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Fix SID History Migration Problems Occurring in AD Domain Switch

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Published By Siddharth Sharma
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
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Published On November 2nd, 2023

Whenever organizations have to move their Active Directory, one of the major questions in the minds of all admins is how to go about SID history migration. As SID history is directly tied to the security of objects like users, computers, and groups, this can’t be taken lightly.

Moreover, as cross-forest migrations become more common, so does the need for SID history maintenance. That’s why we prepared this article to help admins in their migration. Before we get to the issue resolution let’s see the structure of an SID and the importance of keeping it unchanged.

What is SID and Why Maintain them During Migration?

SID stands for secure identity, a unique combination of alphanumeric characters to indicate a particular within an AD. SID became a part of Windows Server in 2000 and has since expanded its role as the sole means of identity management. Within a domain, SID looks like the following,

S-1-5-21-1004336348-1177238915-682003330-512

With each part separated using a hyphen “-”. All SIDs begin with the letter “S” followed by the revision level, then identifier authority (from 0- 5), after that, we have the domain identifier, terminating with the relative identifier.

The reasons to copy SID history during an AD migration can be many. Some of them are discussed below:

Migration is a complicated subject, so administrators often try to maintain backward compatibility in order to roll back the changes if anything goes wrong. Therefore, if the SID of objects changes, the source AD domain can’t verify them and has no other option but to reject the objects due to security concerns. Then it is a long procedure to sync the objects back and reattempt the migration again.

Also Read: Follow Active Directory Migration Checklist and Mitigate Migration Challenges

Access to legacy systems is only possible if the SID requests are genuine. Moreover, any changes in SID make them unrecognizable to the legacy systems. Combined with the fact that legacy systems can’t be migrated to the new environment, access to them may be completely revoked. This is a huge blow to organizations that rely heavily on such workloads. So it is better to keep the SID the same when we migrate SID to new domain.

AD is also a part of industries with strict compliance requirements. So any changes in the SID might not be allowed and lead to legal trouble down the line. Therefore, it is smart to stay on the safer side and avoid changes in the SID altogether. 

Manual Methods to Troubleshoot SID History Migration Issues

Here we are going to cover some of the major error codes that users encounter during inter-forest SID change.

'The handle is invalid (Error code = 6).'

This error signifies an RPC issue where ADMT cannot establish a connection with an RPC endpoint on the source primary domain controller. Potential reasons consist of the following:

  • Unable to launch the TcpipClientSupport either on the source primary domain controller or primary domain controller emulator.
  • One or both source primary DC and primary DC emulators are not restarting after TcpipClientSupport setup. 
  • Name resolution failure in DNS or NetBIOS systems.
'Could not verify auditing and TcpipClientSupport on domains. Will not be able to migrate SIDs. The specified local group does not exist.'

This error commonly indicates the existence of a user, global, or universal group with the name {SourceNetBIOSDom}$$$. ADMT typically creates a local group with this name, but it cannot do so if a security principal with the same name already exists.

Also Read: Guide to Copy OU Structure from One Domain to Another in Active Directory

'Could not verify auditing and TcpipClientSupport on domains. Will not be able to migrate SIDs. Access is Denied.'

This error typically points to insufficient permissions for the user account running ADMT to perform the migration in one or both of the domains.

‘Domain name lookup failed, rc=1332. No mapping between account names and security IDs was done.’

This error, found in the Migration.log file after a migration with SID history, often suggests that the source domain has trusts configured that does not exist in the target domain. To resolve this, execute the Trust Migration Wizard to map the trusts in the source domain and replicate. 

Automated Tool to Bypass SID History Migration Issues

As we have witnessed how difficult it is to manually sort out unwanted changes in a SID history migration, there must be alternatives. Yes, you are right, as we present the industry-leading SysTools AD migrator. The tool comes with an inbuilt feature to transfer the SID of all objects as it is from the source to the target domain. No additional work is required from the admin side; the tool maintains object SID on its own. Moreover, instead of the highly technical PowerShell, users get an easy-to-operate GUI for easier migration through and through. Not only that, but the tool also has no SQL Server dependency, in contrast to the ADMT. Users can directly install the tool from the link and start the migration once the prerequisites are set.

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Follow these simple steps to prevent SID changes in AD domain transfers.

Step 1. Get the utility and in the login screen put “administrator” in place of both username and password.

Enter Credentials

Step 2. Register the source and target Domain Controller in the section provided with the tool.

Register Domain Controler

Step 3. Now click on the source domain and in the “Info” type the admin credentials then save and continue.

First Domain Credentials

Step 4. Next, go to the Active Directory section and fetch the objects.

Fetching Objects

Step 5. Likewise, perform steps 3 and 4 for the target DC.

Object Visible

Step 6. When the Migration screen is available, press “create migration scenario,” then enter the name, and from the dropdown choose source and target domains.

Create Scenario

Step 7. Inside the “Task” subsection, press the “Create Task” button. Pick the options for the migration and proceed.

Save Task

Step 8. After selecting the objects, click on either the merge or the create option to migrate the SID history unchanged.

Select Action

Step 9. When the objects are on the preview screen, complete the mapping process by pressing the start task. In the dialog box, hit Start, and leave the rest to the tool.
Click Start

Conclusion

With this article, users now have the tools to perform SID history migration without issues. Moreover, we have also provided guidelines to mitigate the problems that pop up in a SID after an AD domain change. A simple way with which users can make sure that their SID history remains intact is through the application of a professional tool provided above.