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Move the SYSVOL and NTDS folder to another drive

    Question

  • Hi,

    I have a single domain controller with 2 drives and I have installed the NTDS and SYSVOL folders to a separate drive (D). At first I was doubting to install them on the same drive (C) but I read somewhere that it is better to put them on a seperate drive (for performance/space requirements). 

    However, now I want to configure a system state backup to a local drive but Windows Server Backup (WSB) does find any suitable local drives. I guess this is because C is used for the operating system and D is used for SYSVOL and NTDS folders. 

    Now I would like to move SYSVOL and NTDS to the C drive so I can configure my backup but it seems the only way to do this is to demote and re-promote the DC. However, this is a live production environment so I can't just do that.

    Does anyone have an idea on how I should proceed? Is there another way to move the NTDS and SYSVOL folders?

    Thanks already!

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 8:30 AM

Answers

All replies

  • > Does anyone have an idea on how I should proceed? Is there another way to move the NTDS and SYSVOL folders?
     
    The by far easiest way would be a USB drive...
     
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:24 AM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. Could you specify what you mean? I don't see how a USB drive can help me to move those folders? 

    I need to avoid downtime as much as possible.

    Thanks. 

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 11:10 AM
  • Do you have space to create another extra drive on the domain controller locally. Is this a virtual domain controller, if so you can create a new drive locally.

    Windowsserver backup would then be able to take a backup to the local drive. (Recommended). Then you can use whatever utility to copy that backup over to tape or whatever.

    let us know more details on the environment.

    And there is no way of relocating sysvol / ntds without some downtime.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:42 PM
  • Hello,

    Below are the instructions for moving AD manually:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816594(v=ws.10).aspx

    http://www.rebeladmin.com/2015/02/how-to-move-active-directory-database-to-new-location/

    Be sure to back up both volumes as this is going to mess with your AD so any errors could bring about massive downtime, headaches and defenestration.

    Alternatively, you could add a second DC temporarily and after replication, demote the original DC and then promote it again using the default SYSVOL/NTDS location. After that, demote and remove the other DC.


    Miguel Fra
    Falcon IT Services
    https://www.falconitservices.com

     



    • Edited by Miguel Fra Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:16 PM
    • Marked as answer by Jozef Woo Friday, April 14, 2017 1:09 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:59 PM
  • > Thanks for your reply. Could you specify what you mean? I don't see how a USB drive can help me to move those folders?
     
    Plug in a USB drive and use it as the backup target... Shortest downtime - none, to be precise :-)
    Additional advantage: You can store the USB drive in a different location - a safe or something like that comes to mind.
     
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:24 PM
  • Thanks all for the valuable input. I can't choose which is the Best Solution :-) 

    I'm considering all options but it seems that to move the folders, I will have downtime anyway.

    I can't easily connect a USB drive because it's a virtual server in a cloud. 

    I can't add a drive easily either.

    So now I'm considering to force the Windows Server Backup to still do the system state backup to my D drive. I guess this should be possible with a scheduled task. Any idea how to proceed here? I only want to keep the system state backups for 2 days.


    • Edited by Jozef Woo Wednesday, April 12, 2017 5:18 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 5:17 PM
  • Since it's a cloud VPS, you should be able to crank up a secondary server relatively easily, promote it then demote the original DC to leave it as a member server. Once this is done, promote the original once again leaving the default c: NTDS and SYSVOL folders and then finally demote the second DC and cancel the VPS.

    This method will solve your conundrum with no downtime and practically no risk other than human error.


    Miguel Fra
    Falcon IT Services
    https://www.falconitservices.com

     



    • Edited by Miguel Fra Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:08 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:07 PM