This recipe requires that the server being promoted run Windows Server 2003.
You want to promote a new domain controller using a backup from another domain controller as the initial source of the directory contents (DIT) instead of replicating the entire DIT over the network.
You first need to back up the system state of an existing domain controller in the domain the new server will go in. This can be accomplished by running the MS Backup utility found at Start → Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Backup.
Once you have a good backup, you then need to restore it to the new server, which can also be done using MS Backup. You should restore the files to an alternate location, not to their original location.
dcpromo with the
switch from a command line or Start → Run:
> dcpromo /adv
dcpromo wizard starts, select Additional
Domain Controller for an existing domain and click Next.
Under Copy Domain Information, select From these restored backup files, browse to the backup files, and click Next.
Enter credentials of a user in the
group in the domain you are promoting the domain controller into and
Choose the folders to store the Active Directory Database and Log files and click Next.
Choose the folder to store SYSVOL and click Next.
Enter a Restore Mode password and click Next.
Click Next to start the promotion.
Being able to promote a domain controller using the system-state ...