Best way to move Windows 2003 Server to new hardware platform

My school runs Windows 2003 server on a small desktop and they want to move it to a higher spec server.

We are thinking of installing an additional drive into the desktop and then cloning the whole disk using Acronis True Image v9. We would then put the cloned disk into the new server and boot from that (theoretically).  We want the new server to be an exact copy of the old, as we will not use the old server again, so is it necessary to use the Microsoft sysprep tool as there is no need to change the SID or anything else ?

We are anticipating the possibility of having to install additional drivers as the hardware is different but wanted to ask if more experienced users could foresee any other issues - like motherboard serial number etc.
I understand that there are different and possibly better methodologies, such as installing the new server alongside the old and migrating data across the network. One issue with doing that is we don't have any spare Windows 2003 server installation disks and at best could only install a temporary Windows 2000 environment on the new server...

Thanks for any help given
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dooleydogConnect With a Mentor Commented:
install the new server as an additional DC, transfer the FSMO roles and any server services and then demote the original. Simple and Easy.

The clone idea will probably fail due to the HAL differences, as mentgioned above.

Good Luck,

I can see a couple of pratfalls off the bat.  The image process may produce a failed installation on the imaged server because of a changed HAL type.  The other issue I see is activation with MS because of "significant hardware change."
Use the same cd's to install windows on the new server and do what dooleydog says (if you have the technical knowhow).  You will also have to transfer any applications, etc. from the old server manually.  If your server is also a print server/email server these will also need to be migrated first before you decommission your existing server.

hlarse is correct in what he says too.  You can alway try and see what happens but it's more likely to bluescreen on bootup because the 2 machines are likely to have different chipsets.

Good luck

peakrockAuthor Commented:
Very helpful
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