A Few of My Favorite Things: RepAdmin
Compaq knows a thing or two about troubleshooting large networks. Here are some of the utilities and programs it uses most and likes best for Windows 2000.
While it’s not the most famous tool
for AD administration in Win2K, the command-line
utility RepAdmin, available in the Support
Tools folder on the Win2K CD-ROM, offers valuable
troubleshooting features. This tool provides a
powerful interface into the inner-workings of
AD replication and aids in troubleshooting AD
replication problems on DCs.
Run Repadmin against each DC
to determine if all DCs have the same replicated
values. If a specific DC doesn’t have the same
value and the change was made some time ago, you
can begin investigating why the computer hasn’t
yet received the change. Type repadmin at the
command prompt to view supported commands and
Tip: The Knowledge Consistency Checker
(KCC) must have run successfully for AD’s replication
topology to be current. Type:
at the command prompt to determine
the status of the KCC on a particular DC.
Replication topology has inbound
and outbound connections from each DC to other
DCs in a domain and, possibly, other domains in
the same AD forest. The figure shows two DCs in
a single domain, with no other domains in the
inbound and outbound replication partners.
(Click image to view larger version.)
Since sites in AD affect the replication
topology, the first output line shows the DC member’s
site. The inbound and outbound neighbors show
what the KCC has created. Information in the neighbors
also shows sites, the name of the neighbor DC,
and the transport mechanism (RPC or SMTP) used.
There will be a minimum of three sets of neighbors
per DC representing the schema context, configuration
context and domain context partitions in AD. If
there are additional domain context partitions,
the DC is a Global Catalog server. You can display
more detailed connection information with:
You may need to force replication
on a DC. Replication is always a “pull” action.
First, determine the name of the target server
that needs to be synchronized. Then, at a command
prompt, use Repadmin.exe to determine the target
server’s direct replication partners:
Under the Inbound Neighbors section
of the output, the direct replication partners
for each directory partition are identified along
with the status of the last replication.
Find the directory partition that
needs synchronization and locate the source server
with which the target will be synchronized, then
use Repadmin.exe to initiate replication by typing
directory_partition < source_server="">_objectGuid
If successful, Repadmin.exe displays
the following message:
from source: objectGuid, to dest: localdc is successful.
As an option, you can use the following
switches on the command line:
/force: Overrides the normal replication
/async: Starts the replication event.
Repadmin.exe doesn’t wait for the replication
event to finish.
/full: Forces a full replication of all
objects from the destination DSA.
While most AD management tools are
GUI-based, the simple and powerful command-line
tool RepAdmin.exe provides many options that contribute
to the successful management of AD in Win2K.
Jim Hautala, MCSE, is a technology
consultant, Windows and Messaging Practice, for
Compaq in New England.