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Upgrade server 2003 Standard edition server

Posted on 2006-03-19
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i have just purchased a brand new server to replace an old one which was getting flat-lined during busy parts of the day. the problem is that the new server is completly differant from the old one:

OLD SERVER
2.4Ghz p4
1GB RAM
3 x 200GB IDE hard drives

NEW SERVER
3Ghz x64 bit Pentium D 930 chip
4GB RAM
3 x 400GB SATA hard drives

i want to backup my old server (which is the only Domain controller for the domain with all of the domains network shares on it) inculding active directory and DNS. i have been looking and can only find answers on backing up and restoring to a similar server, which my new one is not. i need to have this done by the end of the week at the lastest. any help ASAP would be Very very helpful.
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Question by:matthewmerriel
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16231466
The best way is to reinstall from scratch.  Backup/export your settings.

Your machine has 3 significant components that have changed.. the motherboard, hardrives and CPU.  If you are entertaining the thought of a simple backup & restore..it's not going to happen.

Since you have 1 week, that is ample time if you start now.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16231527
I disagree.  This is RELATIVELY easy.

First, make NEWPC a Domain Controller - promoting it with DCPROMO.  This will give you TWO Domain Controllers.  Now, the idea that you only should have one server is a mistake, in my opinion.  You should keep BOTH servers running, BOTH as domain controllers, then split up services so that NEITHER machine is overloaded.  Besides, this will give you redundancy on the domain end.

However, if you insist on using only one server, then once you have made the system a Domain controller, you move the FSMO roles and Global Catalog to the new server.  (I can post links if you need them).  Once those services are moved, take one of your RECENT backups and do a restore of a FULL BACKUP (as opposed to a differential and/or an incremental restore) - DATA ONLY - NOT OS, NOT SYSTEM STATE, ONLY YOUR DATA!  Then, over a weekend, take the old server off the network so no user is able to access it and do a DIFFERENTIAL backup of the old server.  Once that completes, restore it to the new server.  This should be the quickest/least intrusive method of migrating the data AND you have now confirmed your data backups are in good shape.

If you need the server to keep the same name, then you can still do that, but it will be a little trickier - if necessary, I'll explain later.

If you keep the same drive letters as you had on the old server on the new one, then you can export the Share information from the registry and import them into the new system, effectively transferring the shares.  The biggest pain is going to be migrating your printers.

Now, these instructions WILL change somewhat if you use SQL Server or another database, or Exchange server or some "special" application on the server, but as your question didn't indicate any such service, I'll not explain it unless you ask.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16231560
@leew...I am under the impression that matthewmerriel does NOT have W2k3 on the new computer.  I do see that your comment will work AFTER an OS is installed.
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by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 16231564
With Server 2003, there is no way to restore backed up "settings" to different hardware.    You could maybe restore active directory and raw data, but it would be MUCH more time consuming than creating a second server and doing a migration.

I agree with leew. The preferred way to add a new server is to set it up with a new name, make it a domain controller, and then migrate your domain and data to it.   You have to get a complete replica of the active directory data on it.  Copy the other data onto it, set up the printers, set up any other applications, etc.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16231567
From the perspective of Activation, may make a difference.  However, When it comes to a direct restore between systems there are really only TWO key components keeping the system from booting:

1.  Motherboard Chipset - CPUs don't matter - though AMD chipsets always use different chipsets than intel, so you will NEVER be able to easily change from AMD to Intel, but strictly speaking, this has nothing to do with the CPU being different.
2.  Hard Drive Controller - Actual hard drives don't matter

Network cards, sound cards, graphics cards, CD/DVD ROM drives, tape drives, etc, etc, don't really matter - they may not work on initial boot, but add the drivers and you'll be ok.

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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16231586
Hmm... I am assuming the asker has TWO servers with 2003 server installed (or to be installed) on both.  If this is incorrect, please clarify.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16231608
the CPU's wil matter in this case as he is using x64
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by:juanfermin
ID: 16231694
If you still want to simply move to a new server, here's what you can do....

