Backing up and restoring win2003 sbs sp2 to a better machine

Im trying to see the strategy on Backing up this PDC onto a better motherboard/processor more memory/ possibly 64 bit if better from a 32 system if it can be done

currently in the PDC is running dhcp server Domain, and exchange.

is there a way to fully backup the domain controller ... reload the new os because of the changeout on the motherboard and just restore the existing DC information files plus the Exchange Files with store and mailboxes


reasoning is the server lags and lags and it is on its last leg
takes 40 minutes to boot up plus store.exe is up to 2gb in memory sometimes
3 yr old top of the line
just died lastnight had to put another powersupply thank god

i want to change it from the 2 IDEs 80gb to 2 500gb Sata mirrors


processor model p4 3.2ghz (2 CPUS)
Memory 2934MB Ram
system model D915GeV

Bought The new following hardware

intel core2 duo  C2d 3.0@1333FSB
4mb cache
ASUS server P5M2 socket 775,
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In Windwos 2000, they had a concept of Dirty Install to achieve this (restore to a dissimiliar hardware).  but in Windows 2003, I do not think it is there anymore.  Instead, I think (but have not played around) you can achieve this by using the recovery console.

For future, I would suggest you this... Always have a additional domain controller, so you do not have a one point of failure.  And you can use replication softwares such as double-take, Xosoft Wansync HA to replicate Exchange from the production server a different server.  On a unexpected failure, your additional dc can take it stand in for the dc and the exchange on the replica server will server as the exchange server.
johnritzerAuthor Commented:
recovery console in the startup mode ?
i do have another server but i had to do a dcpromo to it becauase you cant have 2 SBS in the same organization so its just being used as a file server.

i hate to have an exchange with a DC im trying to limit that.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Strongly recommend you return your newly purchased hardware and buy a new BRAND NAME system with a 3 year warranty.  The server runs your business and using off-the-shelf, home built PCs as servers is one of the best ways to have problems.  Who do you call when your RAID controller and hard drives start having a problem and the RAID controller vendor blames the hard drive vendor and the hard drive vendor blames the RAID controller vendor?

Windows Server 2003 is like XP - changing hardware - especially for a new chipset is one of the best ways to ensure the server never boots again (unless you put back your old board).  Could it work... maybe... but it's not likely and it could result in system instability.

It sounds like your concerned about money and are trying to do this all on the cheap... maybe I'm wrong... but if you are, then I can almost guarantee you, you'll spend FAR more in the long run on support costs and lost productivity then if you just do it right, right now.

You might want to read this:

Otherwise, you're best off spending the money on the Swing Migration kit from
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johnritzerAuthor Commented:
for this server i got a asus server platform and im doing what i can getting the beffy chunk out of it sticking 4 - 6 gbs of ram and just rebuilding but just checking on ways to just fully take the DC and basically install it to a new platform same licencing and all and the Same GPOs Active directory settings and exchange..

i put in about $2000 in hardware not making it cheap

im making a backup rignt now while its still living haha..

and testing it with a vmware image im creating just in case i mess up real quick..

its gonna take 15 hrs to backup it says from the server management field..

I have heard that you can restore to VMWare ESX Server (not done it though) as it can emulate any hardware.  May be you need to post your query in the VMWare section to find out what experts in VMWare has to say.

johnritzerAuthor Commented:
would the regular backup procedure work if i did a reload on the os to a new sbs then used that backup file its like at 67gb

i did it from the server management homepage..

or is there such a backup possible to backup active directry and exchange information..

thanks :)
If same hardware, it would certainly work.

But, if it is different one, then Exchange restore will work... AD restore, you will have to take suggessions from Microsoft.
johnritzerAuthor Commented:
i have mirrored drives so i might be good until but yea different hardware i dont know about the AD restore is there like a program out there that can take the AD programming and put all the settings in the new server layout like a 3rd party applications

No.  We do not have such applications (atleast I do not know).  But, if you are introducing the new server into the network when the Domain controller is alive, then you can make the new server a additonal domain controller.  Transfer the FSMO roles and GC role to the new domain controller and then decommission the existing domain controller.  This way you will not loose any data and you will also have no down time.
To add on the above:

Veritas talks about something on restoring AD to a different hardware.  But, I have not looked into that option.  If you can, talk to some people who know about vertias backup software and find out if they have that solution.

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