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Buying new server - Do I have to re-install everything?

Here is my scenario:

Was running an old file and application server.  Specs MSI Motherboard with AMD 1900 processor and 512mb ram.  Running windows 2000 server.  That machine finally died.

Bought a new machine.  Dual Pentium Xeon 3.06.  2gig ram.  

Now the big question:  Can I just swap the hard drive from the old machine into the new one?  I have tried that but get the BSOD with an Inaccessible_Boot_Device error.  I have the HD set as the Primanry IDE Master in the BIOS.

It gets as far as showing "Starting Windows..." with the white progress bar and then craps out with the above BSOD.

I fear that I am going to have to start from scratch and re-install all our software and (gulp) all our users and security settings in Active Directory.  The thought of that task makes me sick as we have over 40 users, each with their own permissions.

Is there a quick fix for my predicament or is it my worst fear and a total rebuild of the OS and all my settings?

If it helps anything, I can still get the old server up and running if I need to copy settings or anything like that?

Please bear in mind when replying that I am a total technological idiot when it comes to this stuff.  I can follow directions, but I can't make the leap if there are gaps in the info that one "assumes" I should know :)

Thanks in advance for all who give this a shot.  If you need more info, just ask and I'll get it for you.

1 Solution
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Not surprised you got a BSOD.  The HALs are different as are MANY drivers on the system.

What I'd suggest doing, since your old system was a Domain Controller, is get the old system running again as normal.  Then install 2000 server on the new system from scratch.  Patch it up.  Then run DCPROMO and make it another domain controller in your domain.  Then follow the instructions here (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255690/EN-US/) to transfer the FSMO roles to the new server.  Once that's done, you can run DCPROMO again on the old server and demote it from being a Domain Controller.  (Though you really should have at least two DCs for redundancy).  Then you can take the server entirely offline.
Unfortunatley swapping out the hard drive from one machine to another only works rarely.  Usually both machines have to be identical and even then it doesn't work.  I would definately follow leew's suggestion, it is the best approach and the safest one.  Keep in mind that any applications that you had on the old server (if any) you will need to re-install on the new server.
pitboss21Author Commented:
Thanks so much.

That was indeed the way to go.

P.S.  Sorry for my delay in accepting and letting you know how it went, I had a family emergency that kept me out of the country for the last 2 weeks.

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