System Administrator – Active Directory Interview Questions and Answers

1) What is Active Directory?

ACTIVE DIRECTORY IS A CENTRALIZED DATABASE …WHICH IS USED IN DOMAIN FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES…

An active directory is a directory structure used on Microsoft Windows based computers and servers to store information and data about networks and domains. It is primarily used for online information and was originally created in 1996 and first used with Windows 2000.

An active directory (sometimes referred to as an AD) does a variety of functions including the ability to provide information on objects, helps organize these objects for easy retrieval and access, allows access by end users and administrators and allows the administrator to set security up for the directory.

An active directory can be defined as a hierarchical structure and this structure is usually broken up into three main categories, the resources which might include hardware such as printers, services for end users such as web email servers and objects which are the main functions of the domain and network.

It is interesting to note the framework for the objects. Remember that an object can be a piece of hardware such as a printer, end user or security settings set by the administrator. These objects can hold other objects within their file structure. All objects have an ID, usually an object name (folder name). In addition to these objects being able to hold other objects, every object has its own attributes which allows it to be characterized by the information which it contains. Most IT professionals call these setting or characterizations schemas.

Depending on the type of schema created for a folder, will ultimately determine how these objects are used. For instance, some objects with certain schemas can not be deleted, they can only be deactivated. Others types of schemas with certain attributes can be deleted entirely. For instance, a user object can be deleted, but the administrator object can not be deleted.

When understanding active directories, it is important to know the framework that objects can be viewed at. In fact, an active directory can be viewed at either one of three levels; these levels are called forests, trees or domains. The highest structure is called the forest because you can see all objects included within the active directory.

Within theForeststructure are trees, these structures usually hold one or more domains, going further down the structure of an active directory are single domains. To put the forest, trees and domains into perspective, consider the following example.

A large organization has many dozens of users and processes. The forest might be the entire network of end users and specific computers at a set location. Within this forest directory are now trees that hold information on specific objects such as domain controllers, program data, system, etc. Within these objects are even more objects which can then be controlled and categorized

Another Answer

Active Directory in Windows Server 2003

The Active Directory is the one of the important part of Windows Server 2003 networking .First need to know and understand Active directory. How does it work? It makes information easy for the administrator and the users. You can use the Active Directory to design an organization’s structure according to the requirement. If you are using the Active Directory then you can scale active directory from a single computer to a single network or too many networks. In active directory you can include every object server and domain in a network.

Logical Component

In the organization you set up in Windows Server 2003 and the organization you set up in Exchange Server 2003 are the same and the same is the case with Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 as well. Now I am going to tell you its advantage one user administrator manage all aspects of user configuration. These logical constructs which are described in the following subsections allow you to define and group resources so that they can be located and administered by the name rather than by physical location.

Objects

Object is the basic unit in the Active Directory. It is an apocarpous named set of features that represents something adjective such as a user, printer and the application. A user is also an object. In Exchange a user’s features include its name and location, surrounded by other things.

Organization Unit

Organization Unit is a persona in which you can keep objects such as user accounts, groups, computer, and printer. Applications and other (OU). In organization unit you can assign specific permission to the users. Organization unit can also be used to create departmental limitation.

Domains

Domains is a group of computers and other resources that are part of a network and share a common directory database .Once a server has been installed, you can use the Active Directory Wizard to install Active Directory in order to install Active directory on the first server on the network, that server must have the access to a server running DNS (Domain Name Service). If you don’t have installed this service on your server then you will have to install this service during the Active Directory installation…

Active Directory in Windows Server 2003

The Active Directory is the one of the important part of Windows Server 2003 networking .First need to know and understand Active directory. How does it work? It makes information easy for the administrator and the users. You can use the Active Directory to design an organization’s structure according to the requirement. If you are using the Active Directory then you can scale active directory from a single computer to a single network or too many networks. In active directory you can include every object server and domain in a network.

Logical Component

In the organization you set up in Windows Server 2003 and the organization you set up in Exchange Server 2003 are the same and the same is the case with Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 as well. Now I am going to tell you its advantage one user administrator manage all aspects of user configuration. These logical constructs which are described in the following subsections allow you to define and group resources so that they can be located and administered by the name rather than by physical location.

Objects

Object is the basic unit in the Active Directory. It is an apocarpous named set of features that represents something adjective such as a user, printer and the application. A user is also an object. In Exchange a user’s features include its name and location, surrounded by other things.

Organization Unit

Organization Unit is a persona in which you can keep objects such as user accounts, groups, computer, and printer. Applications and other (OU). In organization unit you can assign specific permission to the user’s. Organization unit can also be used to create departmental limitation.

Domains

Domains is a group of computers and other resources that are part of a network and share a common directory database .Once a server has been installed, you can use the Active Directory Wizard to install Active Directory in order to install Active directory on the first server on the network, that server must have the access to a server running DNS (Domain Name Service). If you don’t have installed this service on your server then you will have to install this service during the Active Directory installation…

Another Answer

An active directory is a directory structure used on Microsoft Windows based computers and servers to store information and data about networks and domains. It is primarily used for online information and was originally created in 1996 and first used with Windows 2000.

An active directory (sometimes referred to as an AD) does a variety of functions including the ability to provide information on objects, helps organize these objects for easy retrieval and access, allows access by end users and administrators and allows the administrator to set security up for the directory.

An active directory can be defined as a hierarchical structure and this structure is usually broken up into three main categories, the resources which might include hardware such as printers, services for end users such as web email servers and objects which are the main functions of the domain and network.

It is interesting to note the framework for the objects. Remember that an object can be a piece of hardware such as a printer, end user or security settings set by the administrator. These objects can hold other objects within their file structure. All objects have an ID, usually an object name (folder name). In addition to these objects being able to hold other objects, every object has its own attributes which allows it to be characterized by the information which it contains. Most IT professionals call these setting or characterizations schemas.

Depending on the type of schema created for a folder, will ultimately determine how these objects are used. For instance, some objects with certain schemas can not be deleted, they can only be deactivated. Others types of schemas with certain attributes can be deleted entirely. For instance, a user object can be deleted, but the administrator object can not be deleted.

When understanding active directories, it is important to know the framework that objects can be viewed at. In fact, an active directory can be viewed at either one of three levels; these levels are called forests, trees or domains. The highest structure is called the forest because you can see all objects included within the active directory.

Within theForeststructure are trees, these structures usually hold one or more domains, going further down the structure of an active directory are single domains. To put the forest, trees and domains into perspective, consider the following example.

A large organization has many dozens of users and processes. The forest might be the entire network of end users and specific computers at a set location. Within this forest directory are now trees that hold information on specific objects such as domain controllers, program data, system, etc. Within these objects are even more objects which can then be controlled and categorized.

2) What is LDAP?

LDAP means Light-Weight Directory Access Protocol. It determines how an object in an Active directory should be named. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a proposed open standard for accessing global or local directory services over a network and/or the Internet. A directory, in this sense, is very much like a phone book. LDAP can handle other information, but at present it is typically used to associate names with phone numbers and email addresses. LDAP directories are designed to support a high volume of queries, but the data stored in the directory does not change very often. It works on port no. 389. LDAP is sometimes known as X.500 Lite. X.500 is an international standard for directories and full-featured, but it is also complex, requiring a lot of computing resources and the full OSI stack. LDAP, in contrast, can run easily on a PC and over TCP/IP. LDAP can access X.500 directories but does not support every capability of X.500

ANSWER B:

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol or LDAP is an application protocol for querying and modifying directory services running over TCP/IP. [1]A directory is a set of objects with attributes organized in a logical and hierarchical manner. The most common example is the telephone directory, which consists of a series of names (either of persons or organizations) organized alphabetically, with each name having an address and phone number attached.