1.  Install the Windows 2003 CD and run "Upgrade" on the old server.
2.  Once the computer shuts down, turn it off and pull out the HD (make sure it doesn't start going through the upgrade process)
3.  Mirror the HD to the new HD for your new Server using a utility like Partition Majic. (don't forget to resize after you finish to take advantage of the larger HD size).
4.  Start up the new server, and the upgrade routine will finish from there. (just make sure all the drive letters are the same)

Now there's NOTHING to move, everything will come over to the new server, including the name, shares, everything.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16231699
Won't matter because he's not moving an x64 installation to a NON-x64 platform.

2003 32bit (non-x64) has no knowledge of the abilities of x64 chips and x64 chips are fully compatible with x86 chips, so there should be no difference.  HOWEVER, it's irrelevent because the chipsets will be different and that's what matters.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16231731
Interesting idea - I can see that working, BUT, I would consider this dangerous as it destroys a perfectly working and stable system and forces you to HOPE microsoft didn't do something stupid that could prevent this system from completing the "upgrade" on another server.
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16231759
you cant use partition magic (at least version 8 anyway) on a server OS

you also cant upgrade using a windows 2003 standard edition disk
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16231763
leew second post is the same answer i suggested on this Q in the MS Networking TA that u posted in :)
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16231812
thank you for all of your answers.

leew - this server is for a school and we are on school hoplidays this week so nobody is logging into or changeing any of the data so do this mean that i can skip the differential backup over the weekend.

also seeing that all of the shares are on the current server (let's call it CURRIC01) if i do a DCPROMO on the new server (let's call it CURRIC02) does that mean that i will have to change all of the mappings from CURRIC01 to CURRIC02. it's just that i have about 40-50 laptop computers all with static windows xp network mappings which point to CURRIC01. if i give the new server a differant name wont i have to reconfigure each of those computers?

if i give the nedw server the same name as the origanal server and keep all the user names and passwords the same they should still work shouldn't they?

P.S. i have no SQL or Exchange running on the server just AD, DNS, DHCP and folder and print sharing.
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 16231864
File and print sharing for 50 people?  That's it?  And the system is overloaded?  This doesn't make ANY sense.  I managed a Dual 550 MHz XEON P3 handling 500 users without any significant performance problems.  And your existing system is more then 2x faster in terms of RAW MHz.  How exactly is it slow?  By the way, same server handled 200 print queues.

With a little scripting you can have the printers and folders map correctly to a new server without much issue.  However, to keep the server name will require a bit of tedium.

1.  Install the new server and run DCPROMO on it
2.  Transfer the FSMO roles and Global catalog to the new server.
3.  Run DCPROMO on the old server so it's no longer a domain controller.
4.  Rename the old server.
5.  Run DCPROMO on the old server, make it a domain controller again.
6.  Transfer the roles and GC back to the old server.
7.  Run DCPROMO on the new server and remove AD.
8.  Rename the new server to the old server's name.
9.  Run DCPROMO on the new server and make it a DC again.
10.  Transfer the roles and GC BACK to the new server,
11.  DCPROMO the old server so it is no longer a DC.

DONE - you now have the new server with the old name AND all the AD information.  
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16231931
sorry i should have explained it better. i have 40-50 laptop users plus 750 desktop users who share 150-170 desktop computers. but if i understand your post correctly that shoudln't be enough to overload it. i am looking at it now and it's hovering at between 6 and 11% cpu usage but at the begining and end of lessons it flat lines at 100%. but that's a little off topic.

thankyou for all of your help. i will try leew's answer and will see how we go.
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by:juanfermin
ID: 16231948
REPLY TO:
 Comment from leew
Date: 03/19/2006 06:02PM EST
      Comment       

