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NOS Downgrade - Saving Time and Frustration with Workstation Profiles

Posted on 2007-11-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
We are faced with a problem at an organisation that we support. We had to rebuild their server due to problems with a virus attack. But because it only made sense at this time to consider all avenues, we contacted Microsoft to discuss which flavor of Server 2003 would be best and THEY recommended SBS 2003 Standard. This was great, they said we could download the trial software, build the server and get it up ASAP and then when we recieved our licenses we could just type it in. But when they emailed the links to download the ISO's they sent the Enterprise edition instead of the Standard, which we noticed much too late. Now this server is on-site, functioning and Microsoft is taking the Too Bad, So Sad line.

Since we feel in our part responsible, we are going to try to build the server and cause as little down time for the client as possible.

My Question: Is there some way to down-grade the server, keep the Domain Name, Server Name basically everything the same, but not have to rebuild ALL of the workstation profiles, causing the associated chaos? Is there someway to tell the workstation to use the same "Documents and Settings\User" profile in the new environment? I have to admit, I'm a Novell Server guy, and was thrust into this project with very little first hand knowledge. All I know is it took us two days to setup the profiles and iron out the little bits to make each user happy. Thanks for your help.
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Question by:RWB_Support
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20348631
It's not a down-grade of the server because Server 2003 Enterprise Edition cannot be converted to SBS 2003.

You CAN migrate the server using the SwingIT method from www.sbsmigration.com

However, I wonder if you have installed Exchange on your current server?  If not, it's really much easier to just build the new SBS from scratch.  If it took you two days to configure the profiles, etc, that was because you weren't deploying Small Business Server which will do that for you in about 30 minutes.  But you're talking about their LOCAL profiles, which can easily be migrated to the new server if you follow "The Easy Way" method described in this article:

http://www.certmag.com/articles/templates/cmag_howto.asp?articleid=819&zoneid=91

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:RWB_Support
ID: 20350100
Thanks TechSoEasy. I'll try this and see if it saves us time. I suppose I used the incorrect term when I said downgrade, because we are going to rebuild the server from scratch. We are not using Exchange on this server so your comment about a rebuild is well received.

My real question was about saving time with the workstation profiles, which I think the link you gave us will do just that, either "The Easy Way" or even the registry route. Thank-you for the time, I will report back after the rebuild.
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Author Comment

by:RWB_Support
ID: 20403529
Update:

As of December 4th we have not been able to schedule a time with the client to do the changes discussed above. When we have an oppertunity to complete the project, I will respond. Sorry for the delay in point transfer but this is a big project and Christmas is a tough time to do this kind of thing.

Thanks again for the quick response TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:RWB_Support
ID: 20698761
I again want to update and say that we have now set a date within the next month to rebuild the server. I do not want TechSoEasy's resposne to this question to go un-appreciated so I am keeping this open so I can award the points after the build is completed. My Apollogies TechSoEasy, Normally I would be able to respond much quicker but this client is in a touchy situation right now, causing a delay of implementation.
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 20699912
By the way... I'd stay away from the "registry route" method of saving profiles... if you find that "the easy way" isnt' as easy as it says.

Assuming the workstations are all XP, you'd be much better off just running the XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, saving the profile locally and then restoring it when you've rejoined the workstations.  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Closing Comment

by:RWB_Support
ID: 31431476
Thanks TechSoEasy. You advice wasn't the exact answer I used but it was the underlying foundation of my solution. Instead of using the migration manager, I copied the local user policy to a temp location, took the workstation out of the Domain and rebuilt the server. Then I added the station back into the domain, logged in as the user, rebooted and logged in as administrator and copied the original profile files over top of the newly created server user profile on the local station. It worked great! Thanks for the patience and the help.
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