[Samba] Recover from PDC Crash

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Wed Aug 27 02:02:59 GMT 2003

On Tue, 26 Aug 2003, Ericb wrote:

> Hello:
> I would like to use samba as our PDC (currently we are peer to peer)
> where I work but have one huge misgiving. What happens if the server
> crashes? I was so curious about this that I used a trial samba PDC with
> my work computer (XP) for a few weeks and then, simulating a total HD
> failure, I reinstalled samba on another HD and to my horror lost my
> entire user profile. bookmarks, emails, my documents, etc. I was easily

Well, that's because your domain SID will have changed I guess. Did you
have a backup of the secrets.tdb file? The Domain SID is stored inthe
profiles in NTUSER.DAT. You can use the smbpasswd tool to reset the domain
SID to the old once if you know what the old one was.

> able to copy over the documents so I didn't lose any work but my emails
> and bookmarks seem to have disappeared. I've found only a few poor
> resources on the web about this. Its actually been a bit strange, there
> are a zillion resources for setting up samba as your PDC but nothing
> about how to recover, its like people are pretending that hard drives
> never fail.

Have you read the new Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf from Samba-3.0.0 code
tree? I know that there is no specific mention about reinstallation after
a total crash, but the core knowledge of what to do is there. Maybe you
would like to write a chapter on how to recover a crashed system. It would
be a great contribution to the community that you can make now that you
have become the industry expert on the subject. :)

> Surely there must be some way to recover a user profile if the samba
> server dies. I realize that a BDC would work for this but samba is (so
> far) unable to act as one, correct?

Nope, incorrect. Samba-2.2.x can be a BDC to a Samba-2.2.x PDC.
Samba just can not be a BDC to an NT4/2K PDC.

- John T.
John H Terpstra
Email: jht at samba.org

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