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I really like the snapshot feature of Windows Server 2008 AD and have been using it quite a bit recently.  This week I had my first foray into snapshotting with AD LDS.  Everything is pretty much the same as for AD, the only obvious difference being that you can create the snapshots using either dsdbutil or ntdsutil with AD LDS.  I was somewhat surprised then to see a nasty looking error (see below) when I fired up Dsamain.exe to expose my freshly taken AD LDS snapshot.

C:\>dsamain -dbpath “C:\$SNAP_200904031033_VOLUMEC$\Program Files
\Microsoft ADAM\INSTANCE1\data\adamntds.dit” -ldapport 15005
EVENTLOG (Error): NTDS Database / Internal Processing : 1168
Internal error: An Active Directory Domain Services error has occurred.
Additional DataError value (decimal):
-1507
Error value (hex):
fffffa1d

Internal ID:
20208a9

EVENTLOG (Error): NTDS General / Internal Processing : 1003
Active Directory Domain Services could not be initialized.

The directory service cannot recover from this error.

User Action

Restore the local directory service from backup media.

Additional Data

Error value:
-1507 JET_errColumnNotFound, No such column

EVENTLOG (Informational): NTDS General / Service Control : 1004
Active Directory Domain Services was shut down successfully.

After a few minutes bafflement, I had another look through the Dsamain.exe command line options and saw this:

 -adlds       (optional) open AD/LDS DIT

It turns out the -adlds parameter is optional only in the sense that you don’t (and in fact must not) include it when using Dsamain.exe with AD.  It is mandatory when using AD LDS.

Once I included the -adlds parameter everything fired up normally.   Another case of RTFM for me. :-)

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