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will W2K3 accept my W2K hard drive?

Posted on 2010-08-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-10

I have an iSCSI volume connected to a Windows 2000 server.  I plan to shut it down and connect a Windows 2003 server to that same volume.  This disk has 1 million very important files.  My concern is that Windows 2003 may cough upon seeing the drive in some way and I just want to be prepared.  I know I can upgrade Windows 2000 to 2003 and the volume will be fine.  But is there a disk conversion process that I miss by doing my migration this way?  I can't do it any other way.  This is what I need to do if it is safe.  
Question by:JohnDemerjian
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Expert Comment

by:Timothy McCartney
ID: 33525075
Do you have access to additional drives? I recommend creating a clone of said important disk, then proceeding with the upgrade. This way you'll be safe in any event.

Expert Comment

ID: 33525106
W2K3 will see and communicate with the iSCSI drive just fine, however the point about backups is extremely important.  If the files are critical you should have a backup even if you're not doing a potentially risky operation.  Once you have a backup, go ahead and do the connection swap as planned.

Author Comment

ID: 33525245

thanks for the input.  i have to ask - have you done this?  are you giving me first hand experience or an educated guess?  my educated guess is that it will work too, but really hoping for someone who has done something similar.  
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Accepted Solution

MRolfs earned 500 total points
ID: 33525325
Assuming it is a simple/basic (not dynamic) disk and MBR partitioned (GPT not supported in W2K to my knowledge) then it should go fine.  I've done the same with physical hard drives before and there's no reason iSCSI should be any different.  For reference, here is the table of disk management changes from W2K to W2K3 from the TechNet document located at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457110.aspx :

 Table 12-1 Enhancements and Changes Since Windows 2000

New Feature

Feature Description

Manage disks at the command line by using DiskPart.

Use the new command-line tool DiskPart to perform disk-related tasks at the command line as an alternative to using the Disk Management snap-in. When you use DiskPart, you can create scripts to automate tasks, such as creating volumes or converting disks to dynamic.

Extend simple and spanned volumes that were converted from basic to dynamic.

You can now extend most simple and spanned volumes after converting them from basic to dynamic. For more information, see “Converting Basic Disks to Dynamic Disks” later in this chapter.

Extend basic volumes by using DiskPart.

Use DiskPart to extend primary partitions and logical drives on basic disks that use the MBR partition style.

Use a new partition style for disks in 64-bit computers.

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition supports a partition style called GUID partition table (GPT). The GPT partition style offers benefits such as support for volumes up to 18 exabytes and 128 partitions per disk.

Use NTFS when you format dynamic volumes and GPT disks by using Disk Management.

When you use the Disk Management snap-in, NTFS is the only file system available for dynamic volumes and for disks that use the GPT partition style. If you want to format dynamic volumes and GPT disks by using the file allocation table (FAT) file systems, you must use the format command at the command line.

Use dynamic disks to create volumes that span multiple disks.

Dynamic disks are the mandatory storage type for volumes that span multiple disks. Therefore, before you upgrade from Windows 2000 Professional to Windows XP Professional, you must convert basic disks to dynamic if they contain volume sets or stripe sets created by using Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

Expert Comment

ID: 33525332
BTW if you're not in a big hurry I could likely replicate this in-house and let you know, but it'll take a day or 2 to set it all up.

Author Comment

ID: 33525540
it is fanstastic of you to offer to replicate this but it is my responsiblity to ensure this is good so i will do it.  i totally agree that a physical disk will be no different and my plan is to use an external usb disk and try the swap.  thank yo for the technet article.  

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