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Directory Services Restore Mode

What is DSRM?

Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) is a special boot mode for repairing or recovering Active Directory. It is used to log on to the computer when Active Directory has failed or needs to be restored.

Note: Do not confuse DSRM with Safe Mode. Active Directory will still attempt to start in Safe Mode and if it fails you will not be able to log on. Instead use DSRM.

You can log on to DSRM by using a special DSRM password that you set when you promoted the domain controller. Use the logon account name .\Administrator (language may vary).

DSRM is only needed when Active Directory is so damaged that you cannot log on using your normal AD Administrator password. Use DSRM when doing a domain-wide restore or a forest-wide restore when AD is so damaged that it will not boot normally.