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Best way to move files form server to server?

Posted on 2008-10-08
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I have to migrate my main file server to new hardware.  The old server is running Server 2000 Advanced and the new is running Server 2003.  I need to move 2 main file shares over intact, the total size is about.t 130GB of data.  Our backups are not optimum when it comes to restores so what I need to do is basically copy the shares from the old to the new server.

What is the best way to accomplish this task?  I have about a 10 hour windows to work with, both servers are on the same network segment running 100MB connections.  When done the new server will take the old servers name and IP address.  I know Windows server has XCopy built in, but is there anything more robust that is freeware or shareware that would be better suited to this task?

It is also EXTREMELY important that the file structure, file info, permissions, etc all come over as a mirror image of how they are now on the old server.
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Question by:lightngsvt
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by:crawfordits
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Use NT Backup so that you can preserve NTFS permissions.  Document your share names and share permissions.
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by:sk_raja_raja
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Frankly, this is a perfect opportunity to TEST your backups.  If they don't work, then you've identified a problem before it's caused a disaster.  In which case, you can resolve the problem and/or implement a new backup system.

As to how you should restore/move the data, the logical answer, to go along with testing the backups, is to restore your MOST RECENT FULL BACKUP NOW.  Who cares if it's the middle of the day.  No one is using the new server (right?) and your backups don't run during the middle of the day (right?).  So if you restore in the middle of the day to the new server, you transfer MOST of the data AND confirm your backups work (It's unwise to continue backing up with a system that you are not confident will restore your data).

Now, when you're ready to make the final switchover, disconnect all users from the server (consider stopping the server service to ensure no one accesses files) and then perform a DIFFERENTIAL backup.  Now restore that differential backup and all your data will have been moved.  And since your differential backups should be (typically) between 1/10 and 1/20 your overall backup size, the time it takes you after hours will be proportionately less.  (Do you REALLY want to spend hours baby sitting this ensuring the transfer works as expected?)

And this way, if the process fails for any reason, you can just put the old server back and determine why your backups are insufficient and cure that MAJOR problem before doing such a major migration.
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by:ScottGranado
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I definlity suggest using Tera Copy:
http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php

this is a great great tool i always use when transferring files over the network, and i think its just what your looking for!
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Malli Boppe earned 250 total points
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I would use robocopy for this.The good thing about the robocopy is that you don't need 10hrs of outage.just 30 mins would be more then enough.

Just schedule a job using a robocopy script

sample script
robocopy \\sourceservername \\destinationservername \mir \E \COPYALL \TEE \Log:c:\robcopy.log

run the job daily.the intial copy would be take about 3-4 hrs.
On the planned outage day.
Make sure that no user is accessing any files.Just to make sure restart your old server.

run the robocopy job again.this would take about 5 min.check the log to make sure that all files are copied
create the shares on the new file server.

now disjoin the old file server and shutdown
In the DNS create the cname for your old fileserver pointing to the new server IP.This way you don't need to change any thing in the user profiles or loginscripts.

i have done this in the past replacing file servers with 2TB of data and never had any problems.
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by:bertgeysels
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use microsoft File Server Migration Toolkit
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/upgrading/nt4/tooldocs/msfsc.mspx
There is an option to use DFS, but its not neccesary. You can use it without and after migration, just rename the created shares to the current used sharenames.
You can start the copy of files during the day (it will skip all open files) and during your service window (no open files anymore) you continue the migration with the rest.
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by:lightngsvt
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Great suggestions MBoppe and bertgevsels.  I will look into both options, though I think Robabcopy may be more of what I was looking for.

So the littel script you listed for Robocopy moves fulldirectory structures with file and share permissions intact?  Can Robocopy move open file or will the log say what files were not moved so you can go back and get them?  So this can be set as a scheduled task to run every night and then the night of the migration just boot the users off, run again and thats it, a perfect replica on the new server?
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by:lightngsvt
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I will also look into TeraCopy.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Wow... not at all interested in testing your backup plans and using that as a migration strategy.  Best of luck when you do have a restore to do.
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by:ScottGranado
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Tera copy is great as it will allow use a check sum to make sure the file gets transferred correctly and gives you a pause and resume option in case something happens.  
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by:lightngsvt
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leew, my response was not intended to be personal.  My current time frame / situation dont allow for this.  Besides a big factor is there is another group in our data center who is responsible for all backups.  To be honest I have never had a single issue with a single file or directory restore, it is just trying to restore "a server" has never gone off without a hitch.  Could be the difference in OS's, hardware, etc.
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by:Malli Boppe
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Yeah the \COPYALL would copy all the NTFS permissions .AS I said in my intial post you need to manually set up the shares.
Robocopy wouldn't copy any open files, that is the reason I was saying you to restart the server.
Robocopy log records any files which couldn't be copied for any other reason.
Also don't forget to make the DNS changes.
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by:lightngsvt
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I think its going to be a toss up between Tera copy and Robocopy honestly.