An LDAP directory tree often reflects various political, geographic, and/or organizational boundaries, depending on the model chosen. LDAP deployments today tend to use Domain name system (DNS) names for structuring the topmost levels of the hierarchy. Deeper inside the directory might appear entries representing people, organizational units, printers, documents, groups of people or anything else that represents a given tree entry (or multiple entries).

Its current version is LDAPv3, which is specified in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Track Requests for comments (RFCs) as detailed in RFC 4510.

3) Can you connect Active Directory to other 3rd-party Directory Services? Name a few options.

Yes, you can use dirXML or LDAP to connect to other directories (ie. E-directory from Novell). Novell eDirectory, formerly called Novell Directory Services (NDS)

4) Where is the AD database held? What other folders are related to AD?

AD Database is saved in/ntds. You can see other files also in this folder. These are the main files controlling the AD structure •ntds.dit

•edb.log

•res1.log

•res2.log

•edb.chk

•SysVOl folder is also created which is used for replication

When a change is made to the Win2K database, triggering a write operation, Win2K records the transaction in the log file (edb.log). Once written to the log file, the change is then written to the AD database. System performance determines how fast the system writes the data to the AD database from the log file. Any time the system is shut down; all transactions are saved to the database.

During the installation of AD, Windows creates two files: res1.log and res2.log. The initial size of each is 10MB. These files are used to ensure that changes can be written to disk should the system run out of free disk space. The checkpoint file (edb.chk) records transactions committed to the AD database (ntds.dit). During shutdown, a “shutdown” statement is written to the edb.chk file. Then, during a reboot, AD determines that all transactions in the edb.log file have been committed to the AD database. If, for some reason, the edb.chk file doesn’t exist on reboot or the shutdown statement isn’t present, AD will use the edb.log file to update the AD database.

The last file in our list of files to know is the AD database itself, ntds.dit. By default, the file is located in\NTDS, along with the other files we’ve discussed

5) What is the SYSVOL folder?

All active directory data base security related information store in SYSVOL folder and it’s only created on NTFS partition.
B:
The Sysvol folder on a Windows domain controller is used to replicate file-based data among domain controllers. Because junctions are used within the Sysvol folder structure, Windows NT file system (NTFS) version 5.0 is required on domain controllers throughout a Windows distributed file system (DFS) forest.

This is a quote from Microsoft themselves; basically the domain controller info stored in files like your group policy stuff is replicated through this folder structure

6) Name the AD NCs and replication issues for each NC

*Schema NC, *Configuration NC, * DomainNC
Schema NC This NC is replicated to every other domain controller in the forest. It contains information about the Active Directory schema, which in turn defines the different object classes and attributes within Active Directory.
Configuration NC Also replicated to every other DC in the forest, this NC contains forest-wide configuration information pertaining to the physical layout of Active Directory, as well as information about display specifies and forest-wide Active Directory quotas.
Domain NC This NC is replicated to every other DC within a single Active Directory domain. This is the NC that contains the most commonly-accessed Active Directory data: the actual users, groups, computers, and other objects that reside within a particular Active Directory domain.

7) What are application partitions? When do I use them?

Application directory partitions: These are specific to Windows Server 2003 domains.

An application directory partition is a directory partition that is replicated only to specific domain controllers. A domain controller that participates in the replication of a particular application directory partition hosts a replica of that partition. Only Domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 can host a replica of an application directory partition.

8) How do you create a new application partition?

When you create an application directory partition, you are creating the first instance of this partition. You can create an application directory partition by using the create nc option in the domain management menu of Ntdsutil. When creating an application directory partition using LDP or ADSI, provide a description in the description attribute of the domain DNS object that indicates the specific application that will use the partition. For example, if the application directory partition will be used to store data for a Microsoft accounting program, the description could be Microsoft accounting application. Ntdsutil does not facilitate the creation of a description.

To create or delete an application directory partition

1. Open Command Prompt.

2. Type:

Ntdsutil

3. At the Ntdsutil command prompt, type:

Domain management

4. At the domain management command prompt, do one of the following:

· To create an application directory partition, type:

Create ncApplicationDirectoryPartitionDomainController

Answer:

Start >> RUN>> CMD >> type there “NTDSUTIL” Press Enter

Ntdsutil: domain management Press Enter

Domain Management: Create NC dc=, dc=, dc=com <>

ANSWER B

Create an application directory partition by using the DnsCmd command

Use the DnsCmd command to create an application directory partition. To do this, use the following syntax:

DnsCmd ServerName /CreateDirectoryPartition FQDN of partition

To create an application directory partition that is named CustomDNSPartition on a domain controller that is named DC-1, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:dnscmd DC-1 /createdirectorypartition CustomDNSPartition.contoso.com

When the application directory partition has been successfully created, the following information appears:

DNS Server DC-1 created directory partition: CustomDNSPartition.contoso.com Command completed successfully.

Configure an additional domain controller DNS server to host the application directory partition

Configure an additional domain controller that is acting as a DNS server to host the new application directory partition that you created. To do this, use the following syntax with the DnsCmd command:

DnsCmd ServerName /EnlistDirectoryPartition FQDN of partition

To configure the example domain controller that is named DC-2 to host this custom application directory partition, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:dnscmd DC-2 /enlistdirectorypartition CustomDNSPartition.contoso.com

The following information appears:

DNS Server DC-2 enlisted directory partition: CustomDNSPartition.contoso.com Command completed successfully.

9) How do you view replication properties for AD partitions and DCs?

By using replication monitor
go to start > run > type repadmin

go to start > run > type replmon

10) What is the Global Catalog?

The global catalog contains a complete replica of all objects in Active Directory for its Host domain, and contains a partial replica of all objects in Active Directory for every other domain in the forest.

ANSWER B:

The global catalog is a distributed data repository that contains a searchable, partial representation of every object in every domain in a multidomain Active Directory forest. The global catalog is stored on domain controllers that have been designated as global catalog servers and is distributed through multimaster replication. Searches that are directed to the global catalog are faster because they do not involve referrals to different domain controllers.

In addition to configuration and schema directory partition replicas, every domain controller in a Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 forest stores a full, writable replica of a single domain directory partition. Therefore, a domain controller can locate only the objects in its domain. Locating an object in a different domain would require the user or application to provide the domain of the requested object.

The global catalog provides the ability to locate objects from any domain without having to know the domain name. A global catalog server is a domain controller that, in addition to its full, writable domain directory partition replica, also stores a partial, read-only replica of all other domain directory partitions in the forest. The additional domain directory partitions are partial because only a limited set of attributes is included for each object. By including only the attributes that are most used for searching, every object in every domain in even the largest forest can be represented in the database of a single global catalog server.

11) How do you view all the GCs in the forest?

C:\>repadmin /showreps
domain_controller

OR
You can use Replmon.exe for the same purpose.
OR
AD Sites and Services and nslookup gc._msdcs.

