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ADRestore.NET vs ADRestore: Which Tool is Better for Restoring Deleted AD Objects?



ADRestore.NET The GUI version of ADRestore




Have you ever deleted an Active Directory object by mistake and wished you could undo it? If so, you are not alone. Many administrators have faced this situation and looked for a way to recover the lost data. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you restore deleted AD objects without having to perform a full system state backup and restore. It is called ADRestore.NET, and it is a free utility that provides a graphical user interface for restoring deleted AD objects.




ADRestore.NET – The GUI version of ADRestore



What is ADRestore.NET and why do you need it?




ADRestore.NET is a free utility that allows you to restore deleted Active Directory objects




ADRestore.NET is a tool developed by Guy Teverovsky, a Microsoft MVP from Israel. It is based on Microsoft's command-line tool ADRestore, which was created by Mark Russinovich, another Microsoft MVP and the founder of Sysinternals. Both tools allow you to restore deleted AD objects, such as users, groups, computers, organizational units, and so on. However, ADRestore.NET has some additional features that make it more user-friendly and convenient.


ADRestore.NET is useful when you accidentally delete an AD object and want to recover it quickly and easily




Active Directory is a directory service that stores information about network resources, such as users, computers, groups, printers, etc. It also provides authentication and authorization mechanisms for accessing these resources. Active Directory is organized into domains, which are logical units of administration. Each domain has one or more domain controllers, which are servers that store a copy of the AD database and handle requests from clients.


Sometimes, administrators may delete an AD object by mistake or due to human error. For example, they may delete a user account that is still needed, or a group that has important permissions. This can cause problems for the network users and applications that rely on these objects. For instance, the deleted user may not be able to log on to the network or access their files, or the deleted group may lose access to certain resources.


In such cases, administrators need a way to restore the deleted object as soon as possible. However, restoring an AD object is not as simple as restoring a file from the recycle bin. By default, when an AD object is deleted, it is not removed immediately from the AD database. Instead, it is marked as deleted and renamed with a unique identifier. This process is called tombstoning. The tombstoned object remains in the database for a period of time called the tombstone lifetime (TSL), which is usually 60 or 180 days depending on the version of Windows Server. After the TSL expires, the tombstoned object is removed permanently from the database by a process called garbage collection.


The tombstone feature of Active Directory allows administrators to restore deleted objects before they are removed permanently. However, this requires using special tools and procedures that are not very intuitive or easy to use How does ADRestore.NET work and what are its features?




ADRestore.NET relies on the tombstone feature of Active Directory




As mentioned earlier, when an AD object is deleted, it is not removed immediately from the AD database. Instead, it is marked as deleted and renamed with a unique identifier. This process is called tombstoning. The tombstoned object remains in the database for a period of time called the tombstone lifetime (TSL), which is usually 60 or 180 days depending on the version of Windows Server. After the TSL expires, the tombstoned object is removed permanently from the database by a process called garbage collection.


The tombstone feature of Active Directory allows administrators to restore deleted objects before they are removed permanently. However, this requires using special tools and procedures that are not very intuitive or easy to use. For example, one of the tools that can be used to restore deleted AD objects is the command-line tool ADRestore, which was created by Mark Russinovich. ADRestore can scan the AD database and display a list of tombstoned objects that can be restored. However, ADRestore has some limitations and drawbacks, such as:


  • It does not have a graphical user interface, which makes it less user-friendly and more prone to errors.



  • It does not allow filtering or searching the list of deleted objects by name, type, or attribute.



  • It does not show the details or properties of the deleted objects, such as their original name, location, or attributes.



  • It does not allow restoring multiple objects at once or selecting specific attributes to restore.



  • It does not support restoring objects that have been deleted from different domains or forests.



This is where ADRestore.NET comes in handy. ADRestore.NET is a free utility that provides a graphical user interface for restoring deleted AD objects. It is based on ADRestore, but it has some additional features that make it more user-friendly and convenient.


ADRestore.NET lets you search, view, and restore deleted AD objects with a graphical interface




ADRestore.NET has a simple and intuitive graphical user interface that allows you to perform the following tasks:


  • Select the domain and the container where the deleted object was located.



  • Filter the list of deleted objects by name, type, or attribute.



  • View the details of the deleted object, such as its original name, location, type, and attributes.



  • Select one or more objects for restoration.



  • Confirm the restoration and check the results.



ADRestore.NET also shows you some useful information about the deleted objects, such as:


  • The date and time when the object was deleted.



  • The remaining time before the object is removed permanently by garbage collection.



  • The status of the object after restoration (success or failure).



ADRestore.NET has some advantages over the command-line tool ADRestore and other alternatives




ADRestore.NET has some advantages over the command-line tool ADRestore and other alternatives for restoring deleted AD objects, such as:


  • It is easier to use and less error-prone than using a command-line tool.



  • It allows filtering and searching the list of deleted objects by name, type, or attribute.



  • It shows the details and properties of the deleted objects, such as their original name, location, or attributes.



  • It allows restoring multiple objects at once or selecting specific attributes to restore.



  • It supports restoring objects that have been deleted from different domains or forests.



  • It does not require installing any software on the domain controller or modifying any registry settings.



