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MOVING SBS2003 & EXCHANGE SERVER TO A NEW MORE POWERFUL MACHINE - WHY NOT IMAGE -RESTORE- REPAIR?

Posted on 2006-04-21
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Im going to move our existing SBS 2003/Exchange Server machine to a new, more powerful machine.  I have purchased this swing migrating kit.  I am wondering however, why to spend the 10 hours + going through the swing migration steps reather then just making an image of the exisiting server, restoring that to the new server, and then performing a repair install?  Wouldnt this cloning method be much faster then a swing migration?

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Question by:sbcw
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16507639
Because the 10 hours going through the swing migration steps sure beats the 30 to 40 hours of troubleshooting every loose end left by doing it any other way.   It's certainly FASTER on the front end, but there is no telling how much time it could take you on the back end.

If you already own a copy of Symantec's LiveState Restore, then at least you wouldn't have to shell out the $700 or so for that as well.  Currently, LiveState Restore and StorageCraft's ExactState are about the only imaging programs that will support restoring SBS on new hardware.... but they don't guarantee AT ALL that it will work.  SBSMigration, on the other hand, doesn't guarantee it will, but they will certainly be by your side to make it work.

Jeff
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by:sbcw
ID: 16511703
Any more realistic answers out there?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16511806
Are you saying that my answer is realistic and you're looking for other options?  Or are you saying that my answer is NOT realistic?  If so, do you mind commenting directly back to what I've said so that I may clarify any points you may not understand or agree with?

Jeff
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by:sbcw
ID: 16511995
Looking for more technical reasons/ info other than - because sometimes it has problems...
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16512026
sbcw,

I'll be happy to provide it... you just need to provide more details about what you mean by "just making an image of the existing srever".  How are you planning on doing this?  What software?

Also, how many users are there on your network?


Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:sbcw
ID: 16512371
Thanks again Jeff..and seriously..not insulting your original reply at all..at least not intended.  I was considering Ghosting the existing boot drive to an IDE drive.  Then booting from the IDE in the old machine to make sure the image is good, making the necessary corrections to make this happen.

Then placing this IDE drive into the new PC, booting into Directory Services Recovery Mode, reset the NICS making sure the binding order is correct, and then, if the new machine boots correctly, imaging this IDE Drive to the new drives.  We have about 20 users.

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 1500 total points
ID: 16513640
You'll definitely run into HARDWARE ABSTRACT LAYER  (HAL) problems with this method.  This means that the hardware profile within the registry does not match the machine you are attempting to restore to.  If you wanted to pursue this route, you would have to AT LEAST follow the steps in these KBs:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263532 and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

Additionally, Microsoft has warned that "you may experience some unexpected issues even though you can start the server" if you restore to different hardware.
This is what I was referring to as the "unknown" cost and time needed to do it the way you are describing.

The reason I asked how many users was to see if it would be reasonable to just backup data, mailboxes and SharePoint... build a new server and then import all of the backed up data... but I usually think that if you have more than 10 or 12 users this method is much more time consuming since you need to reconfigure each workstation as well.

Hope that's enough info for you.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:mickinoz2005
ID: 16516619
I think as jeff said the ideal of doing this the way you stated is a great idea in fact a method we would all love to perform on a regular basis however having tried this I discovered that I had endless grief in fact more often than not you never get past the HAL stage and usually that is game over.

However if you are going to ghost and try makes no difference not too however if it fails its more hours added onto your already growing time scale.

You could change domain names if it not too big a deal and do a migration or use the swing method as jeff said.

True Image from Acronis state they have a product that will do it to alternate hardware however having spoken to one of their competitors they say it works some of the time but no guarantees.

Any thats my input if you have the time try your method be interested to see how you got on otherwise use the swing method.

Michael
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by:sbcw
ID: 16517567
Cloning worked like a charm.  We cloned, performed a repair, booted to DSR mode, reconfigured the nics..and all is well except for a wan issue which we'll fix tomorrow.  Clients logged on fine and everything was in tact!  Whoo hooo!
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16517583
Congrats!  Did you move the original NICs to the new machine to maintain MAC addresses?

Jeff
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by:sbcw
ID: 16517602
Hey Jeff!  We did not move the nics.  Thats another thing...the old nics show up in device manager and we cannot remove them.  We just disabled them for now since they are not actually present.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16517654
well, that's one of many things I think you'll see unfortunately...  

To fix the problem:

1. Open a CMD prompt and enter:

    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

    Start DEVMGMT.MSC

2. Click VIEW > Show Hidden Devices.

3. Expand Network Adapters.

4. Right-click the ghosted NICS > Uninstall

Further issues should be posted as separate questions.

:-)

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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