To find the in GC from the command line you can try using DSQUERY command.
dsquery server -isgc to find all the GC’s in the forest
you can try dsquery server -forest -isgc.

12) Why not make all DCs in a large forest as GCs?

The reason that all DCs are not GCs to start is that in large (or even Giant) forests the DCs would all have to hold a reference to every object in the entire forest which could be quite large and quite a replication burden.

For a few hundred, or a few thousand users even, this not likely to matter unless you have really poor WAN lines.

13) Trying to look at the Active Directory Schema, how can I do that?

Option to view the schema

Register schmmgmt.dll using this command

c:\windows\system32>regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll

Open mmc –> add snapin –> add Active directory schema

name it as schema.msc

Open administrative tool –> schema.msc

14) What are the Support Tools? Why do I need them?

Support Tools are the tools that are used for performing the complicated tasks easily. These can also be the third party tools. Some of the Support tools include DebugViewer, DependencyViewer, RegistryMonitor, etc.
-edit by Casquehead
I believe this question is referring to the Windows Server 2003 Support Tools, which are included with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2. They are also available for download here:

http://www.Microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=96A35011-FD83-419D-939B-9A772EA2DF90&displaylang=en

you need them because you cannot properly manage an Active Directory network without them.
Here they are, it would do you well to familiarize yourself with all of them.
Acldiag.exe
Adsiedit.msc
Bitsadmin.exe
Dcdiag.exe
Dfsutil.exe
Dnslint.exe
Dsacls.exe
Iadstools.dll
Ktpass.exe
Ldp.exe
Netdiag.exe
Netdom.exe
Ntfrsutl.exe
Portqry.exe
Repadmin.exe
Replmon.exe
Setspn.exe

15) What is LDP? What is REPLMON? What is ADSIEDIT? What is NETDOM? What is REPADMIN?

What is LDP?

A:
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or LDAP is an application protocol for querying and modifying directory services running over TCP/IP.[1]
A directory is a set of objects with attributes organized in a logical and hierarchical manner. The most common example is the telephone directory, which consists of a series of names (either of persons or organizations) organized alphabetically, with each name having an address and phone number attached.
An LDAP directory tree often reflects various political, geographic, and/or organizational boundaries, depending on the model chosen. LDAP deployments today tend to use Domain name system (DNS) names for structuring the topmost levels of the hierarchy. Deeper inside the directory might appear entries representing people, organizational units, printers, documents, groups of people or anything else that represents a given tree entry (or multiple entries).
Its current version is LDAPv3, which is specified in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Track Requests for comments (RFCs) as detailed in RFC 4510.
LDAP means Light-Weight Directory Access Protocol. It determines how an object in an Active directory should be named. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a proposed open standard for accessing global or local directory services over a network and/or the Internet. A directory, in this sense, is very much like a phone book. LDAP can handle other information, but at present it is typically used to associate names with phone numbers and email addresses. LDAP directories are designed to support a high volume of queries, but the data stored in the directory does not change very often. It works on port no. 389. LDAP is sometimes known as X.500 Lite. X.500 is an international standard for directories and full-featured, but it is also complex, requiring a lot of computing resources and the full OSI stack. LDAP, in contrast, can run easily on a PC and over TCP/IP. LDAP can access X.500 directories but does not support every capability of X.500

What is REPLMON?

A: Replmon is the first tool you should use when troubleshooting Active Directory replication issues. As it is a graphical tool, replication issues are easy to see and somewhat easier to diagnose than using its command line counterparts. The purpose of this document is to guide you in how to use it, list some common replication errors and show some examples of when replication issues can stop other network installation actions.

For more go to http://www.techtutorials.net/articles/replmon_howto_a.html

What is ADSIEDIT?
A: Adsiedit.msc is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that acts as a low-level editor for Active Directory. It is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) tool. Network administrators can use it for common administrative tasks such as adding, deleting, and moving objects with a directory service. The attributes for each object can be edited or deleted by using this tool. Adsiedit.msc uses the ADSI application programming interfaces (APIs) to access Active Directory. The following are the required files for using this tool:
· ADSIEDIT.DLL
· ADSIEDIT.MSC
Regarding system requirements, a connection to an Active Directory environment and Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is necessary

What is NETDOM?

A: NETDOM is a command-line tool that allows management of Windows domains and trust relationships. It is used for batch management of trusts, joining computers to domains, verifying trusts, and secure channels
A:
Enables administrators to manage Active Directory domains and trust relationships from the command prompt.
Netdom is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Server 2008. It is available if you have the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server role installed. To use Netdom, you must run the Netdom command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
You can use Netdom to:

Join a computer that runs Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista to a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 domain.
Provide an option to specify the organizational unit (OU) for the computer account.
Generate a random computer password for an initial Join operation.
Manage computer accounts for domain member workstations and member servers. Management operations include:
Add, Remove, Query.
An option to specify the OU for the computer account.
An option to move an existing computer account for a member workstation from one domain to another while maintaining the security descriptor on the computer account.
Establish one-way or two-way trust relationships between domains, including the following kinds of trust relationships:
From a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 domain to a Windows NT 4.0 domain.
From a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 domain to a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 domain in another enterprise.
Between two Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 domains in an enterprise (a shortcut trust).
The Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Server half of an interoperable Kerberos protocol realm.
Verify or reset the secure channel for the following configurations:
Member workstations and servers.
Backup domain controllers (BDCs) in a Windows NT 4.0 domain.
Specific Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 replicas.
Manage trust relationships between domains, including the following operations:
Enumerate trust relationships (direct and indirect).
View and change some attributes on a trust.

16) What are sites? What are they used for?

One or more well-connected (highly reliable and fast) TCP/IP subnets. A site allows administrators to configure Active Directory access and replication topology to take advantage of the physical network.

B: A Site object in Active Directory represents a physical geographic location that hosts networks. Sites contain objects called Subnets. [3] Sites can be used to Assign Group Policy Objects, facilitate the discovery of resources, manage active directory replication, and manage network link traffic. Sites can be linked to other Sites. Site-linked objects may be assigned a cost value that represents the speed, reliability, availability, or other real property of a physical resource. Site Links may also be assigned a schedule

17) What’s the difference between a site link’s schedule and interval?

Schedule enables you to list weekdays or hours when the site link is available for replication to happen in the give interval. Interval is the re occurrence of the inter site replication in given minutes. It ranges from 15 – 10,080 mins. The default interval is 180 mins.

18) What is the KCC?

Knowledge consistency checker- it generates the replication topology by specifying what domain controllers will replicate to which other domain controllers in the site. The KCC maintains a list of connections, called a replication topology, to other domain controllers in the site. The KCC ensures that changes to any object are replicated to all site domain controllers and updates go through no more than three connections. Also an administrator can configure connection objects.

19) What is the ISTG? Who has that role by default?

Intersite Topology Generator (ISTG), which is responsible for the connections among the sites. By default Windows 2003 Forestlevel functionality has this role.
By Default the first Server has this role. If that server can no longer perform this role then the next server with the highest GUID then takes over the role of ISTG.

20) What are the requirements for installing AD on a new server?

· An NTFS partition with enough free space (250MB minimum)

· An Administrator’s username and password

· The correct operating system version

· A NIC

· Properly configured TCP/IP (IP address, subnet mask and – optional – default gateway)

· A network connection (to a hub or to another computer via a crossover cable)

· An operational DNS server (which can be installed on the DC itself)

· A Domain name that you want to use

· The Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 CD media (or at least the i386 folder)

20) What can you do to promote a server to DC if you’re in a remote location with slow WAN link?

