Move a Windows Share

Posted on 2009-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
How is the best way and steps to move a Windows share from one server to another.
Does it make a difference if the servers are Domain Controllers, or DNS servers?
Question by:lanman777
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    For just a single share, it's fairly easy to document the sharename & permission, copy the data over and create a similar share on another drive or server.  If you are moving to a differant server you will need to update the clients to point there, and either way it's best to make sure no one is accessing the data as you move it.

    DCs or DNS servers are jsut the same WRT hosting shares, although for larger sites best practice would be a dedicated DC/DNS server & a a dedicated Fileserver.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    As I believe Malmensa suggests, there is no DNS issues and no issues regarding the new or old servers being domain controllers.  File Shares are pretty simple.

    Your users will need to update their mapped drives or you will need to reconfigure scripts to reflect the change, depending on how you have things setup.

    As for the actual procedure to get the data from one server to another, you have several options.  While copies using tools such as XCOPY or ROBOCOPY should work, *I* recommend you restore a backup of the data, then disable the existing share, do one more differential backup, and restore that.  In this way, you do something that, frankly, you SHOULD be doing anyway - TESTING YOUR BACKUPS and your restore procedure.  Backup programs should be able to restore data to a new/different location and preserve permissions.  The file share itself will need to be recreated, but this is a simple procedure of right-click, sharing, and share it (adjusting the share permissions appropriately - default on Windows 2003 and later is READ ONLY on the share for Everyone.  Personally, share permissions don't do much for you and I would recommend, in general, leave them set to everyone:full access and restrict access via NTFS permissions (the permissions TAB, not the permissions button on the Share tab in the folder properties).
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    If you are using folders for file shares, I strongly recommend not using the Domain Controller(DC)/DNS server. Best practice is to limit access to the DC. Technically, there should be no issues of using the DC/DNS server as a file share but you will see problems with users logging on when large or many files are being accesses at the same time.

    To move the shares can be easy or hard depending on the number of files and folders. You also want to make sure that files are not accessed during this process so there are no problems with files not being correct version, available or locked out. Here are options you can use

    *If it is a couple of folders and minimal files, you can create the folders on the new file share. Make sure the permissions are set correctly and manually copy the files.
    *For multiple files and folders on a small share (50GB or below) XCOPY or ROBOCOPY are good tools.
    *I've personally created file servers and moved files many times.  I've used a tool called ViceVersa ( It will copy folders with permissions. You can set a scheduler to copy these files over night. There is a reporting function that will show you what copied and what failed. You can do a full copy as well as a synchronization. The software is fully functional for 30days if you want to try it out.

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