Migrating Windows Server 2003 to different hardware


I have Windows Server 2003 Ent Edition running on a Compaq server using RAID5.  I need to move this server to a new server hardware.  The new hardware is IBM eServer xSeries345 with RAID1.

My goal is to simply create a ghost image of the old server and restore it on the new server.  Hopefully, Windows will be smart enough to detect the new hardware and we can clean up the unnecessary drivers and applications that are Compaq related in safe mode.  After that, the server should be good to go.  Theoretically, that's easy.

I have managed to create the ghost image off of the old server
I have managed to restore the ghost image on the new server
I boot up the server, and it start reading floppy, then CD ROM, then hard drive, then it restarts.  It just seems as if the data did not get restored properly.

I've used TrueImage to boot up the new server, and I can read the data on the C: drive.  It's all there from that image.

Now did the MBR get all jacked up?  How do I fix it?  I even tried removing the RAID and making each hard drive act independantly and I tried booting up from there.  Same thing.

If you're unable to answer the questions above, perhaps you could suggest a better way in migrating the server to new hardware.  Please suggest anything other than full backup and restore using ntbackup utility.  It's just lame and doesn't work right.

Thanks in advance.

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ur going to cause your selft undue strest doing it this way,

build the new server up, and use a network to copy the data over, and bach files to copy share infomation etc....

if you ghost a server, windows is NOT clever enought to detect the hardware, it may work for the first month or so then after that youwill problery get errors, the server will disapear of the network etc....

do it proplery dont take short cuts with something like a server, ghost is designed to be used for images, back to the same machine, or a mahicne with the same hardware, exactly the same hardware.


Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
Forget Ghost for this one.
i did the exact same thing, and here is the process.
1. i built 2003 server on an AMD 3gh with 1gig ram and installed Exchange, virusshield, office, and other apps. \
2. tested server using terminal services, once happy with operation.
3. had to move entire operation to a Dell quad zeon, 4gig ram, raid 1 for OS and raid 5 for data, blah blah blah. You get the idea.
create system restore backup using the 2003 built in backup utility. Finally MS have released a half decent backup solution. this will allow backup to a hard drive, i used a large ide HDD and created a bootable restore floppy.
you then need to alter the ini file on the boot floppy as your backup drive may have a different location on your new server, and install the backup hdd (that big ide one) into the new server.
then it was a simple restore as the floppy guides you.
at the end you will have to re-register your 2003 with MS as there will be too many hardware changes. a simple phone call to licencing will resolve this once you explain what you have done, so they dont think you are pirating it.

this works a treat
Cheers Andy

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Luckily you have windows 2003. With 2003 Microsoft lets you backup the entire system state to tape and likewise restore it. This is probably the easiest way to restore to new hardware.  Follow this :http://www.petri.co.il/install_dc_from_media_in_windows_server_2003.htm

Trying to do it with 2000 is even more difficult microsoft states you basically have a 50/50 chance of it working, beacuse of HAL limitations. I've tried restoring windows 2000 server to a different server and had to  "repair" the installation. It would have been faster just to do a clean install.  

I think ghosting would be a waste of time. I tried doing something similar with Windows 2000 Server and it bluescreened when I booted up the new hardware. Wasted 6 hours running ghost to see if it would work.
Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
Don't Don't Don't.  You are never going to get the image to work properly going to such a different piece of hardware.  Your hardware is of such different animals that your drivers will choke.  If it WERE same hardware, you could do it, but to be safest, you should run sysprep first.

The best thing you can do is to build up the new server the way you want it.  Install the applications on the new server that are on the old server and then restore the Data from the old server.  This is your best bet for making the migration and for everything to work correctly.
jmelikaAuthor Commented:
I used the Windows 2003 ntbackup utility.  Man!  Did they actually fix this thing up or what?!  I remember in the Windows 2000 enviornment, they said the same thing.  Use the ntbackup utility and backup/restore system state.  That should work.  It never did for Win2k.  I tried it at least 5 times before I gave up on it.  That's the reason I didn't want to try it with this Win2K3 upgrade.  But it actually works.  Not one service failed.  Everything went over smoothly.  The only thing I had to do manually was the IP addressing (static IP's on servers of course).  Other than that, NOTHING!

Thanks guys.  I guess I should have tried the ntbackup utility before.  I'm all set now!

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