First available in Windows 2003, you will create a copy of the system state from an existing DC and copy it to the new remote server. Run “Dcpromo /adv”. You will be prompted for the location of the system state files

===================================
Answer B:

Backup system state as;

  1. Click Start, click Run, type ntbackup,      and then click OK. (If the Backup utility starts in wizard mode,      click the Advanced Mode hyperlink.)
  2. From the Backup tab, click to select the System State check box in the left      pane. Do not back up the file system part of the SYSVOL tree separately      from the system state backup.
  3. In the Backup media or file name box, specify      the drive, path, and file name of the system state backup.

Name the file .bak (recommended and general)

Restore system stat as below on the target computer;

  1. Log on to the Windows Server 2003-based computer that      you want to promote. You must be a member of the local administrators      group on this computer.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type ntbackup,      and then click OK. (If the Backup utility starts in wizard mode,      click the Advanced Mode hyperlink.)
  3. In the Backup utility, click the Restore and Manage      Media tab. In the Tools menu, click Catalog a backup file…,      and then locate the .bkf file that you created earlier. Click OK.
  4. Expand the contents of the .bkf file, and then click to      select the System       State check box.
  5. In Restore files to: click Alternate Location.      To restore the system state, type the logical drive and the path. We      suggest that you type X:\Ntdsrestore.      In this command, X is      the logical drive that will ultimately host the Active Directory database      when the member computer is promoted. The final location for the Active      Directory database is selected when you run the Active Directory      Installation Wizard. This folder must be different from the folder that      contains the restored system state.

Now Last stage is Promoting an additional domain controller

  1. Verify that the domain controller that is to be      promoted has DNS name resolution and network connectivity to existing      domain controllers in the domain controller’s target domain.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type dcpromo      /adv, and then click OK.
  3. Click Next to bypass the Welcome to the      Active Directory Installation Wizard and Operating System      Compatibility dialog boxes.
  4. On the Domain Controller Type page, click Additional      domain controller for an existing domain, and then click next.
  5. On the Copying Domain Information page, click from      these restored backup files: and then type the logical drive and the      path of the alternative location where the system state backup was      restored. Click Next.
  6. In Network Credentials, type the user name, the      password, and the domain name of an account that is a member of the domain      administrators group for the domain that you are promoting in.
  7. Continue with the remainder of the Active Directory      Installation Wizard pages as you would with the standard promotion of an      additional domain controller.
  8. After the SYSVOL tree has replicated in, and the SYSVOL      share exists, delete any remaining restored system files and folders.

21) How can you forcibly remove AD from a server, and what do you do later? • Can I get user passwords from the AD database?

Demote the server using dcpromo /forceremoval, and then remove the metadata from Active directory using Ntdsutil. There is no way to get user passwords from AD that I am aware of, but you should still be able to change them.
Another way out too
Restart the DC is DSRM mode
a. Locate the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ProductOptions
b. In the right-pane, double-click ProductType.
c. Type ServerNT in the Value data box, and then click OK.
Restart the server in normal mode
it’s a member server now but AD entries are still there. Promote the server to a fake domain say ABC.com and then remove gracefully using Dcpromo. Else after restart you can also use Ntdsutil to do metadata as told in the earlier post

22) Name some OU design considerations

OU design requires balancing requirements for delegating administrative rights – independent of Group Policy needs – and the need to scope the application of Group Policy. The following OU design recommendations address delegation and scope issues:

Applying Group Policy An OU is the lowest-level Active Directory container to which you can assign Group Policy settings.

Delegating administrative authority

Usually don’t go more than 3 OU levels

23) What is tombstone lifetime attribute?

The number of days before a deleted object is removed from the directory services. This assists in removing objects from replicated servers and preventing restores from reintroducing a deleted object. This value is in the Directory Service object in the configuration NIC

By default 2000 (60 days)

2003 (180 days)

24) How would you find all users that have not logged on since last month?

Using only native commands, JSILLD.bat produces a sorted/formated report of Users who have not logged on since YYYYMMDD.

The report is sorted by UserName and list the user’s full name and last logon date.

The syntax for using JSILLD.bat is:

JSILLD \Folder\OutputFile.Ext YYYYMMDD [/N]

where:

YYYYMMDD will report all users who have not logged on since this date.

/N is an optional parameter that will bypass users who have never logged on.

JSILLD.bat contains:
@echo off
setlocal
if {%2}=={} goto syntax
if “%3″==”” goto begin
if /i “%3″==”/n” goto begin
:syntax
@echo Syntax: JSILLD File yyyymmdd [/N]
endlocal
goto :EOF
:begin
if /i “%2″==”/n” goto syntax
set dte=%2
set XX=%dte:~0,4%
if “%XX%” LSS “1993” goto syntax
set XX=%dte:~4,2%
if “%XX%” LSS “01” goto syntax
if “%XX%” GTR “12” goto syntax
set XX=%dte:~6,2%
if “%XX%” LSS “01” goto syntax
if “%XX%” GTR “31” goto syntax
set never=X
if /i “%3″==”/n” set never=/n
set file=%1
if exist %file% del /q %file%
for /f “Skip=4 Tokens=*” %%i in (‘net user /domain^|findstr /v /c:”—-“^|findstr /v /i /c:”The command completed”‘) do (
do call :parse “%%i”
)
endlocal
goto :EOF
:parse
set str=#%1#
set str=%str:#”=%
set str=%str:”#=%
set substr=%str:~0,25%#
set substr=%substr: =%
set substr=%substr: #=%
set substr=%substr:#=%
if “%substr%”==”” goto :EOF
for /f “Skip=1 Tokens=*” %%i in (‘net user “%substr%” /domain’) do call :parse1 “%%i”
set substr=%str:~25,25%#
set substr=%substr: =%
set substr=%substr: #=%
set substr=%substr:#=%
if “%substr%”==”” goto :EOF
for /f “Skip=1 Tokens=*” %%i in (‘net user “%substr%” /domain’) do call :parse1 “%%i”
set substr=%str:~50,25%#
set substr=%substr: =%
set substr=%substr: #=%
set substr=%substr:#=%
if “%substr%”==”” goto :EOF
for /f “Skip=1 Tokens=*” %%i in (‘net user “%substr%” /domain’) do call :parse1 “%%i”
goto :EOF
:parse1
set ustr=%1
if %ustr%==”The command completed successfully.” goto :EOF
set ustr=%ustr:”=%
if /i “%ustr:~0,9%”==”Full Name” set fullname=%ustr:~29,99%
if /i not “%ustr:~0,10%”==”Last logon” goto :EOF
set txt=%ustr:~29,99%
for /f “Tokens=1,2,3 Delims=/ ” %%i in (‘@echo %txt%’) do set MM=%%i&set DD=%%j&set YY=%%k
if /i “%MM%”==”Never” goto tstnvr
goto year
:tstnvr
if /i “%never%”==”/n” goto :EOF
goto report
:year
if “%YY%” GTR “1000” goto mmm
if “%YY%” GTR “92” goto Y19
set /a YY=100%YY%%%100
set YY=%YY% + 2000
goto mmm
:Y19
set YY=19%YY%
:mmm
set /a XX=100%MM%%%100
if %XX% LSS 10 set MM=0%XX%
set /a XX=100%DD%%%100
if %XX% LSS 10 set DD=0%XX%
set YMD=%YY%%MM%%DD%
if “%YMD%” GEQ “%dte%” goto :EOF
:report
set fullname=%fullname% #
set fullname=%fullname:~0,35%
set substr=%substr% #
set substr=%substr:~0,30%
@echo %substr% %fullname% %txt% >> %file%

25) What are the DS commands?

