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Windows reinstallation: downgrade Windows Server 2003 to Windows XP Professional?

Posted on 2004-11-02
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I know it sounds stupid. My laptop's Windows Server 2003 was a trial version or something and it is going to expire(I didn't realize it when  I installed it). I have following questions:

1. If I choose to turn back to XP Pro. Is there any way to downgrade to XP Pro in the shortest time and least side effects,  preserving my data and software (I have XP Pro installation CDs)?

2. I might be able to get another copy of Windows Server 2003. Do you think it ok to reinstall the windows server 2003 again and preserve all my software and data automatically?

3. I have Acronis True Image Server 8.0 for Windows. If build the disk image, can I restore them back to Windows XP Pro?

Anyway, any suggestion regarding saving my current files and softwares in my Windows Server 2003 is appeciated. Thanks a lot!
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Question by:heyday2004
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    Expert Comment

    by:rhandels
    Hi,

    >>1. If I choose to turn back to XP Pro. Is there any way to downgrade to XP Pro in the shortest time and least side effects,  preserving my data and software (I have XP Pro installation CDs)?<<

    No there isn't. You can't even upgrade to server 2003 from XP...

    >>2. I might be able to get another copy of Windows Server 2003. Do you think it ok to reinstall the windows server 2003 again and preserve all my software and data automatically?<<

    This might be a possibility. Still, you will need to get an oficial license code, else you will not pull this one off..


    >>3. I have Acronis True Image Server 8.0 for Windows. If build the disk image, can I restore them back to Windows XP Pro? <<

    No you can't . You can back-up files to tape or disk and then make sure to restore them to XP.


    Another solution is to create a second partition (using a program like partition magic) and make sure to safe all the files to this partition, then do a reïnstall of the XP software on the first partition. The files will be on the second partition and you will have the files within XP..
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    Author Comment

    by:heyday2004
    Thanks a lot! I have two more short questions:

    1. What is the risk if I install Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 Corp again? Can I use the repair (recovery console) option of Windows2003 set up? Will I have to reinstall the software?

    2. Is it safe that I back up files using Acronis Imge Server to my external hard drive and reinstall Windows Server 2003 (this version is corp version that doesn't ask for license code), then restore my data back to hard drive? Any problem? Will my data be safe and will MS ask me to activate my Windows again?

    Thanks again!
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    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    by:
    >>1. What is the risk if I install Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 Corp again? Can I use the repair (recovery console) option of Windows2003 set up? Will I have to reinstall the software?<<

    There isn't much of a risk, other than that Windows might not be all to steady.. You cannot use the recovery console, this is meant for other troubleshooting purposes (like uninstalling drivers and stuff). You can indeed do a reïnstall using the repair mode... It's worth the shot, absolutely...

    >>2. Is it safe that I back up files using Acronis Imge Server to my external hard drive and reinstall Windows Server 2003 (this version is corp version that doesn't ask for license code), then restore my data back to hard drive? Any problem? Will my data be safe and will MS ask me to activate my Windows again? <<

    You can use it to create an image, you do need to make sure you can get single files from the image. Normally an image is all or nothing, not just some files.. I know ghost will only make one image, not seperate files... Don't know ho Acronis works with that.

    And if you have a corp license, Windows Server will not ask you to activate windows...
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    Author Comment

    by:heyday2004
    Thanks a lot. I reinstalled the Windows Server 2003 Corp., chose the repair option, and it works. All my softwares are there and it doesn't ask me to activate windows anymore.
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