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Best Way For Me to Migrate to a New Server

Posted on 2006-04-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hello and thank you for helping me,

Background:
I have a small business network with one SBS2003 server and ten XP Pro clients. I have a new server that I need to put in place of the existing server. The new server will also have SBS2003 and is already configured for the network.

The existing server is configured with the ten client computers and ten users who use the server as a file server and print server only, no Exchange, etc. “My Documents Redirection” is in place and works fine (but this is where most of my concern is for the migration).

Each client PC has the My Documents redirected to the server into the appropriate User share and an I: drive mapped to a shared directory of documents. They use Outlook2003 to get e-mail straight from the ISP’s server.

Concerns:
- The existing server does not have any USB or CD-R/W drive to use and adifferent type of backup tape as the new server.
- The new server will have a different name but use the same domain name.
- None of the client PCs has enough free drive space to store all of the servers file storage.

Proposal:
Can I do the following procedure and expect good results with little to no changes to the look&feel of the client computers?
1. Leave existing server up.
2. Install a large hard drive slaved into one client PC to use for temp document storage.
3. Log into that client as Admin and copy the entire \\server\usersdocs to the temp storage drive.
4. Go to each of the client PCs, log in as Admin, and change the PC to use a workgroup instead of domain, then logout/shut down.
5. Turn off existing server, turn on new server and create User&Client accounts and network shares.
6. Go to the client in step 2 above and configure it to use the domain instead of a workgroup.
7. Copy all of the documents from the temp storage and back out to \\server\usersdocs.
8. Go to each of the other clients, log in as Admin, and reconfigure them to use the domain instead of a workgroup.
9. Log out and back in as the user of that PC.

Questions:
1. Will my client computers lose any user profile stuff like desktop background or settings?
2. Is there a better way to get the users documents off of the existing server and into the new server?
3. Do you see any problems with the proceedure above?

Thank you.

[edit] Can I just turn off the My Docs redirection so that each client PC just keeps a local copy of those files, then remove from domain, start new server, join domain, re-enable My Docs redirection so each client copies to the new server? How and will this affect any client settings, profiles, anything?
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Question by:anon12000
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Pfister
ID: 16426903
> 1. Will my client computers lose any user profile stuff like desktop background or settings?
Yes. Since you generate a new user id (even if it has the same name, it will get a completely new SID) all local settings will be gone. If a user logs on to the new domain/server he will get a fresh profile.

> 2. Is there a better way to get the users documents off of the existing server and into the new server?
I'm not the SBS 2003 specialist but I don't think its possible to join 2 SBS 2003 together in one domain or have 2 SBS systems running the same domain name in the same network. Going via the add'l hard disk seems to be a good way... if your client machines have USB 2.0 ports just plug in an external disk (no need for a screw driver).

> 3. Do you see any problems with the proceedure above?
It will work but the local settings of your users will be gone. You will have to redo the NTFS permissions on your files on the new system (if you had any).

Hope it hepls,

Michael
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Expert Comment

by:Mazaraat
ID: 16429230
1.  If you logon to the local PC as the user and add to the domain using your admin priv's you migrate the user and settings to a new user profile.

2.  Unfortunately SBS is purposefully made to not add another SBS to the domain, and cannot trust other domains.  That doesn't mean you can create a completely open share that is open to EVERYONE on the old server and simply copy the info over....I haven't actually tried this, but it should work.

3.  step 4/8 you should log in as the user, then use your admin account to add/remove

What are you going to do with the mailboxes?
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Expert Comment

by:Mazaraat
ID: 16429245
[EDIT]
When you turn off the folder direction make sure to copy the files locally =), it will ask if you want to.
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Author Comment

by:anon12000
ID: 16432239
Mazaraat,

1. Good info here. So, do I even need to change the clients from domain to workgroup then back to new domain? or can I just log in as the user and make it join the new domain once the new server is up?

2. I will not have both servers on at the same time as you are correct they cannot both be in the same domain.

3. i understand this.

Will I need to do something with the Outlook e-mail files? Note: they are not using Exchange, each client uses Outlook2003 to POP the ISP. By doing step 1 as the user will the e-mail files/settings not go along with the new profile?

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:anon12000
ID: 16432247
Also, any detailed info on turning off the folder redirection? Should I disable it at the server or at each client in the Synchronize applet?
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Expert Comment

by:Mazaraat
ID: 16432376
1.  Yes (put into workgroup), I would still pull them out of the domain and into a workgroup to bypass any possible conflicts or issues.


mailboxes - excellent, then you should have no trouble with outlook if you are using PST's.....though you know exchange can be configured to pull email from pop accounts....
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Author Comment

by:anon12000
ID: 16483928
Hello,

My attempt to do this server migration over the weekend was a disaster. User profiles did not migrate no matter which way I attempted to get the PCs onto the new server. I ended up just doing a Restore on the three that I hosed and put the old server back in service.

I'm reluctant to give anyone points because my problem was never solved. Mpfister did mention that the profiles likely wouldn't migrate but did not offer an alternate solution to my problem. Mazaraat said to turn off folder redirection and tell it to copy them locally, but never answered me on how to do that. I disabled the "off-line" files in My Comp>Folder Option?Off-Line Files but it never asked my if I wanted to make them local or not. I disabled the Synchronize but that didn't move them local either.

Anyone state your case if you think someone should get the points. I'll leave this alone for a few more days and either 1. someone has a solution, 2. you decide someone already earned the points, or 3. I'll delete it and not award any points.

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Expert Comment

by:Michael Pfister
ID: 16485041
If you'd choose to re-install your new SBS 2003 server (or try the >Domain Rename tool) there _might_ be a solution:
Have a look at Microsofts Active Directory Migration Tool v3.0. I'm not sure if its possible to migrate SBS by ADMT, since you're unable to establish a trust between the 2 sites. At least the old Active Directory Migration Tool 2.0 required a trust ...
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Expert Comment

by:Mazaraat
ID: 16490938
When you repoint the MyDocs to the local PC, it should ask if you want to copy the contents to the new location....answer yes.  Did you get this message when you repointed the My Docs to the Local Drive on the PCs?
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Author Comment

by:anon12000
ID: 16497203
No, I got no message about do I want to copy them to the new location.

What program or proceedure should I use in order to get it to give that message?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Michael Pfister earned 1500 total points
ID: 16497407
Maybe you should have a look at this site: http://www.sbsmigration.com/migration-projects.php

They describe a method to do a swing migration of your SBS by installing a temporary DC. By this you keep all your SIDs, no new user profiles will be created, and so on. You just have to copy your files (and your mailboxes if you had any...)
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Author Comment

by:anon12000
ID: 16526729
I'm not sure if I'll use the swing migration but I'll accept that as a solution and close this.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Pfister
ID: 16532701
... I don't know if my answer is worth only a "C"... but ok, its your question ... If you want to keep your existing profiles a swing migration or an "upgrade" are the only solutions...

For more info about grades see http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi73
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Pfister
ID: 16583975
Thanks for the "B" ...
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