As far as DNS, I dont have access to make those changes since the DNS is centralized company wide.  My plan is to just power down the old server (in case I need to bring it up for any reason) and give the new server the name and IP address of the old server, basically accomplishing the same thing.
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by:ScottGranado
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terra copy is really great for this purpose, yea i know i've said this to death!  i would make sure to reip the old server and either change its name or just keep the name of the new server.  I would really suggest doing this so you can have both servers up in parallel.
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by:ChiefIT
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Well, I was thinking Tigermatt might show up and provide you with an awsome tool he turned me onto:

I asked a question for some of the better utilities for administrators and this is what they came up with:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/System_Utilities/Q_23729445.html

Where Tigermatt says:
""Thirdly, I'd recommend you take a look at Ycopy. This program allows you to copy files and folders around, but unlike Windows, if it encounters a problem copying a particular file, it won't crash the whole procedure. Instead it will simply log file(s) which failed to copy and continue copying, so you can later investigate the few files which errored. Free download from http://www.ruahine.com/download.html - if you scroll to the bottom of that page, you can also download the individual files (you want ycopy.exe), and if you have that, the program doesn't even need installing. ""

I have tried it. I love it!!
 
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by:lightngsvt
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Sounds like YCopy and TeraCopy are nearly identical?

Does Robocopy do CRC checks?
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by:lightngsvt
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I was playing around with Teracopy and Ycopy on some test files.  It doesnt seem that either is bringing over the file permissions?
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by:Malli Boppe
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I don't think robocopy does CRC checks.But do you think you really need.
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by:lightngsvt
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The only issue I can see with Robocopy is that it does not copy files, only directories.  So any directory with stray files will have to be moved manually?
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by:ScottGranado
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with robocopy you can use the option /E  to copy subdirectories, including Empty ones.
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by:Malli Boppe
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with roboopy you can copy files and directories.You can have exact replicate of whats in the source.
robocopy /? to find out all the options.
/mir would get a exact replica.
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by:DavidGerald
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Back to whats already been covered

If your new backup strategy is going to be the same as your old one then test it.  Do a restore on your new server then sync up the remaining missing data afterwards in your 10 hour time slot with an incremental.

If you are determined to avoid restoring your backups then use NTBackup to create a new backup file, copy the file across to your new server and restore.  You don't have to do this in your time window either if you don't want to, do it the night before and then do an incremental.
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by:ChiefIT
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This is what I am thinking:
The client my not have file/printer sharing enabled. So, when the client creates these files, certain tabs, (like security and sharing tabs), don't appear when creating the file. When passed down to the netshares, it also passes down the lack of ACLs (Access control lists) to the file.

So, maybe the client computer doesn't have:
Client for microsoft networks
and/or
File and printer sharing

anabled on the client machine.

When copying the files, you want to copy the ACLs to the file for your security and sharing rights to the files and folders.

There is a program called ACL.exe that you might be able to minipulate the ACLs on the files prior to copying them to another location.

So, on top of Ycopy or Robocopy, maybe make sure you have file and print sharing of the computer so it creates a domain type ACL for the files and folders.
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by:ChiefIT
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HEY, WHAT DO YOU OTHER EXPERTS THINK ABOUT THAT THEORY?
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by:lightngsvt
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The new server does have file and print sharing enabled.  This server is setup to mimic the old server, well at least the D: drive which is the Data drive.  The new server also has 3 other drives for other apps / data which already have file shares created and in use.

Robocopy does seem to be the best option by far after some playing around.  Has anyone used XXCopy?  I seem to recall that is what we used last time we did this but that was close to 4 years ago.  Anyway, I think using the /R:n switch in Robocopy and telling it to time out with a low number of retries will allow the job to continue if it hits a file it cant copy (also using the /ZB switch to envoke restart and Backup modes).  That seems to be the only issue with Robocopy, the fact that it stops on errors.
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by:Malli Boppe
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use both /R:1 and /W:1 switches so that that robocopy just tries once and just waits only 1 sec.By default I think it tries 3 times and waits for 3 secs each time.
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by:lightngsvt
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I didnt use the /W switch, but did use the /R switch.  I thought the help said that without the /R it would retry 1,000,000 times as default.  The jobs have kicked off and are running now, so we'll see in the morning how things look.
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by:lightngsvt
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I want to thank everyone who posted, there were many excellent solutions.  And I do agree with testing backups of rdisaster recovery reasons.  But in the end I used Robocopy and it went off without a hitch!
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