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Recover SSL from old hard disk to new server installation.

Posted on 2007-10-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
We have recently re-installed SBS 2003 for one of our clients. The domain and computer names are all the same as th eprevious installation.

We have suddenly realised that the SSL certificate is still on the old hard disks. We have tried plugging the HDD's into another machine and starting up SBS, but we are beyond the 3 days grace that Microsoft give and we cannot access the OS witout activating it again. We can access the files on the disks by accessing them as slaves but do not know which files to look for.

Does anyone know if we can recover the SSL by copying file(s) from the old HDD's without booting into SBS and backing-up/exporting?
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Question by:keyuk
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20079236
Was this a 3rd party certificate?  Because that would be the only reason you need to use the previous one.  But the certificate itself should actually be on each workstation if they were previously connected to the SBS.

Just run certmgr.msc and expand Trusted Root Certification Authorities > Certificates.

The certificate should be listed as server.domain.com.  You can either export it, or just copy & paste it to the SBS.  Store it in C:\ClientApps\SBScert, then run the Configure Email and Internet Connection Wizard (CEICW -- linked as "Connect to the Internet on the To-Do list in the Server Management Console) to install.

A visual how-to for that is here:  http://sbsurl.com/ceicw

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:keyuk
ID: 20079336
Thanks Jeff.

Yes this is a third party certificate. We should have really thought about exporting it before we rebuilt the server, but alas we overlooked that one!

We have the old hard disk with the SBS installation, but when trying to log in the Windows activation wizard is telling us that we must activate before getting into the OS. MS give you 3 days grace between hardware changes and re-activation, but we only noticed that 5 days ago.

If there is no other way to recover the cert, we can purchase another one, but thought we should check if there was another way first.

Cheers.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20079424
"If there is no other way to recover the cert"

Was my explanation about getting it off one of your workstations misunderstood?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:keyuk
ID: 20079516
Sorry, I don't know a great deal about SSLs.

My colleague believes that it would not be installed on the workstations as no-one ever did it manually (to his recollection!). It was installed on the server and no users ever remoted in or used companyweb (or had websites hosted on the server) etc so would have no reason to install it.

I will have a look at the client's machines a bit later just in case and post my findings.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20079533
Nobody would have had to do it manually... it's normally done automatically by the SBS when you join a workstation to the domain.

But even if it's not on the client machine, you can attach the old drives as slaves and retreive it from the location I specified above:  C:\ClientApps\SBScert\

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 375 total points
ID: 20222411
I just thought I'd follow up on this and provide an easier way to see if the certificates are on the workstations.  I totally forgot that they just sit in a directory that's easy to find:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients\sbscert.cer

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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