This operations guide provides guidance on how to manage and troubleshoot Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Active Directory. These activities are part of the operating phase of the IT life cycle.

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Using the Microsoft Operations Framework for Active Directory Directory Services Operations
Using this Guide


This operations guide provides guidance on how to manage and troubleshoot Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Active Directory. These activities are part of the operating phase of the IT life cycle. Although this guide specifically addresses the operating phase of the IT life cycle, Microsoft Enterprise Services Framework provides guidelines for other phases of the life cycle. These phases are listed in Table 1.1.

Table 1.1 IT Life Cycle and Microsoft Enterprise Services Frameworks Assistance

For this Phase

Microsoft Enterprise Services Frameworks Provides this Assistance


Although not currently a dedicated Enterprise Services framework, Microsoft Business Value Services provide tools to assess and plan the IT infrastructure, prioritize projects, and make a compelling business case for undertaking an IT project.

Building and Deploying

Microsoft Solutions Framework provides guidelines for building and deploying a project. The phases involved in this part of the IT life cycle include envisioning, planning, developing, and deploying.


Microsoft Operations Framework provides guidelines for managing production systems within complex distributed IT environments.

Active Directory operations occur after you plan, build, and deploy your Active Directory implementation.

Note All references to Windows 2000 include both Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server and Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Advanced Server, unless otherwise specified. This document assumes that you are using Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or greater.

Using the Microsoft Operations Framework for Active Directory Directory Services Operations

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) is a collection of best practices, principles, and models. It provides comprehensive technical guidance for achieving reliable, available, supportable, and manageable solutions and services built on Microsoft products and technologies. MOF bases its recommendations on current industry best practices for IT service management, as documented and validated by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA).

The MOF process model describes an operations life cycle that applies to releases of any size, relating to any service solution. MOF identifies four main areas of operations, which are divided into quadrants in the operations life cycle. Table 1.2 lists the four quadrants and the area of operations they cover.

Table 1.2 MOF Operations Quadrants


Service Mission


Perform day-to-day tasks effectively and efficiently.


Resolve incidents, problems, and inquiries quickly.


Optimize cost, performance, capacity, and availability in the delivery of IT services and drive necessary changes, based on the data that you collect.


Introduce new service solutions, technologies, systems, applications, hardware, and processes.

This guide includes processes for operating Active Directory.

For more information about MOF, see the Microsoft Operations Framework on TechNet.


This guide is for medium and large organizations that have one or more centralized IT operations departments. It includes information that is relevant to different roles within an IT organization, including IT Operations management and administrators. It contains high-level information that is required in planning an Active Directory operations environment. This information requires management-level knowledge of the technology and IT processes.

In addition, this guide contains low-level procedures that are designed for operators who have varied levels of expertise and experience. Although the procedures provide operator guidance from start to finish, operators must have a basic proficiency with the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and snap-ins, and know how to start programs and access the command line.

Using this Guide

To accommodate a wide IT audience, the operations areas are divided into the following types of content:

  • Overview, which explains what you need to consider for operating an Active Directory component, along with a list of tasks involved in operating that component.

  • Tasks, which contain the caveats that you should be aware of when performing the task, along with a list of procedures involved in the task. For your convenience, a list of tasks and procedures appears in alphabetical order in Appendix A.

  • Procedures, which appear in full in Appendix B of this document, and are often referred to by more than one task. All tasks in this document link to the associated procedures.

For Maximum Benefit in Using this Guide

  • Read through the entire Operating Active Directory chapter to gain a management-level knowledge of how to operate Active Directory.

  • Ensure that you have all the tools installed where operators use them.

  • Use the task lists to schedule recurring tasks.

  • Create "tear sheets" for each task that operators perform within your organization. Cut and paste the task and its related procedures into a separate document and then either print these documents, or store them online, depending on the preference of your organization.

  • Give the operator the tear sheets for the task when a task needs to be performed, along with information relevant to the environment (such as the name and IP address of the domain controller involved in the task).


Part I of this operations overview was dDeveloped by the Windows Resource Kits team.

Program Managers: Stuart Kwan, Andreas Luther, Chris Macaulay, Paul Reiner

Writers: Mary Hillman, Dave Kreitler, Merrilee McDonald, Randy McLaughlin, Andrea Weiss

Editors: Laura Graham and Justin Hall

Copy Editors: Bonnie Birger, Anika Nelson, Dee Teodoro

Test Plan: Mary Hillman and Cheryl Jenkins

Testers: Justin Hall, David Stern, Matt Winberry

Lab Staff: Robert Thingwold and David Meyer

Lab Partners: Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems

We thank the following people for reviewing the guide and providing valuable feedback:

Tadao Arima, Bill Bagley, Colin Brace, Duncan Bryce, J.C. Cannon, Sudarshan Chitre, Arren Conner, Joseph Davies, Jim Dobbin, Levon Esibov, Eric Fitzgerald, David Golds, Jin Huang, Khushru Irani, J.K. Jaganathan, Kamal Janardhan, Asaf Kashi, William Lees, Jonathan Liem, Doug Lindsey, Arun Nanda, Paul O'Connell, Boyd Peterson, Paul Rich, Murli Satagopan, Sanjiv Sharma, Michael Snyder, David Stern, Mark Szalkiewics, Kahren Tevosyan, Derek Vincent