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When to use DCGPOFIX to restore the Default set of Policies on a Domain Controller    

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When to use DCGPOFIX to restore the Default set of Policies on a Domain Controller



Apr
09

When to use DCGPOFIX to restore the Default set of Policies on a Domain Controller

 

Whenever we create a Domain and setup a Domain Controller to hold and Active Directory instance (including the FRS instance as well) and then we add up additional Domain Controllers to replicate AD and FRS data i.e. Active Directory Data replication and Files Synchronization using FRS (File Replication Service).

Now a default set of policies is created and stored inside Active Directory and SYSVOL and NETLOGON shares. If you create more policies they are also saved using the same method and at the similar locations.

Then the Replication of Active Directory data and SYSVOL and NETLOGON File shares is done using services on the Active & Running Domain Controllers.

Whatever data originates (created OR edited) on one Domain Controller is replicated to all the Domain Controllers in an Ideal Scenario.

But when things go wrong, they may break the replication of Active Directory and the Files on and from these servers.

In this case you might want to enable consistency in the Data Structure in the Domain.

If you can find one good source of data then that can be used to fill up gaps all over the Domain. A System state backup can come handy and useful in such a scenario.

When you do not have a good and healthy backup and you donot have an Active Instance of Active Directory with the good data. i.e. you do not have an option to restore data to the latest and good form, then you may need to restore the data to its default level.

In case of Active Directory Data in the three partitions (Configuration, Domain and Schema), we cannot restore them to a default level. It is similar to demoting the whole domain and re-promoting it back as a new domain in a new forest. We can only restore Active Directory Data using a system state backup.

But in case of Group Policies, we have a descent tool called DCGPOFIX that can restore the default set of policies on a Domain Controller to defaults. If you use DCGPOFIX then the Group Policies are restored back to what the designers have designed to DEFAULT DOMAIN and DEFAULT DOMAIN CONTROLLER Policies.

For example, if you have a Domain (ABC.LOCAL) and you have created certain users and added certain Computers to Active Directory Domain and have configured certain Group Policies. Now in case if required, you should first take up a Back Up of the Domain Controller. The backup must have been created within a time period no greater than the value of Tombstone Lifetime attribute defined in the Domain Active Directory. Such a Backup is considered to be in Life i.e. it is a good backup that we can use. Now, if required this backup can be used to restore the Domain Controller to an earlier stage.

We can use the Backup Method to restore data inside Active Directory, inside Data Shares (for DFS and FRS and DFSR) and other things that we took backup for.

We can use the Backup / Restore method to restore the domain back to what it was at some point in time before. This includes all the settings and configuration changes that were made by the System Admins.

But in case if we do not have a backup available, then you might need to use DCGPOFIX to restore the Domain back to the Default Set of Policies (as available on a newly promoted Domain Controller).

 

 



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