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Migrating to new server using Acronis; Resizing drive and Universal Restore questions

Hi guys,

I have been reading and reading about how to migrate my SBS2003 Server to new hardware (from a white box machine with single drives to a Dell Machine with 2 RAID Sets).

I thought that I was going to use Acronis True Image with Universal Restore but I read something a moment ago that Jeff wrote saying that you usually dont even need the Universal Restore, so I was going to try without it first. Is that a good idea or not?

Also, one speedbump I have had so far that I need help with is the C drive on my current server is 100 Gigs. The C drive on the new machine is 73 gigs. I realized that I am not going to be able to put a backup of 100 gigs onto 73 gigs!  :-D    Whats more, the 2 Drive mirror of 2 x 73 gig drives is only showing up as a total of 68 gigs and I have about 70 gigs of data on my current system.

I intend to relocate some data folders to the RAID 5 set once I get everything moved over (User Folders, Exchange Data, etc) but I had hope to do that AFTER, not before.

So my two questions related to this issue are:

1. Are there any suggestions of what I could delete to make about 5 or so gigs of space (logs, etc)

2. Is Acronis Disk Director Suite the best thing to use to resize the drive before doing the backup so it will "fit"?

Also, please provide any tips for success if possible.  : )

So far the plan is to:

1. Create a bootable recovery disc from within True Image (Done)
2. Unplug the network cable from my old server
3. Move or delete some files from my current C drive to allow the drive to be resized to 67 gigs or less.
4. Resize the drive using Acronis Disk Director to 67 gigs or less
5. Run a backup using Acronis (Leaving default options alone with the exception of enabling VSS Support and changing backup performance to maximum) and save it to a USB drive
6. Boot the new server using the Acronis Boot Disk
7. Select the backup file from the USB Hard drive (after I have connected it to the new server of course) and tell it to restore to the 73 Gig (68 gig) drive.
8. ??  (Whatever steps need to be taken after the move. This is part of what I need help with. I would like to know what to expect and if something goes wrong if I should try again using Universal Restore.)
9. When done with everything else, do the same process for my D drive that contains data only. (Network Shares). Is there any reason why I need to do this before booting the new system?

That is as far as I have gotten so far.

Thanks in advance for the help!


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Update: I just realized that I downloaded and was looking at pricing for the workstation version of Disk Manager ... the Server version is $500!!  Eeek!

Awaiting further advice...

You might get a lot of problems! I suggest to do fresh install and setup raid on new system, and transfer applications and data.
No .. I am not going that route unless absolutely necessary.

Jeff (TechSoEasy) reccommends the method I plan to use .. and thats good enough for me!

Thanks for the comment though.
Avatar of Rob Williams
I recently attended a Symantec seminar where they talked about their "Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery - Windows Small Business Server Edition ". It works very similar to Acronis and can be used to restore to different hardware, They also said you can download a 30 day working copy for free. Though I have no personal experience with it, it might be a cost effective solution for you. Acronis works well, but as you say, server version is $699. Very reasonable for multiple uses but one transfer is expensive. Then again 1 rebuild could run you that much in labor. Might be worth a look at the Symantec option as an option. Especially if migrating to a new box. If it doesn't work you still have your original server available.
Hi Robwill ...

I am closing out a 29 hour work day right now so I hope this is somewhat coherent ...

I ended up doing pretty much exactly what I said I planned on doing since I didnt hear anything different from anyone else before starting. The only differences were that I went ahead and bought the universal restore (which I DON'T see what it did any different than restoring without it) and instead of using Disk Director (which was mega expensive for the one little thing I needed to do) I used BootIT which was only $35 I think ... and the funny thing is I didn't HAVE to buy it, the trial did all I needed. I went ahead and bought it after the fact though because I was thrilled how easy it made things.

I had the worst time getting the NIC drivers to work ...The drivers wouldnt work with only the inf file, the installer wouldnt run for some reason (1325.Administrator is not a valid short file name), and I thought it may have been related to the fact that the desktop and my documents were not available because there was no NIC with an IP address! I found someone on google that had the same issue. They created a user called Test with Admin privileges and it worked for them (shorter name?) ... I tried it and it worked for me too! After tweaking a few things and doing several backups for good measure I think I am in business.

Activating the server again went without issue, it went right through.

So anyway ... all seems well. I am sure you guys will hear from me if I have issues that crop up. Thanks!
Thanks for updating and reporting your results zboyblue. Good to hear you are up and running. Did you use BootIT or Image for Windows, from the same source?
I used BootIT to reduce the size of my partition so that it would "fit" into the smaller partition on the new server. Downloaded from here:

The trial download did everything I needed without having to buy it (since it was done from the boot CD it creates) .. but as I said, I bought it anyway because I was so happy that it worked and I didnt have to buy Acronis's $500 solution.

To move the image of the server I used Acronis True Image .. and I bought the Universal Restore option which I really wish I wouldnt have ... I didnt see that it did anything special, although I may be wrong and it may have saved my life and I just dont know it. But all in all I am happy, $1100 for their software and I didn't have to manually move everything which I am not sure I would have been capable of anyway.

So I think I am good to go. Do I get the points myself?  :-D

>>"To move the image of the server I used Acronis True Image "
I thought you didn't buy the server version, that is why I was asking about BootIT. What did you use to move the image from old server to new?

As for the Universal Restore, it's supposedly necessary due to different hardware, and should be seamless. It might not be necessary with 2003 if the hardware is not too different. XP for instance will usually just advise you 10 times of new hardware found, and self 'repair'.

>>" Do I get the points myself?"
No :-) you can't do that. But you can have the question closed and the points refunded. Reasonable in situations like this. Just click on the "report abuse" link in the original question area. This will start an automated process to close the question. Don't post anything after clicking the link or it cancels the auto-process.
I am not sure I understand your question ... Acronis True image creates an image of your partition as a backup .. then you can restore it to the same or another server (another server in my case).

So I had to use bootIT to Resize my partition from 100 gigs to 67 gigs BEFORE the backup because the Target partition on the new server was only 68 gigs .. and 100 gigs wont fit on 68. (Even though there was not that much data on the partition, Acronis looks at the whole thing).

Then after I had a partition on my source server that was smaller than the target server I used Acronis to image the partition to a External drive and then "restore" it to the new machine.
I am somewhat familiar with Acronis, but I was under the impression you had the workstation version and did not want to purchase the +$500 server version. I guess my real question is; if you had the workstation version, did it work on the server? It's not supposed to, but would be good to know.
I had the server version. However, I was told by a friend that he uses the workstation version from a boot cd and it works. I have not tried it so I dont know. But I would imagine that if you had the time to start over if it didnt work it would be worth a shot. To me it was worth the $1100 to just buy the software and move on with my life. Plus the cool thing is that it backs up my system in a FRACTION of the time that NT backup did. So I plan to use it for daily backups of my system.
Acronis is great, and now that you say you have the server version I completely understand. You may be right about the bootable CD. I suspect it's mostly a licensing and support difference. The workstation  version will not install on a sever, but the CD may not be as restricted.
Thanks for the feedback. Have a great day !
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