Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2008

Performs database maintenance of the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) store, facilitates configuration of Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) communication ports, and views AD LDS instances that are installed on a computer.

Dsdbutil is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Server 2008. It is available if you have the AD LDS server role installed. To use dsdbutil, you must run the dsdbutil command from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

For most of the Dsdbutil commands, you only need to type the first few characters of the command name instead than the entire command. For example, you can type either of the following commands to activate an AD LDS instance named instance1:

activate instance instance1
ac i instance1

The short form for each command is listed in the following table.


Command Description

Activate Instance %s

short form: ac i %s

Sets NTDS or a specific AD LDS instance as the active instance.

authoritative restore

Short form: au r

Authoritatively restores the Active Directory database or AD LDS instance.

Change Service Account %s1 %s2

Changes an AD DS and AD LDS service account to user name %s1 and password %s2.

Use NULL for a blank password and an asterisk (*) to enter a password from the console.


Short form: f

Manages AD DS and AD LDS database files.


Short form: i

Creates installation media for writable (full) and read-only domain controllers (RODCs) and instances of AD LDS.

LDAP port %d

Configures a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) port for an AD LDS instance.

List instances

Short form: li i

Lists all AD LDS instances that are installed on this computer.

Popups off

Short form: po off

Disables popups.

Popups on

Short form: po on

Enables popups.

semantic database analysis

Short form: sem d a

Checks semantics.


Short form: sn

Manages snapshots.


Shows help at the command prompt.


Shows help at the command prompt.


Quits this command.