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Learning Windows Server 2003 by Jonathan Hassell

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Active Directory Maintenance

You need to perform two fairly common tasks on a somewhat regular basis to keep your Active Directory installation running at maximum performance and efficiency. In this section, I’ll take a look at these two tasks, outline their responsibilities and actions, and then explain how to perform them.

Offline Defragmenting of NTDS Database

Like a hard disk, the database containing all the objects and information within Active Directory can become fragmented at times on domain controllers because different parts of the directory are being written to often and other parts are being rearranged to be read from less often. Although you might think that defragging your hard drive will defragment the NTDS.DIT file on your domain controller’s hard disk automatically, this just isn’t the case.

Active Directory handles online defragmenting itself, and it does an adequate job. To really clean out the database, however, and defrag it for the maximum possible gain in efficiency, you need to take the domain controller offline so that the defragmenting process can have exclusive use of the database file. This requires four steps: first, reboot the domain controller in question and get it into directory services restore mode; second, perform the actual defragmentation; third, copy the defragmented database back into the production directory; and fourth, reboot the machine. (Replication to other domain controllers in Active Directory won’t be effected, as Active Directory ...

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