Interesting idea - I can see that working, BUT, I would consider this dangerous as it destroys a perfectly working and stable system and forces you to HOPE microsoft didn't do something stupid that could prevent this system from completing the "upgrade" on another server.
ANSWER:
Actually it wouldn't, because you can take the old HD, put it back in the old system and simply cancell the upgrade, bringing your old system back up.  I've used this technique many times and I've never had a problem with it.
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16231955
very interesting way of doing it - seems like it would certainly save a lot of extra config :)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16232037
Sorry, I just don't think I'd trust my servers - especially my domain - to an upgrade process like that.  If you proceed with the upgrade and it fails MID-WAY, then backing out is not possible and moving forward may not be either.

matthew -
I would suggest you monitor the system processes to see what is using the CPU.  I really don't think CPU is your bottleneck.  If you have people loading profiles and saving them back to the server at the same time EVERYWHERE, then that can be slow but that's due to network bandwidth and MAYBE disk subsystem inadequacies.

How does the server compare today to it's baseline when you set it up?  (I am, of course, assuming you established a baseline when you set it up).
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by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 16233194
Leew is on the money. Do not transfer hdd between machines -- will not work.
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16242515
i was not around when the server was first installed and there was no baseline established.
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by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 16242817
A 100% utilization load is understandable if you have 200+ simultaneous logins, but a 0.6 GHz processor improvement is not going to dent that.  You are better off partitioning your network into several subnets, so that you have a domain controller for each classroom, and then using the existing server as a primary domain controller and for file storage.   Connect all the subets using a switch and put the main server on its own subnet.  It will propagate out your directory info to the smaller domain controllers which will handle logins independently.   You can use smaller machines as domain controllers and they would not need more than 500 MB ram or 20 GB hard drives -- you could probably pick up 3 or 4 for what you are spending on the big machine.   You will still see a processor spike with 30 simultaneous logins, but performance should be consistently better for the users.  Get an open license with MS, don't get OEM licenses, so you do not pay for unneeded licenses.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16242936
I disagree - AD and any single domain controller should be able to authenticate that many users quite easily.  The problem is likely in downloading profile data or such information from the server.  BASIC authentication is not a stressful thing.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16242957
Gentlemen...a side note...

If I started from scratch, I would be done.
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by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 16242982
How is the end user experience affected by this issue?  Is this affecting your abilty to educate?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16243019
Sure you'd be done... but you might still have the same problem.  Kinda like building a new road so you don't have to clear the tree.  It works, but it's a potentially huge waste.  Solve the real problem first and then you can decide if the new server should be kept or sold or returned.  

If the new server is connected to the same old 100Mb switch, then it's 1Gb NIC won't do any good and the bottleneck will still be there - IF that's the problem.  So far, we just don't know.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16243051
Just to point out that although migration is they way to go, the practical sense of making the deadline may or may not be  possible.  I would love love learn "how to" but not with a gun behind my head.  Frankly, not all of us have that luxury of time.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16243149
but what would you do in a week, when everyone returns, and things are STILL slow with no improvement?  How would you like to explain that to your boss?  

The asker needs to provide more information - what he's doing now.  He can migrate the server, but frankly, based on my experience, I don't think he'll see much of an improvement.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16243209
...waiting feedback from matthewmerriel.
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16243378
i have got the new server up and running as a domain controller and it's got all the FSMO roles. all the desktop computers are loggin and and working. i was about to demote my origanal server when i noticed that there had been a lot of activity on this question.

the server does push out large profiles to each user as they log in (have only just relised this) and once i have finished the migration i will change this. (just a side note if i want to lock all users done so that nobody could change there profiles would manditory profiles be my best option or can somebody recomend something better.)

irwinpks - 100% cpu usage is not the only reason we are upgrading the server. we wanted a rack mount server, more hard drive space and SCSI so we could but a tape drive in.

let me say at this point in time that i am very thankful to everybody who is providing me with there knowleadge and experience.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16243396
does the "flatlining" exist with this new server?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16243427
Mandatory profiles are one way - I like to setup roaming profiles but EXCLUE almost all directories from copying to the server.  This keeps the profile downloads at a minimum in terms of data, but allows for users to customize their settings.

