Clean up objects of decommissioned servers
Popups %s - (en/dis)able popups with "on" or "off"
Quit - Quit the utility
Roles - Manage NTDS role owner tokens
Security account management - Manage Security Account Database - Duplicate SID Cleanup
Semantic database analysis - Semantic Checker
Set DSRM Password - Reset directory service restore mode administrator account password

domain management: help

? - Show this help information
Add NC Replica %s %s - Adds the DC with full DNS name %s2 to the
    replica set for the application directory
    partition with DN %s1. If %s2 is specified
    "NULL", then currently connected DC is used.
Connections - Connect to a specific domain controller
Create NC %s %s - Creates the application directory partition
    with DN %s1, on the DC with DNS name %s2. If
    %s2 is specified "NULL", then the currently
    connected DC is used.
Delete NC %s - Completely removes the application directory
    partition with DN %s from Active Directory.
Help - Show this help information
List - List known naming contexts
List NC Information %s - Show the reference domain, and replication
    delays for the application directory partition
    with DN %s.
List NC Replicas %s - Show the list of DCs in the replica set for
    the application directory partition with DN %s.
Precreate %s %s - Precreate cross reference object for domain or
    application directory partition with DN
    %s1 allowing server with DNS name %s2 to be
    promoted as a DC for the domain or create the
    application directory partition.
Quit - Return to the prior menu
Remove NC Replica %s %s - Deletes the DC with DNS name %s2 from the
    replica set for the application directory
    partition with DN %s1. If %s2 is specified
    "NULL", then currently connected DC is used.
Select operation target - Select sites, servers, domains, roles and
    naming contexts
Set NC Reference Domain %s %s - Sets the reference domain of application   
    directory partition with DN %s1 to domain
    with DN %s2.
Set NC Replicate Notification Delay %s %d %d - Sets the notification delays of
    directory partition with DN %s to
    %d1 and %d2 seconds where %d1 is the delay
    between notifying the first DC of changes and
    %d2 is the delay of notifying subsequent DCs
    of changes.
If you pass -1 in either %d1 or %d2 the command would not modify the corresponded delay (that's in case you are to modify only one delay.)

If you pass any other negative number, the command would delete the delay.
Delays are always set on Domain Naming Master.

Keyboard Exercise

Try NTDSUtil in interactive mode and try the following operations.

ntdsutil "domain management" connections "connect to server srvr.newdomain.com quit "select operation target" "list domains" quit quit quit