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Reading Win2K server disks if moved to a Win2K3 server?

Posted on 2006-06-22
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I have a customer with Windows Server 2000.  The server has two physical disks with no fault tolerance.

They have asked me to upgrade their server and put in fault tolerance.

What I would like to do is this:

1) remove the existing physical disks
2) install a RAID controller and new physical disks in a RAID 1 mirror
3) install Small Business Server 2003 onto the new RAID 1 mirror
4) re-install the old disks temporarily, side-by-side with the new RAID 1 mirror, solely for the purpose of copying the data off of them

Will the newly installed OS be able to see and read the "old" disks?  If not, out of curiosity, what will prevent it?
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Question by:etcs
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CSTN earned 500 total points
ID: 16964777
From the sounds of your statements, the old disks are not currently in an arraw, but are acting as seperate drives?
If so, then yes, they will be able to see the drives normally. Just pay attention to the way you set the boot drive (usually in BIOS), so that it boots from the new drives.
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by:fruitloopy
ID: 16967354
If the old disks are REALLY old and too small to use then buy 2 new ones of exactly the same size and model, this is important for a RAID 1 setup (well, not that important but it makes the job far easier!)
As Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 supports upgrading from Windows Server 2000 you may find this easier than a fresh install and new setup, particularly if there's lots of users etc.
Put the old disk in, upgrade to SBS 2003 and get it setup how you want it.
Use some disk cloning software (Ghost, Drive Image, Etc) to copy the old disk to one of the new disks.
Verify it boots up and works ok.
Place the second new hard drive in and use Disk Management in SBS 2003 to create a mirror of the 1st disk. SBS 2003 will automatically update the Boot.ini file and set the drive as active if you have to boot to this in case of a HDD faliure.
As an optional extra you could install both the older drives and setup mirroring on them as well and use these for data storage.

I have used software mirroring in SBS and other Server OS's and its always worked for me. If you have the means to use a RAID controller onboard then use it but I wouldnt go out of my way to install hardware RAID.

I'll put some links in to HOW TO guides on upgrading to SBS 2003, software mirroring etc if you like?
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by:Wayne Barron
ID: 16968083
I am not really sure about RAID Disk, which I am sure that your Win2k3 Server will be able to see and retrieve the
Data from them, as I have done this several times on non-Raid disks.

But, if you are concerned about loosing the customers important Data, then you can easily add
The disk to another Machine, and create a Network-Share between them, and transfer the data that way.

But, I do not feel that you will have a problem with Win2k3 reading the Disk, unless the disk are bad.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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by:puter_geek
ID: 16972587
What about building a new server.  Then you could make the 2k machine a backup dc.  You could buy a moboard with Raid onboard, replication would replicate the users and groups.  
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Author Comment

by:etcs
ID: 16973183
Thanks All!  The existing server is relatively new (plenty of horsepower and RAM but the installer put in two small SCSI disks and didn't do any fault tolerance.)  So, to preserve the value of the existing server without placing the data at too much risk (such as relying just on a tape backup), I've opted to just add a RAID controller and two new disks in a RAID 1, install SBS2003 (customer request), and then put those original drives back in the box to pull the data off them.  Maybe then build another RAID container out of them down the road.  Again, thanks all.
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