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sbcore service will not start

Hi,
I have a SBS server with no service packs installed.  I took over for an guy that built the system - 2 years ago.  We had a security problem last friday and worked with MS support to resolve the issue.  Sunday I went into services and found SBCore services disabled. when I try and start it I get an error message: "Unable to open service SBCore for writing on Local Computer.  Error 5:Access is denied"
I do not know if this services waw running before Friday.  MS Support wants to install Windows Server 2003 SP1 and then a hot fix to try and get this going. I am worried about crashing the server.  What are the implications of running without this service?  
Thanks - Wayne
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wspjones99
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wspjones99
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Well, there's really no way to disable the SBCore service without a MAJOR hack... which would absolutely violate the EULA.  If you're working with MS Support on this, I'd listen to them.  Just do a full backup before starting.  

Without the SBCore service, you don't have an SBS.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
I have just finished a backup, but am woried about disrupting the business during the week if we crash.  I would really like to do this on a friday so I have time to rebuild.  What sort of problems could we have running a few days in this mode?
Thanks  - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I don't really know... never seen an SBS that would run at all with the SBCore service disabled.  So, it's unique.

If it were me, I'd use www.sbsmigration.com's methods to create a temporary DC that will allow you to reinstall your server without any down time.  Their kit runs $200.00 and would be well worth it.  You can use any PC or laptop for your temp dc.  Even if you started on a Friday, it'd give you peace of mind that you don't have to kill yourself and work all night to finish before Monday morning.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Thanks for the info Jeff.  Would that Kit allow exchange to function during the swing?  What are the upgrade options for moving a company out of SBS to a regular domain?
Thanks - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Yes, the kit does... you would basically install a temporary SBS in order to do that.

The options for movin out of SBS?  You would need to purchase the Transition Pack (http://sbsurl.com/transition).  This is a tool that removes the SBCore Service as well as modifies a few other things to allow for you to break out the components to other machines.  It includes licensing for each separate component as well as 5 transition CALs (you can't use SBS CALs on a standard Server 2003, and you also need Exchange CALs as well if you transition out).  It's priced fairly at just the difference in cost.

Do you have over 50 users or devices though?  Because the cost of doing that would be in the thousands of dollars.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
We are running about 40 users.  Two years ago (before I started supporting the company) they went through a very messy swing migration from 2000 to 2003.  There was a lot of work with Dell and Microsoft to correct registery and file error.  I am concerned that we might have problems with the swing project. I do not believe we are at R2 on the server.
I do have full backups of the server using Veritas 9.1  but am a little worried about relying on them totally.  Would a two pronged plan be better?  Bring up the second server for the swing part, wipe the system drive on the first server and attempt a restore from tape backup for the AD/Exchange/SQL parts.  If that fails rebuild again and attempt the swing?  When do you get to a point where rebuilding the domain becomes an option?  Of course before any attempts I would copy the information store to alt location, and possibly make PST backups for all email accounts, also move public folders to admin account and make PSTs. The company really depends on email, and would probably go out of business this piece fails.  
Thanks - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Well, the quick and dirty (but very reliable) way to do this would be to buy new drives for your server.  Pull the old ones, install the new ones and then proceed with your reinstallation/restoration (following http://sbsurl.com/backup).  I wouldn't rely on Veritas 9.1... the built-in SBS Backup does a terrific job of creating a fully restorable backup.

If you do it this way... if things fail you can just put the old drives back in and you're ready to go.

With the price of drives these days... that would be my first choice.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
I will ghost the c drive to a spare drive, then ghost it back if I have problems as a backup.  As far as the rebuild goes, if the system is should I follow this path:
1.  Format system drive
2.  Install SBS, stop at configuring the domain.
3.  Boot into DSR mode, restore system state.
4.  Install all of the service packs and updates in the proper order.
5.  I am planning to not rebuild/restore the data drive, where all of the users folders, corp data, and exchange stores live, however I will have current backups of all this.  Unless you think this would be a good idea to format the data drive also.
Should the users be able to log on normally at this point if everything has gone as expected, or is there additional work here?
Thanks - Wayne
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
Additional question, should I run through the SBS install wizard before I do the system restore? I am not sure of the sequence here.
Thanks - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
The proper sequnce is what's in the document I linked above... read it please.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
I have read the document.  My confusion is about the partial restore. Since the OS is hosed up I do not want to restore this, just rebuild.  I do need to retain the domain. So just to clarify:
1. Format c drive
2. Install SBS up through step 12 of the restore you server proceedure.
Here is the part I am not sure of:
On step 3 of "To restore the server from backup media" it says" On the Continuing Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Setup page, click Cancel."
At this point it goes into restoring from backup.  If I only want to restore th system state, shouldn't I continue with the SBS setup to completion, installing exchange, sql, etc..THEN reboot into directory service restore mode and restore the system state?
Thanks - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Okay, this would be different than what you originally had stated about stopping at the point of configuring the domain... which you would NOT want to do.

But, I guess I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish here... why would only restore the system state?  As you stated, your OS is hosed... the steps outlined in the document are to reinstall the OS.  Exchange and SQL are not Operating Systems... they are Server Systems and are not part of your problem.

So, I would say that you still don't want to go this route.

Jeff
TechSoEasy



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wspjones99Author Commented:
Hi Jeff,
My main concerns are:
1. OS is hosed up now.  If I back up the OS (system drive and system state) and then restore per the document will I be reintroducing the corruption?
2. Microsoft does not support a swing migration, so if I run into problems during the rebuild they will not support it.
Thanks - Wayne
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
1.  A full backup does NOT back up the OS, it is not an "IMAGE" of the drive, which is why you need to reinstall the OS including all service packs before performing a restore.
2.  www.sbsmigration.com supports the swing migration, and therefore they provide full support should you run into problems during the process... if, and only if you follow their guidelines. (this is because following their guidelines will result in a successful migration).

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Wayne,

Good luck!  I just wanted to clarify my comment above regarding the swing migration.  While Microsoft doesn't support the process, they do support the end result.  Meaning that using sbsmigration's swing method results in a supportable configuration in the event that you have any sort of support agreement with Microsoft (ie, Small Business Plus or Software Assurance).

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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