Replacing a Server

Somewhat a basic question . . .  One of my locations has only a few full-time employees, and a Pentium 3 Server with Windows Server 2003 on it.  It is freezing about every other week, and recently froze up twice in one day.  I am suspecting hardware problems, and believe this is a good time to replace the Server.  But I've never replaced a Server.

Is it basically a matter of installing Server 2003 on a new machine in my office, and then going to the location, making the switch, and then installing whatever we have backed up on the old Server?  Or is there a heck of a lot more than that?  The few employees there use Outllok (with ES2003 in the Central Office) and a shared documents file, which is about 5 gigs in size.  

I am guessing that I perhaps install the new system with the same computer and domain name, point WINS to the new IP address, and then let replication handle everything else.  Am I way off base?
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Hi.  Replacing the server is pretty easy (I assume it's not a DC).  I assume you've checked the event logs and have narrowed the issue to hardware and not software.  

One thing you should do is backup a registry key.  It will make your life much easier.
1.  regedit
2.  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Lanmanserver\Shares
3.  Right-click Shares --> Export.
4.  Save it to media that will work in the new server: floppy . . . whatever
5.  Join the new machine to the domain.
6.  Restore the data to the new server.
7.  Import the registry key.

The particular key that you are exporting and importing holds the pointers and security settings for the shares.  I do this all the time when replacing servers.

The Outlook employees should have no issues with the new server because it is not a new mail server; however, if they have .pst files on the old server, the shares need to be recreated exactly--or you'll have to manually set them up at each workstation (see the importance of that registry key?)

Using the same name is a good idea because the scripts will not have to be adjusted, and manually-created shares will still work (if you use that key).

Before you join the machine to the domain, shut down the old server.  Then, go to DNS and delete the record.  Then, kill the record from WINS.  Delete the machine from Active Directory: the inclusion of Outlook makes me think AD is at another location.  The machine name cannot be the same if the old name is associated with another SID.  Replicate if you can.  
tomcurrierAuthor Commented:
qpriceee, many thanks for a clear and helpful suggestion(s).  Sorry for the delay in responding.  You write that you assume that it is not a DC.  The old Server is a DC.  I don't know if that would change your suggestions or not.  The location is a small (5 employees) outside location set up on a WAN.  Does the new Server need to be a DC since the location is so small?  There are plenty of other DC's on the network.  Additionally, the old Server is a WINS, and I believe I don't need the new Server to be a WINS.  We have WINS on all 8 other locations, plus back in the Central Office.
Having the server a DC does change some suggestions.  You should ensure your DNS is Active Directory integrated, and then setup the new server with AD DNS too.  You also want to ensure that everything is replicated before you decommission the other server.  Since you only have 5 people, changing their paths to the shares should be no big deal, but you''l need to do so.

The following link might help you to transfer the FSMO roles:;en-us;255504

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Windows Server 2003

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