New DS (Directory Service) Family of built-in command line utilities for Windows Server 2003 Active Directory

A:

New DS built-in tools for Windows Server 2003
The DS (Directory Service) group of commands are split into two families. In one branch are DSadd, DSmod, DSrm and DSMove and in the other branch are DSQuery and DSGet.

When it comes to choosing a scripting tool for Active Directory objects, you really are spoilt for choice. The DS family of built-in command line executables offers alternative strategies to CSVDE, LDIFDE and VBScript.

Let me introduce you to the members of the DS family:

DSadd – add Active Directory users and groups
DSmod – modify Active Directory objects
DSrm – to delete Active Directory objects
DSmove – to relocate objects
DSQuery – to find objects that match your query attributes
DSget – list the properties of an object
DS Syntax
These DS tools have their own command structure which you can split into five parts:

1 2 3 4 5
Tool object “DN” (as in LDAP distinguished name) -switch value For example:
DSadd user “cn=billy, ou=managers, dc=cp, dc=com” -pwd cX49pQba

This will add a user called Billy to the Managers OU and set the password to cx49Qba

Here are some of the common DS switches which work with DSadd and DSmod
-pwd (password) -upn (userPrincipalName) -fn (FirstName) -samid (Sam account name).

The best way to learn about this DS family is to logon at a domain controller and experiment from the command line. I have prepared examples of the two most common programs. Try some sample commands for DSadd.˚

Two most useful Tools: DSQuery and DSGet
The DSQuery and DSGet remind me of UNIX commands in that they operate at the command line, use powerful verbs, and produce plenty of action. One pre-requisite for getting the most from this DS family is a working knowledge of LDAP.

If you need to query users or computers from a range of OU’s and then return information, for example, office, department manager. Then DSQuery and DSGet would be your tools of choice. Moreover, you can export the information into a text file

26) What is the difference between ldifde and csvde usage considerations?

Ldifde

Ldifde creates, modifies, and deletes directory objects on computers running Windows Server 2003 operating systems or Windows XP Professional. You can also use Ldifde to extend the schema, export Active Directory user and group information to other applications or services, and populate Active Directory with data from other directory services.

The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) is a draft Internet standard for a file format that may be used for performing batch operations against directories that conform to the LDAP standards. LDIF can be used to export and import data, allowing batch operations such as add, create, and modify to be performed against the Active Directory. A utility program called LDIFDE is included in Windows 2000 to support batch operations based on the LDIF file format standard. This article is designed to help you better understand how the LDIFDE utility can be used to migrate directories.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/237677

Csvde

Imports and exports data from Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) using files that store data in the comma-separated value (CSV) format. You can also support batch operations based on the CSV file format standard.

Csvde is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Server 2008 in the/system32 folder. It is available if you have the AD DS or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) server role installed. To use csvde, you must run the csvde command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732101.aspx

DIFFERENCE USAGE WISE

Csvde.exe is a Microsoft Windows 2000 command-line utility that is located in the SystemRoot\System32 folder after you install Windows 2000. Csvde.exe is similar to Ldifde.exe, but it extracts information in a comma-separated value (CSV) format. You can use Csvde to import and export Active Directory data that uses the comma-separated value format. Use a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel to open this .csv file and view the header and value information. See Microsoft Excel Help for information about functions such as Concatenate that can simplify the process of building a .csv file.

Note Although Csvde is similar to Ldifde, Csvde has a significant limitation: it can only import and export Active Directory data by using a comma-separated format (.csv). Microsoft recommends that you use the Ldifde utility for Modify or Delete operations. Additionally, the distinguished name (also known as DN) of the item that you are trying to import must be in the first column of the .csv file or the import will not work.

The source .csv file can come from an Exchange Server directory export. However, because of the difference in attribute mappings between the Exchange Server directory and Active Directory, you must make some modifications to the .csv file. For example, a directory export from Exchange Server has a column that is named “obj-class” that you must rename to “objectClass.” You must also rename “Display Name” to “displayName.”

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/327620

27) What are the FSMO roles that have them by default what happens when each one fails?

FSMO stands for the Flexible single Master Operation

It has 5 Roles: -

  • Schema Master:

The schema master domain controller controls all updates and modifications to the schema. Once the Schema update is complete, it is replicated from the schema master to all other DCs in the directory. To update the schema of a forest, you must have access to the schema master. There can be only one schema master in the whole forest.

  • Domain naming master:

The domain naming master domain controller controls the addition or removal of domains in the forest. This DC is the only one that can add or remove a domain from the directory. It can also add or remove cross references to domains in external directories. There can be only one domain naming master in the whole forest.

  • Infrastructure Master:

When an object in one domain is referenced by another object in another domain, it represents the reference by the GUID, the SID (for references to security principals), and the DN of the object being referenced. The infrastructure FSMO role holder is the DC responsible for updating an object’s SID and distinguished name in a cross-domain object reference. At any one time, there can be only one domain controller acting as the infrastructure master in each domain.

Note: The Infrastructure Master (IM) role should be held by a domain controller that is not a Global Catalog server (GC). If the Infrastructure Master runs on a Global Catalog server it will stop updating object information because it does not contain any references to objects that it does not hold. This is because a Global Catalog server holds a partial replica of every object in the forest. As a result, cross-domain object references in that domain will not be updated and a warning to that effect will be logged on that DC’s event log. If all the domain controllers in a domain also host the global catalog, all the domain controllers have the current data, and it is not important which domain controller holds the infrastructure master role.

  • Relative ID (RID) Master:

The RID master is responsible for processing RID pool requests from all domain controllers in a particular domain. When a DC creates a security principal object such as a user or group, it attaches a unique Security ID (SID) to the object. This SID consists of a domain SID (the same for all SIDs created in a domain), and a relative ID (RID) that is unique for each security principal SID created in a domain. Each DC in a domain is allocated a pool of RIDs that it is allowed to assign to the security principals it creates. When a DC’s allocated RID pool falls below a threshold, that DC issues a request for additional RIDs to the domain’s RID master. The domain RID master responds to the request by retrieving RIDs from the domain’s unallocated RID pool and assigns them to the pool of the requesting DC. At any one time, there can be only one domain controller acting as the RID master in the domain.

  • PDC Emulator:

The PDC emulator is necessary to synchronize time in an enterprise. Windows 2000/2003 includes the W32Time (Windows Time) time service that is required by the Kerberos authentication protocol. All Windows 2000/2003-based computers within an enterprise use a common time. The purpose of the time service is to ensure that the Windows Time service uses a hierarchical relationship that controls authority and does not permit loops to ensure appropriate common time usage.

The PDC emulator of a domain is authoritative for the domain. The PDC emulator at the root of the forest becomes authoritative for the enterprise, and should be configured to gather the time from an external source. All PDC FSMO role holders follow the hierarchy of domains in the selection of their in-bound time partner.

