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Backing up and restoring ADAM

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 R2

Backing up and restoring ADAM

Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) data and log files should be backed up regularly to ensure the continued availability of data to applications and users in the event of a system failure.

Backing up ADAM

By default, each instance of ADAM running on an ADAM server stores its database file, Adamntds.dit, and the associated log files in %program files%\Microsoft adam\instancename\data. These files should be included as part of the regular backup plan of your organization. You can back up the directory stores using Backup or any Windows Logo Program, third-party backup utility. For information about backing up an ADAM instance, see Back up an ADAM instance to a file or a tape.


You can use a restored backup of an ADAM instance to install an ADAM replica from media. For more information, see Install an ADAM replica from media.

Restoring ADAM

When you restore a database to an existing ADAM instance, you must stop the ADAM instance before you run the restore operation. In addition, it is recommended that you move (or delete) the existing database and log files from the ADAM instance before the restore operation.

Authoritative restore

If objects in the directory are inadvertently deleted or modified, and if those objects are replicated in a configuration set, you must authoritatively restore those objects so that the correct version of the objects are replicated. To authoritatively restore directory data, run the dsdbutil utility after you have restored the data but before you restart the ADAM instance. With dsdbutil, you can mark directory objects for authoritative restore. When an object is marked for authoritative restore, its update sequence number is changed so that the number is higher than any other update sequence number in the configuration set. This ensures that any data you restore is properly replicated throughout the configuration set.

For more information about restoring an ADAM instance, including authoritative restores, see Restore an ADAM instance.


  • If you restore an ADAM backup over a running ADAM instance, Backup leaves the restored files in a pending state, and it does not write the files to disk until the computer is rebooted. In this situation, any directory changes that are made to the running ADAM instance after Backup is run are lost.

  • If you accidentally start a restore of an ADAM instance over a currently running ADAM instance, it is recommended that you immediately restart the computer, stop the ADAM instance, and then perform the restoration again.