Active Directory Integrity, Phantoms, Windows 2003 AD Upgrade



I'm getting ready to upgrade my 2000 Active Directory to 2003. I have a
single domain (no child domains) with 3 Win2k DC's. I ran NTDsUtil » Files »
Integrity, which looked to my under-trained eye to exit without reporting any

I then ran the Semantic database analysis with "go fix". The summary
reported the following:

DC # 1
Active Objects 8834
Phantoms 8
Deleted 290

DC # 2
Active Objects 8835
Phantoms 6
Deleted 291

DC # 3
Active Objects 8837
Phantoms 10
Deleted 289

I understand the Phantoms to be deleted items past the Tombstone period
referred to by other objects.

Running analysis again without the "fix" and got the same results.

I don't know how to see what these Phantoms are, what other objects are
referring to them, or how to clean these up. I haven't found any relevant
articles. The closest tells you how to extract deleted AD objects using LDP
(258310), but doesn't tell you about identifying and/or resolving these

Do these need to be cleaned up before upgrade to Win2k3 Active Directory?

Will these Phantoms persist forever, or is there a way to clean them up?

Any guidance would be appreciated.



Joe Richards [MVP]

Phantoms are not objects and so they aren't viewable from the standard

You can determine what the phantoms are by doing a database dump and
looking for the objects that have "false" listed in the OBJ column. Not
all items listed with false will be phantoms but you should be able to
pick them out. If something is referencing them you will also be able to
chase those references as well.

Phantoms are completely normal and quite honestly you are probably
digging into something you likely don't need to dig into but if you are
having fun, knock yourself out. :)


Joe Richards Microsoft MVP Windows Server Directory Services
Author of O'Reilly Active Directory Third Edition

---O'Reilly Active Directory Third Edition now available---




I'm not necessarily having fun, but I have learned a few new things.
Generally, I'm paranoid and fearful of having everything unravel into a heap
on the floor.

Many thanks for the advice. =t

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