:: In a Windows 2000/2003 domain, the PDC emulator role holder retains the following functions:

:: Password changes performed by other DCs in the domain are replicated preferentially to the PDC emulator.

Authentication failures that occur at a given DC in a domain because of an incorrect password are forwarded to the PDC emulator before a bad password failure message is reported to the user.

Account lockout is processed on the PDC emulator.

Editing or creation of Group Policy Objects (GPO) is always done from the GPO copy found in the PDC Emulator’s SYSVOL share, unless configured not to do so by the administrator.

The PDC emulator performs all of the functionality that a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server-based PDC or earlier PDC performs for Windows NT 4.0-based or earlier clients.

This part of the PDC emulator role becomes unnecessary when all workstations, member servers, and domain controllers that are running Windows NT 4.0 or earlier are all upgraded to Windows 2000/2003. The PDC emulator still performs the other functions as described in a Windows 2000/2003 environment.

28) What FSMO placement considerations do you know of?

Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory domains utilize a Single Operation Master method called FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operation), as described in Understanding FSMO Roles in Active Directory.
In most cases an administrator can keep the FSMO role holders (all 5 of them) in the same spot (or actually, on the same DC) as has been configured by the Active Directory installation process. However, there are scenarios where an administrator would want to move one or more of the FSMO roles from the default holder DC to a different DC.
Windows Server 2003 Active Directory is a bit different than the Windows 2000 version when dealing with FSMO placement. In this article I will only deal with Windows Server 2003 Active Directory, but you should bear in mind that most considerations are also true when planning Windows 2000 AD FSMO roles

29) I want to look at the RID allocation table for a DC. What do I do?

1.install support tools from OS disk(OS Inst: Disk=>support=>tools=>suptools.msi)

2.In Command prompt type dcdiag /test:ridmanager /s:system1 /v (system1 is the name of our DC)

30) What’s the difference between transferring a FSMO role and seizing one? Which one should you NOT seize? Why?

Seizing an FSMO can be a destructive process and should only be attempted if the existing server with the FSMO is no longer available.
If the domain controller that is the Schema Master FSMO role holder is temporarily unavailable, DO NOT seize the Schema Master role.
If you are going to seize the Schema Master, you must permanently disconnect the current Schema Master from the network.
If you seize the Schema Master role, the boot drive on the original Schema Master must be completely reformatted and the operating system must be cleanly installed, if you intend to return this computer to the network.
NOTE: The Boot Partition contains the system files (\System32). The System Partition is the partition that contains the startup files, NTDetect.com, NTLDR, Boot.ini, and possibly Ntbootdd.sys.

The Active Directory Installation Wizard (Dcpromo.exe) assigns all 5 FSMO roles to the first domain controller in the forest root domain. The first domain controller in each new child or tree domain is assigned the three domain-wide roles.

31) How do you configure a “stand-by operation master” for any of the roles?

  1. Open Active Directory Sites and Services.
  2. Expand the site name in which the standby operations      master is located to display the Servers folder.
  3. Expand the Servers folder to see a list of the      servers in that site.
  4. Expand the name of the server that you want to be the      standby operations master to display its NTDS Settings.
  5. Right-click NTDS Settings, click New, and      then click Connection.
  6. In the Find Domain Controllers dialog box,      select the name of the current role holder, and then click OK.
  7. In the New Object-Connection dialog box, enter      an appropriate name for the Connection object or accept the default name,      and click OK.

32) How do you backup & restore AD.

Backing up Active Directory is essential to maintain an Active Directory database. You can back up Active Directory by using the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and command-line tools that the Windows Server 2003 family provides.
You frequently backup the system state data on domain controllers so that you can restore the most current data. By establishing a regular backup schedule, you have a better chance of recovering data when necessary.

To ensure a good backup includes at least the system state data and contents of the system disk, you must be aware of the tombstone lifetime. By default, the tombstone is 60 days. Any backup older than 60 days is not a good backup. Plan to backup at least two domain controllers in each domain, one of at least one backup to enable an authoritative restore of the data when necessary.

SystemStateData
Several features in the windows server 2003 family make it easy to backup Active Directory. You can backup Active Directory while the server is online and other network function can continue to function.

System state data on a domain controller includes the following components:

Active Directory system state data does not contain Active Directory unless the server, on which you are backing up the system state data, is a domain controller. Active Directory is present only on domain controllers.
The SYSVOL shared folder: This shared folder contains Group policy templates and logon scripts. The SYSVOL shared folder is present only on domain controllers.
The Registry: This database repository contains information about the computer’s configuration.
System startup files: Windows Server 2003 requires these files during its initial startup phase. They include the boot and system files that are under windows file protection and used by windows to load, configure, and run the operating system.
The COM+ Class Registration database: The Class registration is a database of information about Component Services applications.
The Certificate Services database: This database contains certificates that a server running Windows server 2003 uses to authenticate users. The Certificate Services database is present only if the server is operating as a certificate server.
System state data contains most elements of a system’s configuration, but it may not include all of the information that you require recovering data from a system failure. Therefore, be sure to backup all boot and system volumes, including theSystemState, when you back up your server.

Restoring Active Directory
In Windows Server 2003 family, you can restore the Active Directory database if it becomes corrupted or is destroyed because of hardware or software failures. You must restore the Active Directory database when objects in Active Directory are changed or deleted.

Active Directory restore can be performed in several ways. Replication synchronizes the latest changes from every other replication partner. Once the replication is finished each partner has an updated version of Active Directory. There is another way to get these latest updates by Backup utility to restore replicated data from a backup copy. For this restore you don’t need to configure again your domain controller or no need to install the operating system from scratch.

Active Directory Restore Methods
You can use one of the three methods to restore Active Directory from backup media: primary restore, normal (non authoritative) restore, and authoritative restore.

Primary restore: This method rebuilds the first domain controller in a domain when there is no other way to rebuild the domain. Perform a primary restore only when all the domain controllers in the domain are lost, and you want to rebuild the domain from the backup.
Members of Administrators group can perform the primary restore on local computer, or user should have been delegated with this responsibility to perform restore. On a domain controller only Domain Admins can perform this restore.
Normal restore: This method reinstates the Active Directory data to the state before the backup, and then updates the data through the normal replication process. Perform a normal restore for a single domain controller to a previously known good state.
Authoritative restore: You perform this method in tandem with a normal restore. An authoritative restore marks specific data as current and prevents the replication from overwriting that data. The authoritative data is then replicated through the domain.
Perform an authoritative restore individual object in a domain that has multiple domain controllers. When you perform an authoritative restore, you lose all changes to the restore object that occurred after the backup. Ntdsutil is a command line utility to perform an authoritative restore along with windows server 2003 system utilities. The Ntdsutil command-line tool is an executable file that you use to mark Active Directory objects as authoritative so that they receive a higher version recently changed data on other domain controllers does not overwrite system state data during replication.

33) Why can’t you restore a DC that was backed up 4 months ago?

Because of the tombstone life which is set to only 60 days

34) What are GPOs?

Group Policy Objects

35) What is the order in which GPOs are applied?

Local, Site, Domain, OU

Group Policy settings are processed in the following order:

1:- Local Group Policy object-each computer has exactly one Group Policy object that is stored locally. This processes for both computer and user Group Policy processing.

2:- Site-Any GPOs that have been linked to the site that the computer belongs to are processed next. Processing is in the order that is specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the site in Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.

