Restoring an Active Directory Object after mistakenly deleting it

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Starting with Windows 2008 R2, Microsoft introduced the Active Directory recycling bin. This is great for recovering objects back into AD if they are accidentally deleted. In order to use the recycle bin feature, your forest must be running with a functional level of Windows 2008 R2. If your forest is running at this level you simply run a PowerShell command to enable it.

Enable

To enable Active Directory Recycle Bin using the Enable-ADOptionalFeature cmdlet

Click Start, click Administrative Tools, right-click Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell, and then click Run as administrator.

Below is a sample for enabling it for domain.com:

Enable-ADOptionalFeature –Identity “CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=moh10ly,DC=com” –Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet –Target moh10ly.com

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Restore

Once you have the Recycling Bin for Active Directory you will have to use LDP.exe to restore. By default the container with the deleted objects is not displayed. The following steps will allow you to see the container with the deleted objects.

Display Deleted Objects

Follow these steps to display the Deleted Objects container:

  1. To open Ldp.exe, click Start, click Run, and then type exe.
  2. On the Optionsmenu, click Controls.

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3. In the Controlsdialog box, expand the Load Predefined pull-down menu, click Return deleted objects, and then click OK.

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4. To verify that the Deleted Objects container is displayed:

  • To connect and bind to the server that hosts the forest root domain of your AD DS environment, under Connections, click Connect, and then Bind. (U must use SSL and port 636)
  • Click View, click Tree, and in BaseDN, type DC=<mydomain>,DC=<com>, where <mydomain>and <com> represent the appropriate forest root domain name of your AD DS environment.
  • In the console tree, double-click the root distinguished name (also known as DN) and locate the CN=Deleted Objects, DC=<mydomain>,DC=<com>container, where <mydomain>and <com> represent the appropriate forest root domain name of your AD DS environment.

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Restore Deleted Objects

Once you have enabled the container to be displayed, you can now restore deleted objects from Active Directory. Below are the steps to recover a single item from the recycle bin using LDP.exe.

Follow these steps to restore a deleted Active Directory object using Ldp.exe:

  1. Open Ldp.exe from an elevated command prompt. Open a command prompt (Cmd.exe) as an administrator. To open a command prompt as an administrator, click Start. In Start Search, type Command Prompt. At the top of the Startmenu, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, enter the appropriate credentials (if requested), confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  2. To connect and bind to the server that hosts the forest root domain of your AD DS environment, under Connections, click Connect, and then click Bind.

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  1. On the Options menu, click Controls.
  2. In the Controls dialog box, expand the Load Predefined drop-down list, click Return Deleted Objects, and then click OK.
  3. In the console tree, navigate to the CN=Deleted Objects

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  1. Locate and right-click the deleted Active Directory object that you want to restore, and then click Modify.
  2. In the Modifydialog box:
  3. In Edit Entry Attribute, type isDeleted.
  4. Leave the Valuesbox empty.
  5. Under Operation, click Delete, and then click Enter.

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  1. In Edit Entry Attribute, type distinguishedName.
  2. In Values, type the original distinguished name (also known as DN) of this Active Directory object.
  3. Under Operation, click Replace.

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  1. Make sure that the Extended check box is selected, click Enter, and then click Run.

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A key point to understand and remember with AD Recycle Bin is that you must restore hierarchically; a parent object must be restored before a child object. If you were to delete an entire OU and all its contents, you must first restore the OU before you can restore its contents.

Modify

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Clicking on Run gives an error

“Error 0x2077 Illegal modify operation. Some aspect of the modification is not permitted.”

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Resolution:

Disconnect and reconnect with SSL on port 636

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Enter the full Distinguished path in the Values

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Before

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After

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