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Backup and restore Exchange application and data to blank upgraded volume.

I am running Windows Server 2003 R2.  All critical updates are applied.  The server has two volumes - C: and D:.  C: is home to the system files and most applications.  D: is home to data files and Exchange programs and data.  D: is out of space and I will be replacing the RAID5 Array with drives of greater capacity and the current plan was to backup the entire volume with NT backup, shut down the server, replace the array, bring the server back up and perform a restore.  This works fine if I am restoring data but I am unsure of the implications since Exchange is actually installed to D:.

Will I damage my Exchange install if I bring up the empty volume and restore or is there some other method I should use to replace this volume?

Any help is appreciated.
Avatar of lausengdn
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Do you have space for another drive in the server?

You said you are using Raid5 so adding another drive to the array will be the best plan.
You can get monster drives these days that will probably more than double your storage space.

That is a simple plugin and add not requiring a backup, of course doing a backup would be a good idea anyways of course...
Avatar of Hummbird


Yes.  We could just add additional drives but that would only give an incremental increase in available space.  The idea is to more than double space now while leaving room for additional growth in the future so we will not have to revisit this issue until a new server is required.

You can get 146 Gig or even 300 Gig SCSI drives these days.
One or two of those should take care of you for a while.

That is the purpose of using Raid5 arrays.
I have done this exact upgrade recently.  Use Ghost 7.5 (or another drive imaging program) and you will have no problems.  Ghost 7.5 runs via boot disk, and can copy a Windows 2003 SBS hard drive and repartition on the fly, with full support of NTFS.  Note that you may have to connect a IDE hard drive to the computer to get Ghost to start, but it will work perfectly after that.  Do not buy Ghost 12.0.  I tried it and it does not have the functionality of the old version.  DriveImage was bought by Symantec and is integrated into their new Ghost product, so I have not tested that product.  Acronis True Image should work fine, although you would probably have to buy their server version, which is expensive.

Do not use NT Backup for this procedure.  In order to restore the backup, you would have to reinstall SBS first, then restore the backup, overwriting the new installation and new registry with old information.  (Sounds clumsy, doesn't it?)  Use only as a last resort, when all else fails.

Again, I upgraded my SBS pc to and from a RAID array using the above procedure, and had no problems.  Every file and permission is identical after the copy, so Windows doesn't see a difference.

Note that you MUST install the RAID card before doing a drive image copy, and install the drivers, or else SBS won't be able to boot since it won't have the proper drivers for the RAID card installed.  If you have an onboard RAID card that's not currently RAID enabled, you would have to copy your HD to a drive connected to another controller first, then enable the RAID bios, install drivers, and then perform the copy, or else the same problem will occur.

Hope this helps!
P.S. I have both C: and D: as well, with Exchange installed on D:, just as you have, so I'm sure it will work.
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Thanks lausengdn.  Yes, we already have the drives and we're ready to go Except for the Exchange issue.  The old drives which make up the current array will be decommissioned.

Shane32EE, what you are saying seems to ring true.  I believe I can install the new drives in parallel with the current array and create a new array, disable Exchange and run a drive copy to the new array, reassign the drive letters and reboot back to an active server.

This will be the plan unless someone else sees a pitfall to this solution.
You won't need to reassign the drive letters; just be sure to disconnect the old drive array before you boot back up with the new array after the copy.  After you have booted up with the new array, windows will 'save' the new drive letter configuration, and you can reconnect the old array, making sure that the old array is 'second' in the RAID configuration, as windows will boot from the first array on the controller, unless you reconfigure the BIOS and maybe the boot.ini file too.

You also won't need to disable Exchange, or any software on the computer during this process.  Windows will just see that you've shut down your computer for several hours (during the copy).  In case it was unclear, the drive imaging software SHOULD run from a bootable disk/cd, not within Windows at all.  Clients accessing this computer, of course, would need to be shut down, as the computer would be essentially 'off' during the process.

"reboot back to an active server" - the same hardware except new hard drives, right?  If you try this solution to move to another motherboard, it won't work.  Most everything won't work in that case, actually...

Note that if you can't find drive imaging software, you CAN boot to a temporary windows installation, then use xcopy /s/e/c/q/k/h/r/o/x to copy the old C: to the new C: and etc, but you might have to edit the registry to get windows to recognize the new C: as C:, and not E:, and you might have trouble making the copies.  But it is possible -- I've done it before -- and when done properly, Windows Server won't know you've changed hard drives when complete, just like using drive imaging software.  It's still a lot cleaner (if not easier) than using NT Backup though, in my opinion.
Thanks Shane.  I used Acronis.  It hung up in the cloning process and I ended up leaving the old volume in place but I have another solution to my initial problem.  I am awarding you the points because if Acronis had worked properly, your solution is correct.

Thanks again.