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New server data transfer issues

Posted on 2004-10-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
This may seem dumb but I want to verify everything before I start this.  Here is what is going on.  I currently have a fileserver (IBM xSeries 340) w/ 6 36gb drives (raid5) running W2K.  I am getting some new hardware to replace this box.  It is very similar, just faster larger drives......  I currently have my entire companies AD profiles and home/personal drives located on this fileserver.  What is going to be my best method of transfer?  I don't want to screw around with any file permissions or mod dates or anything like that.  My new server will be W2K3 and I will be using (hopefully) shadow copies.  For the sake of my sanity I also need to call my new sever the same as my existing server (so as not to screw up any shortcuts) and give it the same IP address.  I will then use my old fileserver as a software HA failover and need to replicate the data back to it!  The two server will have a private gigabit interconnect between them.  Any body have some good suggestions for me?  Also I would like to hear any "gotchyas" I should look out for. Thanks !!!
Question by:NARoberts
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Accepted Solution

toadias earned 500 total points
ID: 12426100

Wow it all seemed so simple until you added the part about wanting to maintain the same IP address and name on this new server.  

It would be far easier to change a 200 login scripts then what it will take to recreate this server with the same name, IP Address, and AD.  If you would give it a different name and IP addess you could simply upgrade the old server to W2K3 and add the new server as another DC.  

Once this was done you could use ROBOCOPY (Utility in the W2K3 Resource Kit that functions like COPY) to copy the data from one server to the other. This would maintain the permissions, ownership, and file structure.  Recreate your shares on the new server, edit a few login scripts to have a new name and you are done.   One good days worth of work, maybe two.

This would also allow your "HA" server to already have up-to-date user and file data if you like.  Because you never really stopped using the AD from its orignal location you are never at risk of loosing all of that data. Beacuse the new server is just a new DC in the same domain it will recieve all of the login scripts automatically.

The way you are planning will require that you create the new machine and restore the old data and AD to it. This will require a common back and restore media, and progarm that will run on both, and a seperate network for the creation of the new system (to avoid conflict).  This will be several days work because you will have to do all of the building and testing and once done you will have to do a final tranfer of data to be sure all is up to date.

My suggestion with the original idea is that you will need to use this white paper:


Hope it Helps,
Todd Brown
Senior Consultant
Bell Tech.Logix
Indianapolis, IN


Author Comment

ID: 12426371
Gee thanks, thats encouraging!!! I also have to upgrade 3 other serverS (one at another site) to W2K3 and install new hardware in existing servers and create the software HA setup (SteelEye's LifeKeeper) and implement volume shadow copy and move my existing lto drive to a new server!!  Sounds like I have a more than one weekend project here!!!!  

The reason I'm trying to do this is that there have been many shortcuts built that are in the form of \\wtecfs01\shared\production\files\blah.txt and I really really don't want to suddenly come in Monday and have the new file server be \\NewBox and crash the phone system w/ complaint calls to me!!!  All my scripts (they are very few) should be ok and as you said, very easy to change.  What about a crossover cable and direct attach the nics ( I will have gigabit in both!!!) and then using robocopy??  Could I set the new box up w/ the other ones name then?  I can have some downtime....what about just changing the name half way through?  Will that mess stuff up ? (the old file server is also a domain controller)  As you can tell, I'm new to this!  I'm actually a programmer that was kinda shoved into this and can't get out.  I just want to make sure I do this right.  Thanks!!!
LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 12427772
There is another way you could do it.
Give the new machine another name and move everything to it. This includes shares etc. The structure needs to be identical, except for the machine name.

Take down the old machine (if it is a DC then it needs to be done correctly - DCPROMO out, reboot, then drop in to workgroup). Give the old machine a new name.

This leaves the old name not attached to anything.
There is a registry hack where you can get a machine to respond to another name.
It can be called "bob" but will also respond to "sue".
Voila - all shares continue to work.

It might be a good time to think about moving to AD DFS for shares instead of actual machine names. This will avoid these problems as the DFS link can be changed in one place and no one needs to know.

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LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 12427787
Forgot the article link.
Here it is at the NTFAQ:

LVL 11

Assisted Solution

WeHe earned 500 total points
ID: 12431706
if i understood right, no one of your to-replace-servers is a DC?
just install the new one with a temporary name.
join it into the domain.
robocopy all home/profiles to the new one (including permissions and dates).
rename the old one.
rename the new one to the original name.
wait after each renaming till ad has replicated!
then do a hourly/daily/weekly sheduled job to syncronize the data dirs with robocopy.

another try is to make a DFS, but thats to much now :)
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12431713
i forgot the ip change:

after you renamed the new server to the historical name, change ip of the old to a new ip.
wait for dns and ad to replicate.
change ip on the new server to the historical one.
wait for dns and ad replication.

Author Comment

ID: 12432373
Thanks guys, those are some good suggestions!  FYI....I will have 2 file servers and neither one will be a DC but my current file server is a DC now.

Sembee....I currently use DFS to do a partial replication of data to an off site.  It was a little flakey to get setup but I may look into it.  Then again, I only get new hardware every 3 years when our lease is up.  

It looks like robocopy is going to be my tool of choice here.  Any more suggestions from anyone??  Anyone used LifeKeeper?  Thanks!

Expert Comment

ID: 12434469

My great concern here is that when you start renaming DC's and giving out the same IP addresses that did exist AD can become unstable.  I have seen servers added with the same name as a renamed server, 2 days after the rename, and seen things behave in odd ways.  

NTFRS Errors
Directory Service errors
DNS (active directory integrated) oddities

This is not to say that you can not go that way, I am just saying that you should be very careful to make sure AD and NTFRS have ahd time to shake out.


Author Comment

ID: 12434909
Toadias....Good points, and that was some of my concerns.  I think I may demote this weekend and rename and upgrade next weekend.  That should give things time to work out.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12438650
how many domains / dc's / sites we are talking about?
how long did you set the replication intervals?
but its allways a bad idea to change a dc's ip to anothers servers ip.
you can add a netbios/dns alias for the fileservername instead. pointing to your dc's realname.
that should do it untill the server is online again :)
changeing the dc's ip will result in a name resolution delay, as many clients have to change their dns servers. (if you have configured a second dns)

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