3:- Domain-processing of multiple domain-linked GPOs is in the order specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the domain in GPMC. The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.

4:- Organizational units-GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit that is highest in the Active Directory hierarchy are processed first, then GPOs that are linked to its child organizational unit, and so on. Finally, the GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit that contains the user or computer are processed.

At the level of each organizational unit in the Active Directory hierarchy, one, many, or no GPOs can be linked. If several GPOs are linked to an organizational unit, their processing is in the order that is specified by the administrator, on the Linked Group Policy Objects tab for the organizational unit in GPMC. The GPO with the lowest link order is processed last, and therefore has the highest precedence.

This order means that the local GPO is processed first, and GPOs that are linked to the organizational unit of which the computer or user is a direct member are processed last, which overwrites settings in the earlier GPOs if there are conflicts. (If there are no conflicts, then the earlier and later settings are merely aggregated.)

36) Name a few benefits of using GPMC.

  • Easy administration of all GPOs across the entireActiveDirectoryForest
  • View of all GPOs in one single list
  • Reporting of GPO settings, security, filters,      delegation, etc.
  • Control of GPO inheritance with Block Inheritance,      Enforce, and Security Filtering
  • Delegation model
  • Backup and restore of GPOs
  • Migration of GPOs across different domains and forests

With all of these benefits, there are still negatives in using the GPMC alone. Granted, the GPMC is needed and should be used by everyone for what it is ideal for. However, it does fall a bit short when you want to protect the GPOs from the following:

  • Role based delegation of GPO management
  • Being edited in production, potentially causing damage      to desktops and servers
  • Forgetting to back up a GPO after it has been modified
  • Change management of each modification to every GPO

37) What are the GPC and the GPT? Where can I find them?

A GPO is a collection of Group Policy settings, stored at the domain level as a virtual object consisting of a Group Policy container (GPC) and a Group Policy template (GPT).

The GPC, which contains information on the properties of a GPO, is stored in Active Directory on each domain controller in the domain. The GPT contains the data in a GPO and is stored in the Sysvol in the /Policies sub-directory.

38) What are GPO links? What special things can I do to them?

Linking GPOs

To apply the settings of a GPO to the users and computers of a domain, site, or OU, you need to add a link to that GPO. You can add one or more GPO links to each domain, site, or OU by using GPMC. Keep in mind that creating and linking GPOs is a sensitive privilege that should be delegated only to administrators who are trusted and understand Group Policy.

Linking GPOs to the Site

If you have a number of policy settings to apply to computers in a particular physical location only – certain network or proxy configuration settings, for example – these settings might be appropriate for inclusion in a site-based policy. Because domains and sites are independent, it is possible that computers in the site might need to cross domains to link the GPO to the site. In this case, make sure there is good connectivity.

If, however, the settings do not clearly correspond to computers in a single site, it is better to assign the GPO to the domain or OU structure rather than to the site.

Linking GPOs to the Domain

Link GPOs to the domain if you want them to apply to all users and computers in the domain. For example, security administrators often implement domain-based GPOs to enforce corporate standards. They might want to create these GPOs with the GPMC Enforce option enabled to guarantee that no other administrator can override these settings.

Important

  • If you need to modify some of the settings      contained in the Default Domain Policy GPO, it is recommended that      you create a new GPO for this purpose, link it to the domain, and set the Enforce      option. In general, do not modify this or the Default Domain Controller      Policy GPO. If you do, be sure to back up these and any other GPOs in      your network by using GPMC to ensure you can restore them.

As the name suggests, the Default Domain Policy GPO is also linked to the domain. The Default Domain Policy GPO is created when the first domain controller in the domain is installed and the administrator logs on for the first time. This GPO contains the domain-wide account policy settings, Password Policy, Account Lockout Policy, and Kerberos Policy, which is enforced by the domain controller computers in the domain. All domain controllers retrieve the values of these account policy settings from the Default Domain Policy GPO. In order to apply account policies to domain accounts, these policy settings must be deployed in a GPO linked to the domain, and it is recommended that you set these settings in the Default Domain Policy. If you set account policies at a lower level, such as an OU, the settings only affect local accounts (non-domain accounts) on computers in that OU and its children.

Before making any changes to the default GPOs, be sure to back up the GPO using GPMC. If for some reason there is a problem with the changes to the default GPOs and you cannot revert back to the previous or initial states, you can use the Dcgpofix.exe tool to recreate the default policies in their initial state.

Dcgpofix.exe is a command-line tool that completely restores the Default Domain Policy GPO and Default Domain Controller GPO to their original states in the event of a disaster where you cannot use GPMC. Dcgpofix.exe restores only the policy settings that are contained in the default GPOs at the time they are generated. The only Group Policy extensions that include policy settings in the default GPOs are RIS, Security, and EFS. Dcgpofix.exe does not restore other GPOs that administrators create; it is only intended for disaster recovery of the default GPOs.

Note that Dcgpofix.exe does not save any information created through applications, such as SMS or Exchange. The Dcgpofix.exe tool is included with Windows Server 2003 and only works in a Windows Server 2003 domain.

Dcgpofix.exe is located in the C:\Windows\Repair folder. The syntax for Dcgpofix.exe is as follows:

Copy Code

DCGPOFix [/Target: Domain | DC | BOTH]

Table 2.1 describes the options you can use with the command line parameter /Target: when using the Dcgpofix.exe tool.

Table 2.1 Dcgpofix.exe Options for Using the /Target Parameter

/Target option:

Description of option

DOMAINSpecifies that the   Default Domain Policy should be recreated.DCSpecifies that the   Default Domain Controllers Policy should be recreated.BOTHSpecifies that both the   Default Domain Policy and the Default Domain Controllers Policy should be   recreated.For more information   about Dcgpofix.exe, in Help and Support   Centerfor Windows   Server 2003 click Tools, and then click Command-line reference A-Z

Linking GPOs to the OU Structure

Most GPOs are normally linked to the OU structure because this provides the most flexibility and manageability:

  • You can move users and computers into and out of OUs.
  • OUs can be rearranged if necessary.
  • You can work with smaller groups of users who have      common administrative requirements.
  • You can organize users and computers based on which      administrators manage them.

Organizing GPOs into user- and computer-oriented GPOs can help make your Group Policy environment easier to understand and can simplify troubleshooting. However, separating the user and computer components into separate GPOs might require more GPOs. You can compensate for this by adjusting the GPO Status to disable the user or computer configuration portions of the GPO that do not apply and to reduce the time required to apply a given GPO.

Changing the GPO Link Order

Within each domain, site, and OU, the link order controls the order in which GPOs are applied. To change the precedence of a link, you can change the link order, moving each link up or down in the list to the appropriate location. Links with the lowest number have higher precedence for a given site, domain, or OU. For example, if you add six GPO links and later decide that you want the last one that you added to have the highest precedence, you can adjust the link order of the GPO link so it has link order of 1. To change the link order for GPO links for a domain, OU, or site, use GPMC

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736813.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757050.aspx

39) What can I do to prevent inheritance from above?

You can block policy inheritance for a domain or organizational unit. Using block inheritance prevents GPOs linked to higher sites, domains, or organizational units from being automatically inherited by the child-level. By default, children inherit all GPOs from the parent, but it is sometimes useful to block inheritance. For example, if you want to apply a single set of policies to an entire domain except for one organizational unit, you can link the required GPOs at the domain level (from which all organizational units inherit policies by default), and then block inheritance only on the organizational unit to which the policies should not be applied.