How to use ADRestore.NET to restore deleted AD objects?




Download and run ADRestore.NET on a domain controller or a computer with administrative rights




To use ADRestore.NET, you need to download it from the official website: https://www.guyteverovsky.com/adrestore-net/. The download is a ZIP file that contains the executable file and the license agreement. You do not need to install anything, just extract the ZIP file to a folder of your choice.


To run ADRestore.NET, you need to have administrative rights on the domain controller or the computer where you want to restore the deleted AD objects. You also need to have the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher installed on your system. You can run ADRestore.NET by double-clicking on the executable file or by using the Run as administrator option.


Select the domain and the container where the deleted object was located




When you run ADRestore.NET, you will see a window that looks like this:


The first thing you need to do is to select the domain where the deleted object was located. You can do this by clicking on the Domain button and choosing the domain from the list. Alternatively, you can type the domain name in the text box.


Next, you need to select the container where the deleted object was located. You can do this by clicking on the Container button and choosing the container from the tree view. Alternatively, you can type the distinguished name of the container in the text box.


Filter the list of deleted objects by name, type, or attribute




After selecting the domain and the container, you will see a list of deleted objects that can be restored. You can filter this list by using the options at the top of the window:


  • Name: You can type a part of the name of the deleted object in this text box and click on Filter. This will show only the objects that match the name.



  • Type: You can select a type of object from this drop-down list and click on Filter. This will show only the objects of that type.



  • Attribute: You can select an attribute from this drop-down list and type a value in this text box and click on Filter. This will show only the objects that have that attribute and value.



You can also sort the list of deleted objects by clicking on any of the column headers: Name, Type, Deleted On, or Expires On.


View the details of the deleted object and select it for restoration




To view the details of a deleted object, you can double-click on it or right-click on it and choose Properties. This will open a window that shows the original name, location, type, and attributes of the object before it was deleted.


To select an object for restoration, you can check the box next to it or right-click on it and choose Restore. You can select multiple objects by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on them.


Confirm the restoration and check the results




After selecting one or more objects for restoration, you can click on Restore at the bottom of the window or right-click on them and choose Restore. This will open a confirmation dialog that shows the number of objects to be restored and asks you to confirm the action. You can also choose whether to restore the object with its original name or with a new name.


Click on Yes to proceed with the restoration or No to cancel it. ADRestore.NET will attempt to restore the selected objects and show you the status of each object in the Result column. You can also view the log file by clicking on View Log at the bottom of the window.


If the restoration is successful, you will see a green check mark next to the object and a message saying "Object restored successfully". If the restoration fails, you will see a red cross next to the object and a message saying "Object restore failed" followed by the reason for the failure. Some of the possible reasons for failure are:


  • The object has already been restored by another tool or process.



  • The object has already been removed permanently by garbage collection.



  • The object has a conflict with another existing object with the same name or identifier.



  • The object has a missing or invalid attribute that prevents it from being restored.



  • The user does not have sufficient permissions to restore the object.



In case of failure, you can try to resolve the issue and attempt to restore the object again. You can also contact the developer of ADRestore.NET for support or feedback.


Conclusion




ADRestore.NET is a free utility that allows you to restore deleted Active Directory objects with a graphical user interface. It is based on Microsoft's command-line tool ADRestore, but it has some additional features that make it more user-friendly and convenient. ADRestore.NET lets you search, view, and restore deleted AD objects with ease and speed. It also supports restoring objects that have been deleted from different domains or forests. ADRestore.NET is a handy tool for any administrator who wants to recover deleted AD objects without having to perform a full system state backup and restore.


FAQs




What are the system requirements for ADRestore.NET?




ADRestore.NET requires Windows XP or higher, .NET Framework 2.0 or higher, and administrative rights on the domain controller or the computer where you want to restore the deleted AD objects.


Where can I download ADRestore.NET?




You can download ADRestore.NET from the official website: https://www.guyteverovsky.com/adrestore-net/. The download is a ZIP file that contains the executable file and the license agreement.


Is ADRestore.NET safe to use?




ADRestore.NET is safe to use as long as you follow the instructions and precautions. However, restoring deleted AD objects can have some risks and consequences, such as:


  • Restoring an object may overwrite some changes that have been made to it after deletion, such as password resets, group memberships, etc.



  • Restoring an object may cause conflicts with other existing objects with the same name or identifier.



  • Restoring an object may affect other dependent objects or applications that rely on it.



Therefore, you should always backup your AD database before restoring any deleted objects and test the restoration in a non-production environment first.


How can I restore an object that has been removed permanently by garbage collection?




If an object has been removed permanently by garbage collection, you cannot restore it using ADRestore.NET or any other tool that relies on the tombstone feature of Active Directory. The only way to restore such an object is to perform a full system state backup and restore of your AD database, which can be time-consuming and disruptive. To avoid this situation, you should always monitor your AD database size and tombstone lifetime settings and restore any deleted objects before they are removed permanently.


How can I contact the developer of ADRestore.NET?




You can contact Guy Teverovsky, the developer of ADRestore.NET, by visiting his website: https://www.guyteverovsky.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gteverovsky. You can send him your feedback, suggestions, bug reports, or donations. dcd2dc6462


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