Ldifde.exe and csvde.exe are two command-line utilities that can be used to export and import Active Directory object information. For example, these tools can be used to export a list of all user accounts, groups, organizational units (OUs), and computer objects in an Active Directory domain.
When a restore of a deleted object is required, or when an object’s attribute or property values are changed, having a text file export to reference the original location and distinguished name of the object, or the values of the object’s attributes, is very valuable. To restore a single object, or an OU with all the objects contained within the OU, the distinguished name (DN) of the object is required. Using LDIFDE or CSVDE to export objects to a text file will contain the DN for all objects in the query. Either tool can be run from the command line. To export a list of all objects in Active Directory to a file called AllObjects.ldf, perform the following steps:
1. Log on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 system with an account with administrator privileges.
2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and select Command Prompt.
3. Type cd \ and press Enter. The command prompt should reflect the local boot drive. For this example, we assume that this drive is the C: drive.
4. Type ldifde.exe –f AllObjects.ldf and press Enter.
5. The root of the C: drive now contains a file named AllObjects.ldf. Open this file using Notepad and review the export.
6. Back in the Command Prompt window, type ldifde.exe –f AllUsers.ldf –r “(objectclass=user)” and press Enter.
7. The root of the C: drive now contains a file named AllUsers.ldf. Open this file using Notepad and review the export to see that only the user objects have been exported to this file.
8. Type logoff and press Enter to log off of the server.
Ldifde.exe and csvde.exe have similar switches, but the export file format will be different. Also, each of these tools has a number of options that can be used to perform advanced queries and only export a select list of objects. For more information on these utilities, please reference the Help feature by typing ldifde /? or csvde /? and pressing Enter in a Command Prompt window.
Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed
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