In my (previous) environment, users trickeled in between 8 and 10am and as such we never had such a CONSTANT load.  BUT we did have periods of random high activity as scientists saved data to the server.  We DID have the servers on a gigabit switch with fiber gigabit NICs so we had the fastest possible speeds.  But in a school environment, I can see the potential to have hundreds of people near simultaneously log in to a system.  Nevertheless, PURE authentication is not a taxing thing - loading of large profiles on the other hand...

You might consider splitting the load - putting some users on one server and others on another.  If you are a four year school, consider alternating graduating years - new students in 2006 go to server1, new in 2007 go to server2, new in 2008 back to 1 and so forth.  
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16243873
you will all be pleased to know that i am most of the way throught this process. my new server is the only domain controller for this domain at the moment and a have tried logging 70 computers in a the same time and the server topped out at about 30%.

even when it's idle it's still beeting my old server. the old server idled at between 6-11% and the new one idles at 0-1%.

i will see how the rest of the process goes and will keep you posted.
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16244013
cool.
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by:jm-johnmeyer-us
ID: 16244954
Now your perfromance results are encouraging, but the question is whether you have actually migrated profile storage from old server to new server.  If you have not renamed the old server and the users have roaming profiles specified, then you are likely handling -just- authenitcation on the new server while the old server is handing out profiles. So no you will not see a processor spike on the -new- server during the test.  Also, when you run the test, are you running it on 64 representative users with decent size profiles to be moved across the network?

Unless the performance issue is due to misconfiguration we are all missing, I agree that you will continue to have performance issues unless you come up with a strategy for partitioning the work load.

Roaming profiles are very performance intensive.  For some reason, they are more taxing than file sharing involving similar data volumes.  I have found I can copy a 100 MB directory from the server in a fraction of the time it takes to load a 100 MB profile, even without significant load/contention on the server.  To some extent, poor performance is endemic to roaming profiles in general.  However, if you are seeing a processor spike there is room for improvement.

One option at this point is to split up the profile storage between the two machines, so that they can share the work.  Although copying over the physical profile directories would be trivial, the group policy component of this is beyond my familiarity and someone else would have to jump in here.  If you can partition so that users in the same class end up on different servers, this would help somewhat.  So you could have one server handle names a-m and another n-z for example.

If you really want to this right and you have the budget, then the best way to go about this is to slowly load up profile storage onto one server until you figure out what is a good user-to-server ratio is, by observing performance results.  So if the magic number is 50 users per server, then you may want to add 4  more servers.  If you have users moving around, then network partitioning is not going to help too much, just make sure you have switches everywhere.

Another way to handle this without a major network upgrade is to enforce quotas on the profile size, so that users are forced to store everything but their most personal documents in the profile directories.  You can also do more with group policies and housekeeping on the client side, for example, storing Internet Explorer temporary files OUTSIDE of the profile.   If your average profile is 100 MB and you get that down to 20 MB then you are going to see a fivefold increase in system capacity.
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by:matthewmerriel
ID: 16504212
thankyou all for your help. i've been in and out of hospital for the last few weeks, so sorry for leaving this post open for so long.

my boss had to finish the upgrade for me and somewhere along the lines managed to kill the DNS server which has caused us heaps of problems (as it does when active directory doesn't have a working DNS server to talk to). but i have worked through it all and things have never been better. login's are toping out at about 5-8 seconds and there is no waiting to access network drives or printers.

in the end i think i am going to have to award the points to leew. he answered the post quickly, and gave very detailed answers which where not to comclicated but explained what i needed to know. thankyou again to everybody who helped out on this question.
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16504230
fair call mate, hopefully you are better soon :)
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