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Moving AD, SQL & Exchange data to a new domain controller in a Small Business Server 2003 environment.

Posted on 2004-09-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Can anyone suggest the best way to replace a faulty Windows Small Business Server 2003 DC with a new one?  All the Active Directory, SQL and Exchange data needs to be moved to the new server.  I would like to shutdown the old server after this is done, hopefully with as little downtime as possible. This is a single domain model with approx 25 users in it.  Thank you!
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Question by:ElectroBandit
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JamesDS earned 375 total points
ID: 12146498
ElectroBandit
SBS2003 cannot be migrated to another DC in the same way a normal DC can be so your best bet is to look at a repair job instead.
However, it may be possible to build a NEW server with the same name and IP and OFF THE LAN and then restore the system state, SQL databases and exchange to it.

What problems are you having?

Cheers

JamesDS
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by:ElectroBandit
ID: 12147282
Thanks for your response JamesDS,
The problem is that this server has a bad HD and keeps crashing every few weeks.
So I need to move the environment onto another stable server.
I'm seriously considering starting from scratch and going with Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition for the new build.
What is the best steps to take in this scenerio...so that I can keep downtime and user-involvement to a minimum.
As far as Exchange is concerned, I think I can re-create the mailboxes and restore the .pst files.
I'm more concerned with AD and the SQL databases.
I don't have that many users, so I can pretty much rebuild the domain and start over.
I just want to have a solid, reliable plan before jumping into it.
Cheers!
ElectroBandit
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by:Casca1
Casca1 earned 375 total points
ID: 12147510
Here's where you will run into your problem. Exchange, SQL, ISA, all the server offerings in SBS STAY with SBS. You can set up another DC, as long as the primary FSMO roles stay with the SBS server, everything will work. You can offload the data to a server running a copy of the given softwae, I.E. SQL data and configurations, etc. In order to replace the SBS, however, you will need to have all the server programs you need to bring over ready to install, or preferably, already installed. Once you have done that, set the FSMO roles to the new server, take down the SBS server, and test it.
If everything continues to work correctly, your done.
If not, you'll have to bring the SBS server back online.
Once you have established the new server is maintaining the AD structure, then do a comlete backup, and archive the SBS stuff backups.
Once that's done, and you are once again sure you have everything working, you should be able to pull the SBS out and do whatever you want.
However; You will not be able to bring it back into the domain. SBS will only function with itself as the Primary server in the environment. SBS, in other words, takes you back on a nostalgic tour of NT; One primary DC, and all others secondary. 8-)
Good Luck!
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:JamesDS
ID: 12149802
ElectroBandit
Casca1 is right, you should stick with SBS, largely because the licensing fees with SBS are much cheaper.

If you build a new server, as I suggested then you can do as Casca1 saya and attempt a cutover - if it doesn't work then you should be able to go back without any problems.

As to your existing server, if it's just hardware, then why not restore the entire server to new hardware and then try to address driver issues - it **may** be an easier path that way and certainly worth trying.

Cheers

JamesDS
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