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upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003

Posted on 2008-10-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
This will seem like one of the dumbest questions ever, but here it goes:

I currently have a server running Windows 2000.  I want to buy a new server to replace this one but I do not have all the software that was on the original machine.  Is it possible to just get Windows 2003 and stick the disk in to upgrade it or do I have to recreate everything?  
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Question by:aclaus225
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10 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22707174
You can buy a copy of Server 2003 Upgrade and then upgrade your EXISTING server... but you transferring an existing install from one system to another is tricky at best and PROBABLY illegal (you probably have an OEM copy of Server which lives and dies on the system it's installed with - even a 2003 upgrade cannot "move" the OEM copy to new hardware - you can reclaim the upgrade license if and when you completely get rid of the 2000 system, but that would be it.  If your software is appropriately licensed, contact the vendors for replacement media.  If it's not, then there's little we can do for you as we cannot help you violate licensing.
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Expert Comment

by:Shedding
ID: 22707254
I don't think that was his question leew.  If you are getting a new 2003 server to replace your old server, it is possible to transfer every bit of the old server into the new one (active directory, Domain Controller roles, FSMO Roles, global catalogs, etc).  With the new server, you don't need any additional software.  You basically have the old server stay as a Windows 2000 server and the new server will be Windows 2003.  You promote the windows 2003 server to a domain controller, you transfer all the roles, and you demote the old 2000 server and you are done.  The only pitfall I can see with this is for you to make sure you get windows 2003 server standard edition.. the SBS 2003 server software will not connect to another Domain Controller.
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Author Comment

by:aclaus225
ID: 22707280
I am not actually trying to violate licensing agreements at all.  I will have a fully legal version of the OS and all my software is actually legal, but I do not want to go through the pain of reinstalling everything on the new computer (I am trying to get rid of the old machine while the hard drive is still useable since the machine is 10 years old) from the old machine.  What I was planning on doing was installing Windows 2003 on the hard drive that already has Windows 2000 on it, but was wondering if it would operate like the old Windows 95-Windows 98 upgrades or if buying Windows 2003 would end up reformatting the machine, thus losing everything that was on the hard drive.
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Accepted Solution

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Shedding earned 200 total points
ID: 22707599
it would upgrade just fine.. you will not have to reformat the drive.  Is that is a concern, you can buy another drive and do a photocopy of your old 2000 drive.. just to make sure you don't touch the original drive at all.
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Author Closing Comment

by:aclaus225
ID: 31505712
Thank you for providing me with this answer.  I am not concerned with actually losing the hard drive, but with losing the configuration for the programs that are installed.  I am stepping into a computer environment where I am the first person that has ever been trained in computer networking and everyone else before me was just shooting for things, so I can fix the things without a problem, but I do not want to take down the entire network if I don't have to.  
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Expert Comment

by:Shedding
ID: 22707789
Thank you for accepting my answer.. but just from experience.. make sure you make a complete drive copy to another drive.  It won't cost you much (from my guess.. the drive you are probably working of, is a 30-80GB Hard drive) you can buy another drive for 60-100 dollars and use something like acronis or ghost to make an exact copy.. then use the new drive and upgrade it.  Not only do you get the server upgraded, but you also get the extra hard drive space and you get complete peace of mind.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22708063
In the future please try to clarify what you are doing...

You stated you wanted you "want to buy a new server to replace this one" - if that's the case, while you can keep the existing server on the network, you CANNOT use the CD that comes with the new server to upgrade nor can you transfer the old hard drive to the new machine.

When you said "I do not have all the software that was on the original machine" I assumed you meant things like backup software and other THIRD PARTY software.  Active Directory can transfer easily as can almost any other WINDOWS feature.

It appears that the question you asked wasn't the question you wanted to ask... Good guess Shedding... but you are also mistaken - SBS can have as many DCs on the domain as you want - the restriction is ONE SBS server because the SBS server must be the FSMO master DC.  
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Expert Comment

by:Shedding
ID: 22708125
Right..

All SBS versions allow multiple-DCs
SBS is constrained to retain all FMSO roles
Only one SBS may permanently operate in a single domain.

In my head I was thinking of two SBS DC..
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Expert Comment

by:Shedding
ID: 22708135
Also.. it is FSMO roles.. (typo).  I think they also upgraded the amount of workstations that can connect to the SBS server from 35 to 75.  
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22708149
SBS 2000 = 50 users max
SBS 2003 = 75 users max
SBS 2008 = 75 users max
EBS 2008 = (at least) 250 users (I've heard numbers stopping at 300 and 500 as well, but not seen documentation on it confirming which is which).
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