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Problem restoring Ghost image in Windows (Small Business) Server 2003 sbs

For several years I have successfully used Ghost 2003 to run pcdos boot disketts and create ghost images of our computers.  I have successfully used these Ghost images to uprgade hardware (eg. larger hard drives) and recover from various disasters.  Ghost has never let me down yet.  We have successfully resored images of Small Business Server 2000, Windows Professional 2000, Windows XP, and others.
I recently upgraded to Windows SBS 2003, with Terminal Server running on a separate Windows Server 2003 server.  For the SBs machine, I used some old 9gb scsi drives in a RAID 5 configuration for setup and configuration, and had planned to install larger drives and use Ghost to migrate to the larger drives and increase the partition sizes, as I have previously done successfully with a RAID5 configuration in SBS 2000.
Ghost created the image successfully and resored the image successfully (according to its own messages), but the server only boots to the Windows Server 2003 screen with the progress bar, and then reboots itself.
I have made several attempts, including re-initializing the RAID configuration, but the results are identical every time.
Can this have something to do with the SID?  (I really don't know what that is, i've just seen it referred to in several other places!)  ;-)  Does it have something to do with Microsoft's anti-piracy measures I've heard about that prevents an image from being resored to a different machine?  (in this case, do you think the different hard drive array is causing the anti-piracy protection to kick in?)  I'm just shooting in the dark here.
Am I likely to have the same problem resoring the Ghost image I made of our Windows Server 2003 - particulrly if I am NOT trying to increase the drive capacity on it?
Any help/suggestions/solutions would be greatly appeciated!  
I really like Ghost for the purpose for which we use it, but right now I'm scared to death because I don't have a restorable version of our OS!
Thanks in advance!
 - Paul Johnson
Good Times PowerSports
Lubbock, TX
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goodtimespowersports
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goodtimespowersports
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1 Solution
 
Netman66Commented:
Are you re-imaging to the same hardware?

If you take an image of one server and attempt to restore it to another then 98% of the time it will fail.  Most likely this is the RAID controller drivers.  

If you are trying to boot the newly imaged server on the same network as the source server then it will conflict, yes.  If this is the case, just plug it into a switch or hub that is not connected to the same LAN.

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goodtimespowersportsAuthor Commented:
I am restoring to exactly the same server, with the ONLY difference being the size of the drives in the array.  Obviously, this means that the "newly imaged" server is the same server as the "source server".
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
When you made the image did you use the -ia switch?  Ghost does not image Dynamic Disks without using this switch apparently (I don't use Ghost so I'm only going by what I've read).  http://service1.symantec.com/support/ghost.nsf/docid/2000062209523525

I do know that Microsoft does not support ghosting or imaging of server volumes to migrate them to different hardware (even if only to different disks).  Their recommended procedure would be to backup and restore... which I know for a fact works just fine to move to larger drives.

So, my suggestion at this point is to see if you can get your failed restore to boot into Safe Mode.  If you can do that, you can run a backup with the built-in SBS Backup, or at the very least you can export all your data and database files to a USB hard drive for recovery.  If you can't get it to boot, you may have to use something like www.UBCD4WIN.com 's pre-windows boot environment....which gets a bit complicated because you have to enable the RAID in order to see the disks.   Or, you may need to use a 3rd party program like Raid Reconstructor (http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm).  I've not used that particular program, but I do use RunTimes Get Back Data program quite often and it works rather well.

Good luck!

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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goodtimespowersportsAuthor Commented:
Jeff,

Thanks for your suggestions.  We are running on the smaller drives with no problems, I just want to migrate to a larger drive array so we don't run out of room, as well as insure that my backups are indeed restorable.
I have never successfully restored a Windows backup (which is why I started using Ghost in the first place), but it's been years since I've tried using Windows Backup.  I'll check into that.

The weird thing is that I HAVE successfully Ghosted and restored my server drive array (RAID 5) a couple of times in the last 3 years - migrating to la arger drive array in one case, and recovering from accidental file deletion in another.  It worked perfectly, just restored the image and booted up to it.  I was running SBS 2000 at that time.  (I have also used Ghost to migrate to a larger drive array on my brother-in-law's SBS 2000 system)   In all 3 cases, the RAID 5 is a Dell hardware RAID configuration.  Now I try the same thing with the same Ghost version on the same hardware, and it doesn't work with SBS 2003.  Makes me think there's something about SBS 2003 causing the issue.

Other obligations constrain the time I have to try your suggestions, so it will be a week or two before I can let you know how they worked.

Thanks for the input!

- Paul
GoodTimesPowerSports
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
SBS 2000 and SBS 2003 are completely different Operating Systems and should NOT be compared.  The SBCore service on SBS2003 is completely new and will cause a number of different behaviors than it's predecessors.

So, you need to be sure that you don't compare past experiences with SBS2000 to what you want to do now.

For an overview of SBS 2003 backup and restore, please see http://sbsurl.com/backup

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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goodtimespowersportsAuthor Commented:
Jeff,
I finally tried something you mentioned at the very first of your suggestions: I tried booting in Safe Mode.
I know, I know, why didn't I try the easy stuff first?  ;-)
Anyway, I have no idea what "new hardware" it found, but booting in safe mode worked, and when the desktop came up, I got the message "Windows had finished installing new hardware, you must reboot", and the reboot into the normal SBS environment worked perfectly!
So, I don't fully know WHY, but it works!
(I guess having something that works, but not knowing why, is better than knowing why something doesn't work!)  ;-)
Thanks again for all your input!
 - Paul Johnson
GoodTimesPowerSports
P.S.  I carefully studied the SBS 2003 backup and restore procedure; What a nightmare!  Too many things to go wrong, including Service Pack version conflicts!  A restorable image is SO MUCH MORE PREFERABLE!
I know that RAID introduces its own set of problems, but hardware RAID that works independently without requiring any drivers appears to work with image restoration, (after finding the solution to my bootup issue).
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I would agree with you about a restorable image, you just need to use the right software to create one, and Ghost isn't it.  There are three programs which will do this, Acronis TrueImage, Symantec LiveState, and StorageCraft's ExactState.

The other way to have an image is to run your SBS as a virtual server... but I'm still testing the performance issues and haven't yet determined if it's worth it.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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