40) How can I override blocking of inheritance?

A. Group Policies can be applied at multiple levels (Sites, domains, organizational Units) and multiple GP’s for each level. Obviously it may be that some policy settings conflict hence the application order of Site – Domain – Organization Unit and within each layer you set order for all defined policies but you may want to force some polices to never be overridden (No Override) and you may want some containers to not inherit settings from a parent container (Block Inheritance).

A good definition of each is as follows:

No Override – This prevents child containers from overriding policies set at higher levels

Block Inheritance – Stops containers inheriting policies from parent containers

No Override takes precedence over Block Inheritance so if a child container has Block Inheritance set but on the parent a group policy has No Override set then it will get applied.

Also the highest No Override takes precedence over lower No Override’s set.

To block inheritance perform the following:

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computer      snap-in (Start – Programs – Administrative Tools – Active Directory Users      and Computers)
  2. Right click on the container you wish to stop      inheriting settings from its parent and select Properties
  3. Select the ‘Group Policy’ tab
  4. Check the ‘Block Policy inheritance’ option
    Click      here to view image
  5. Click Apply then OK

To set a policy to never be overridden performs the following:

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computer snap-in      (Start – Programs – Administrative Tools – Active Directory Users and      Computers)
  2. Right click on the container you wish to set a Group      Policy to not be overridden and select Properties
  3. Select the ‘Group Policy’ tab
  4. Click Options
  5. Check the ‘No Override’ option
  6. Click OK
  7. Click Apply then OK

41) How can you determine what GPO was and was not applied for a user? Name a few ways to do that.

  1. Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) can provide assistance when      you need to troubleshoot GPO behavior. It allows you to examine the      settings of a specific GPO, and is can also be used to determine how your      GPOs are linked to sites, domains, and OUs. The Group Policy Results      report collects information on a computer and user, to list the policy      settings which are enabled. To create a Group Policy Results report,      right-click Group Policy Results, and select Group Policy Results Wizard      on the shortcut menu. This launches the Group Policy Results Wizard, which      guides you through various pages to set parameters for the information      that should be displayed in the Group Policy Results report.
  2. Gpresult.exe Click Start > RUN > CMD      > gpresult, this will also give you information of applied group      policies.
  1. 3.       RSOP.MSC

42) A user claims he did not receive a GPO, yet his user and computer accounts are in the right OU, and everyone else there gets the GPO. What will you look for?

Here interviewer want to know the troubleshooting steps
what GPOs is applying?
If it applying in all user and computer?
What GPOs are implemented on ou?
Make sure user not is member of loopback policy as in loopback policy it doesn’t affect user settings only computer policy will applicable.
If he is member of GPOs filter grp or not?

You may also want to check the computers event logs. If you find event ID 1085 then you may want to download the patch to fix this and reboot the computer.
===============================================
Answer 2: Start troubleshooting by running RSOP.MSC (Resultant Set of Policy) or gpresult /z to verify whether relevant GPO actually applies to that user?

This also can be a reason of slow network; you can change the default setting by using the Group Policy MMC snap-in. This feature is enabled by default, but you can disable it by using the following policy: Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon.

Identify which GPOs they correspond to; verify that they are applicable to the computer/user (based on the output of RSOP.MSC/gpresult)

43) What are administrative templates?

The GPO settings are divided between the Computer settings and the User settings. In both parts of the GPO you can clearly see a large section called Administrative Templates.

Administrative Templates are a large repository of registry-based changes (in fact, over 1300 individual settings) that can be found in any GPO on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

By using the Administrative Template sections of the GPO you can deploy modifications to machine (called HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the registry) and user (called HKEY_CURRENT_USER in the registry) portions of the Registry of computers that are influenced by the GPO.

The Administrative Templates are Unicode-formatted text files with the extension .ADM and are used to create the Administrative Templates portion of the user interface for the GPO Editor.

44) What’s the difference between software publishing and assigning?

An administrator can either assign or publish software applications.
Assign Users
the software application is advertised when the user logs on. It is installed when the user clicks on the software application icon via the start menu, or accesses a file that has been associated with the software application.
Assign Computers
The software application is advertised and installed when it is safe to do so, such as when the computer is next restarted.
Publish to users
the software application does not appear on the start menu or desktop. This means the user may not know that the software is available. The software application is made available via the Add/Remove Programs option in control panel, or by clicking on a file that has been associated with the application. Published applications do not reinstall themselves in the event of accidental deletion, and it is not possible to publish to computers.

45) You want to standardize the desktop environments (wallpaper, My Documents, Start menu, printers etc.) on the computers in one department. How would you do that?

Yes… Through Group Policy

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48 thoughts on “System Administrator – Active Directory Interview Questions and Answers

  1. Samuel Nob_1983 May 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Nice collection of questions and Answers.Thanks dude!

  2. mahesh pejgude July 4, 2012 at 11:54 am Reply

    very helpfulll….

  3. Anil Jhajharia August 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply

    Nice collection

    • surya October 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm Reply

      very good tips

  4. Ambarish August 20, 2012 at 2:09 am Reply

    Good collection of questions and answers….Ambarish.

  5. Shivakumatr August 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Thank you..

  6. Rahul September 1, 2012 at 3:11 am Reply

    Awsome written in easy language thanks …very helpfull ..god bless you

  7. Rahul September 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm Reply

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    plz DNS and DHCP?

  8. Ramdas Gore September 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Good collection in easy language ..thanks

  9. kalai October 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm Reply

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    • sanjay kumar bhawani October 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm Reply

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  10. e techies October 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm Reply

    well typed….but example attachment would be better..

  11. Laxmidhar October 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Awesome,, many many thanks…

  12. srinivas October 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm Reply

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  13. pkp October 27, 2012 at 11:22 am Reply

    Please change the font its not readable ….

  14. golap October 29, 2012 at 9:55 am Reply

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  15. digambar November 7, 2012 at 6:42 am Reply

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  16. KHAMOOS November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm Reply

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  17. Jahirul Islam November 19, 2012 at 10:02 am Reply

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  18. Pradip November 26, 2012 at 11:10 am Reply

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  19. shailesh December 5, 2012 at 9:14 am Reply

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  20. Deepak Mandal December 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm Reply

    This is Deepak From Gurgaon

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  21. Arun December 25, 2012 at 4:31 am Reply

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  22. Jogesh December 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm Reply

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  23. Anirban December 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm Reply

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  24. bhuvi December 29, 2012 at 8:25 am Reply

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  25. Ramesh January 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Very Good Material and understand very easy…
    Pls provide DNS and DHCP

  26. Narenderreddy January 27, 2013 at 1:21 am Reply

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  27. Dimpal February 2, 2013 at 12:23 am Reply

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  30. SaidaRao March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm Reply

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  36. Dipesh Chouhan June 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm Reply

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  37. Nitin Sharma June 18, 2013 at 6:58 am Reply

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  39. Abi August 23, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply

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  40. RBK October 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm Reply

    answers for “Daniel Petri’s MCSE & System Administrator Job Interview ” Very good effort and helpful..

  41. Umesh November 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm Reply

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  42. Ahmad January 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm Reply

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  43. praveen February 22, 2014 at 10:51 am Reply

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