Possible to restore Windows 2003 system state to a Windows 2008 server?

Posted on 2010-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-05-10

We have two servers: a Windows 2003 SP1 DC and a Windows 2008 64-bit server. We do tape backups of the 2003 (primary) DC using Symantec Backup Exec 11d. In the event that the 2003 server failed and we needed to restore it to a brand new Windows 2008 server (we are not sure if we can find the Windows 2003 cd used for the original server) could we restore the system state? Or can Backup Exec only restore system state to an identical version of Windows?

Question by:conor_asean

Expert Comment

by:Tomas Valenta
ID: 33689152
only to the same version and HW. What exactly do you need transfer ?

Author Comment

ID: 33689161
Essentially we want to test that if our main server went down (it's just AD and file sharing) that we could recover _everything_ onto a new server from the tape backups we do from Symantec.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mike Thomas
ID: 33689194
Afaik this is not possible, you can restore to the same version only, it is possible to do it to different hardware but this is something that our DR site would do for us so I do not know the ins and outs but they run a bunch of scripts to get it working on their hardware, but they have to build them with whatever OS it was taken from.

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Expert Comment

by:Tomas Valenta
ID: 33689263
Make the Windows 2008 server second domain controller and setup DFS accross both servers for file server data (or simply synchronize only data to the second server).

Author Comment

ID: 33689284
Tominov - Yes that's the plan. The tape backup test is more because we want to prove that we can restore off-site if needs be.

Installing Backup Exec on the newer server, doing tape backups of the new server (once it is a DC) and then testing a restore of that is probably better (given that it's on new hardware and is Windows 2008, both of which can be gotten easily in a DR scenario).

LVL 59

Accepted Solution

Darius Ghassem earned 500 total points
ID: 33691988
If your current system is Windows 2003 server then restoring the System State to another Windows 2003 server would work but moving to a Windows 2008 server with a different name would not work. You need to have the same version of OS to restore the system state.

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