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Upgrading Server Hard Drives

Posted on 2009-05-12
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I have the undaunting task of doing a clean install of SBS 2003 and moving user mailboxes, DNS settings onto new hard drives in a Raid 1 configuration.  We have a server already in place with SBS 2003 and acting as the DC, however i have been instructed to install bigger hard drives and move user mailboxes from the old drives to the new ones without the option of replicating anything.  Would I be able to just shut down the old server, remove the drives, install the new hard drives and do a clean install of SBS2003, exchange server, set it up as the DC, and then move the PST to the new exchange server.  Will I be able to just backup DNS settings and restore them onto the new drives?  I am just not sure the way to go about doing this.  I am probably not putting enough info for you guys, so please ask if you do need additional information.  We have about 10 users total in Active Directory.  
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Question by:selectivesoftware
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by:akrdm
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Here is some information on how to backup the exchange database using NTbackup.

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-2003-Backup-Restore-NTBACKUP.html
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by:akrdm
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From what I have found you can also use the NTbackup and select the system state data and be able to restore the Active Directory and DNS settings of the system once you have re-intsalled Server 2003 (sbs) on the new drives.
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by:selectivesoftware
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Thanks for the reply, we do our backups with Veritas backup exec 9.1.  Which I find more relaiable the NTbackup.  However, I have been instructed to install everything new and just move the user mailboxes.
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by:selectivesoftware
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For the DNS there is a backup and restore option right from the DNS console.  I guess I was wondering if I need to worry about anything with just doing a simple backup on the old hard drives then restore the new ones.
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by:selectivesoftware
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I mean do a backup of the DNS settings and restore them onto the new drives
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by:akrdm
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Sorry at this point I am not sure.  I don't know of any issues that would result from just backing up the DNS settings and then restoring those so long as the domain name stayed the same. But I am not 100% sure.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Why are you worried about backing up DNS?  That's the least of your problems.  All users will lose their profiles if you do a clean install like this.  I would suggest you treat this like a swing migration and preserve the domain settings and user accounts that way.  Most people consider www.swingmigration.com the best way to handle one but it's not free - fairly low cost, but not free.  
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Ashleigh_IT earned 500 total points
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There are a number of reasons why you would want to do a clean install and just move mailboxes. With only 10 users the loss of user profiles is hardly an enormous issue and gives you a chance to clean up anything 'unofficial' on users machines.
To move the mailboxes by far the easiest method is to use Microsoft's EXMERGE utility: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=429163ec-dcdf-47dc-96da-1c12d67327d5&displaylang=en
This will allow you to extract pst files for each mailbox on the existing exchange server and then re-import them after you have set up the 'new' server. Most of our customers are of this size and we have used this method 100's of times during server replacements with no problem whatsoever.
There is no need to back up DNS unless you have any custom zones set up. Installing a fresh server will re-build active directory and associated DNS records/settings.
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by:selectivesoftware
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Thats exactly it.  My boss wants all new settings and security in place.  The person who set up the server thats now in place is now gone and probably knows everything there is to do with the server.  I have used exmerge before and that is fairly simple to do.  Would I be able to backup IIS?  such as the company website and restore onto the new drives without any problems?  Do you think giving the server the same name would matter at all?  It sounds like this is going to be fairly simple, giving the fact that i will do this on a Friday and have till Sunday to complete.
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by:Ashleigh_IT
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The complexity of backing up IIS will depend on hoyour company website is structured. Is it based on the CompanyWeb that is set up with SBS? If so, that is a sharepoint based site that will have to be treated with some respect. Microsoft have a good knowledgebase article on doing this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/829112

If they are just 'flat' sites that have been created as virtual webs, it would just be a matter of backing up the folders and their contents, then recreating the virtual webs in IIS on the new server.

Having heard more of the history and guessing that the previous IT chap hadn't documented anything (common on sites this size), I think that you are definately going down the right root. There shouldnt be a problem giving the server the same name after the upgrade.

Hope this helps.
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by:selectivesoftware
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thanks for the advice, any is well appreciated.  You are 100% correct about the IT guy.  He didnt document anything.  It was all in his head or Laptop when he decided to leave.  Its been an uphill battle trying to figure out how certain things were configured.  

This is where my knowledge gets a little fuzzy.  We do have 2 websites listed under IIS, along with Microsoft Sharepoint Administration, Sharepoint Central Administration, companyweb, symantec(installing an upgraded version of Symantec, Microsoft CRM(this will not be used anymore).  is there a way to back up in IIS manager?  or do I have to manually do this?  

Also what do you know of Terminal Licenses?  We will a few(about 5-10) remote users.  Would I need to have Terminal Licenses Installed along with terminal services  
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by:Ashleigh_IT
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OK - can you provide a list of all the sites under IIS. Also, have you ascertained whether anyone actually uses the companyweb (in my experience not a lot of smaller businesses do).
Regarding Terminal Services licencing, it depends on how your remote users are connecting. I.e. are they using a VPN, are they just using Outlook Web Access, are they connecting to their desktops via the Remote Web Workplace or are they running multiple terminal services sessions and running applications on the server?
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by:selectivesoftware
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I don't believe anyone will be using the companyweb or has used it since ive been here(almost 2 years).  They will probably connect RDP or i will configure a VPN.  And yes they will be using terminal services and running applications on the server along with using OWA.  I have provided a print screen, but the 2 websites are theloadingzone.org and selectivesoftware.com



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by:Ashleigh_IT
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If users are connecting remotely and running applications on the server, you will need to have a TS license for each remote client. This would be extremely unusual for an SBS server as it installs terminal services in remote admin mode by default. I would check what the users are doing before you commit to anything.
As for IIS - you don't need to worry about the companyweb if you are not using it. It will be re-built when you re-install SBS. The two sites that show up on the graphic you posted are being hosted on your internal SBS server. This needs to be change immediately and you need to remove the graphic from your previous post. This is a serious security issue and I advise you to contact me via methods available in my profile.
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by:Ashleigh_IT
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I'm afraid that I cannot see a method to edit posts. You may want to get in contact with Experts Exchange to have it removed. I only advise this because it has exposed the public IP of your SBS server which could become a security issue. I would also recommend having these sites hosted by a third party hosting company for the same reasons. If you need further advice on this, google ashleigh consulting. Should be the top link.
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by:selectivesoftware
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Please Replace this picture with the one posted on this page - 05/13/09 08:43 AM, ID: 24374092

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