Use Esentutl when Ntdsutil tool fails to repair the Active Directory database

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

The Ntdsutil tool may fail to repair the Active Directory database (the Ntds.dit file) and generates one or more of the following errors:

Operation failed because the database was inconsistent.

Initialize jet database failed; cannot access file.

Error while performing soft recovery. 

All is not lost. You can use the Esentutl.exe tool to resolve the problem.
  • To perform an integrity check

    • Start a command prompt
    • Type the following command (including the quotation marks), and then press ENTER: esentutl /g "path\ntds.dit"/!10240 /8 /v /x /o

      where path is the path to the folder that contains the Ntds.dit db file. By default, this folder is %systemRoot%\NTDS folder.

  • To repair the database:
    • Type the following command (including the quotation marks), and then press ENTER: esentutl /p "path\ntds.dit" /!10240 /8 /v /x /o

Important: Delete the database log files from the Ntds folder. Do not delete or move the Ntds.dit file.

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