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Simple Restore

A simple restore will reload only the Active Directory Database. It makes no other changes to your computer. It is the quickest and easiest way to restore the AD database.

A simple restore will reload only the Active Directory database files (typically C:\Windows\NTDS\*) and the System Volume (typically C:\Windows\SYSVOL\*).

A simple restore can only be done on the original computer where the backup was made.

Windows Server 2008-2016: A simple restore can reload AD from a backup of the System State created by Windows Server Backup (wbadmin start systemstatebackup).

Windows Server 2003: A simple restore can reload AD from a backup of the System State created by NTBACKUP.

Contrast with Comprehensive Restore

In contrast, a comprehensive restore will reload additional data outside of Active Directory that is related to AD. For example, it can restore application databases that are connected to AD.

A comprehensive restore is required when moving AD to a new computer.

Advantage of a Simple Restore

The advantage of a simple restore is that it requires only the System State, runs quickly, and makes minimal changes to your computer. It restores only the NTDS files and the SYSVOL folder.

For more information

For more information see Comprehensive Restore and Restore on Same Computer.