Cloning a SBS2003 Server

I have a Supermicro SBS 2003 server that is running dual xeon cards and the onboard Raid controller using raid 5.  the server is dog slow and i have purchased a second Supermicro server and a seperate raid controller with fast SAS drives which I have configured to run as Raid 10.  My questions is are you aware of any fast way of clonging the first server over to the new hardware.  I am in desperate need of getting this done and do not want to reconfigure everything on the Server.  I will be shutting down the old server and want to bring up the new server ASAP.  Any help is appreciated.
rphilipsonAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you don't have the server version of Ghost, you can expect to have difficulty in cloning the system.

If you don't have a "live Migration" tool (I think certain versions of Symantec cloning software offer it), like Acronis True Image, DoubleTake, or Shadow Protect, you can expect SERIOUS problems even if you successfully clone the system because it will not like serious hardware changes.

While you haven't posted your hardware specs (old or new), I suspect your problems are NOT going to go away if you do this.  Likely, you had too little RAM or did not optimize RAM usage (for example, limiting the SQL utilization of memory.  Processor power is RARELY the cause of performance issues.  RAM is FREQUENTLY the cause.  As is slow disks.  Replacing with faster disks AND multiple spindle sets would offer potentially greater performance increases.

Replacing the server could be a good idea if the old one is out of warranty - I just hope you purchased a supermicro with 3 year 24x7 support and 4 hour on-site response.  After all, if something fails, you want to get the system up and running as quickly as possible.  But to move the install, you should probably Utilize Jeff Middleton's Swing Migration kit - www.swingmigration.com
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rphilipsonAuthor Commented:
it is exactly the same with the exception of the raid controller.  I have purchased the enterprise version of symantec ghost
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ConchCrawlCommented:
We use Acronis for imaging and bare metal restores to unlike hardware, works great, a little pricey but does the job. You may check, I think they have a trial version.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Then you MAY be ok - does the enterprise version have the ability to restore to dissimilar hardware?  (I have no idea - I don't use Symantec products since they can't create programs that work reliably compared to other vendors).

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MikeKAtLCSCommented:
If you can install your new RAID controller in the old system than your ghost will work.  You need install the new RAID controller into the old system.  Install the drivers for it.  Setup your new array.  You may need long power and SAS cables to reach the backplane of the new server.  Ghost to the new array.  Disconnect the old array and verify that the server boots.  Then move the cables and controller over to the new server.  The server should boot then start detecting the new hardware.

Server 2003 is based on Windows XP and any software that will clone an XP disk should work.

If you can't attach the drives to the new controller than try this.

Install the new controller and drivers in the old server.  Clone the old array to a SATA or IDE hard drive.  Create the new array on the new server.  Clone the SATA or IDE hard drive to the new array.  This extra step takes longer but has the advantage of giving you a backup as well as a way to move your server OS and Data.

If you can't install the controller in the old server bacause it is PCIe and the old server does not have a PCIe bus then try this.

Get a cheap PCI SATA controller.  That should work in both servers.  Install the SATA controller and drivers in the old server. Clone the old server to a SATA hard drive.  Disable the original RAID array.  Your server should boot off of this SATA hard drive.  Move the SATA drive and controller to the new server.  With the new RAID controller installed in the new server, boot the SATA drive and then install the drivers for the new system.  When done then clone the SATA drive to the new RAID array, remove the SATA PCI controller and drive.  Then reboot.  

When done getting things on the new server you should go into the control panel then SYSTEM, Advanced, Environment Variables and create a new system variable called devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices with a value of 1.  Then go into the device manager and click on show hidden devices.  You should now see all of the device drivers that are no longer needed on the new system.  They will be greyed out.  To clean up your installation you will want to remove these greyed out devices.  Not all of them can be removed so don't worry about those.

Don't forget to setup the static IP settings for the new network adapter and then reboot.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Question - if the servers are the same, why not just add a RAID controller to the existing server?

The problem with MikeKAtLCS's plan is the ARC path - which will be different.  Migrating to a new server with cloning will otherwise have the same effect as installing the existing RAID controller.  While pre-installing the drivers makes sense, the controller number specified in the ARC path will be different.  You'll likley have to figure that out to get Windows to boot  (You may be able to "repair" the install, or do a second temp install with the RAID controller and copy the ARC path out of the boot.ini.
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sgoeldnerCommented:
Aconis will restore to SBS 2003 to unlike hardware,  but ...have Exhange services turned off if you do the image from inside the OS.  Last I checked it was $499 for SBS version.
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MikeKAtLCSCommented:
I have not heard of an ARC path.  I have done that procedure serveral times on 2003 servers without a problem.  I know 2008 and Vista won't work that way.  You would need to run bcdedit after the clone but 2003 should work.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Windows 2003 and XP based systems (and earlier) use an ARC path to determine where the OS to boot is - this is the cryptic line(s) in the boot.ini file

For a more detailed understanding, see:

http://www.windowsfordevices.com/c/a/Windows-For-Devices-Articles/Tips-for-dualbooting-Windows-XP-Embedded/
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MikeKAtLCSCommented:
I guess I have not heard it called ARC before.  So boot.ini could require editing.  It isn't that cryptic. Ghost should still do the job and since exchange and windows are shut down you don't need to worry about their state.  If you need to edit boot.ini you can boot to a repair console after ghosting.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Editing the boot.ini sounds simple... and maybe I've just been unlucky... but most times I've tried to manually edit the path, the system still ends up with a STOP error and inaccessible boot device message.
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MikeKAtLCSCommented:
As long as the device drivers are installed for the new controller I have not had a problem.  Maybe I have just been lucky.  Like I have said.  The only real headache I have had was with 2008 and Vista where I had to use bcdedit.  Even with that I was able to make it run.  I have always used a controller card to make the move.  Integrated controllers won't work.  You always need to work with a controller card at some point in the move process.  If you start with an integrated controller you need to move your drives or ghost the information to another drive that is on a controller card.  then make that work.  Then move to the other system with the controller card and drive(s).  then make it work there.  Install the drivers for the new system system and new controller card.  Then ghost to the new controller and drive(s).  Then remove the old (temporary controller and drive(s)). then make that new configuration work.  I have always been able to make it work.  It takes a lot of planning and patience.
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