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SBS Server Died - How to Migrate AD to Server 2008

Posted on 2011-02-17
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I have a SBS server that just died. Back ups are avaialble but not useful due to corruption, so bascially no back up to restore from.

Instead of rebuilding it I would like to use an existing Server 2008 for user authentication only. Email will be moved to an off-site host.

The setup before the SBS 2003 died was:

SBS 2003 SP2, ran DHCP, DNS, AD, Exchange.
Server 2008 is (was) apart of the SBS 2003 domain and served as a File Server.
Users (5 users) had redirected My Documents and Desktops to the 2008 Server (File Server).

Users are still able to access their Desktops and My Documents files, but e mail is not working ('cause the SBS in dead)

Can I DC Promo the Server 2008 to allow users to authenticated to the domain without the need to replace/rebuild the SBS 2003?

If so what are the proper steps?

Is there another post regarding this already? (Sorry I could not find anything close to relevant, but then again I have the flu and am tired ;} )

I am happy to add more information, I just can't think of anymore that might be needed.
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Question by:alansean
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34922968
It is possible to migrate from one server to the other but if the old one is not available your only option is to start fresh.
You need to configure the new SBS. I recommend reviewing the following:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/small-business-server-2008-build-document.aspx

Then you have to disjoin all PC's from the existing domain as per Jeff's steps below:
http://techsoeasy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!AB2725BC5698FCB8!278.entry
NOTE: You can still access documents because they are cached locally. Once you disjoin the domain you will no longer be able to access these. You must copy these to a temporary location before dis-joining the domain. Desktop, favorites (unless redirected) and other data files will be accessible by copying from the old profile if needed later.
Also E-mail should be exported as a pst from within Outlook before dis-joining the domain. It can then be imported back later after joining the new domain.

When joining the domain SBS 2008 uses http://connect rather than http://sbsname/connectcomputer outlined in the link above.

This is necessary as the new server, even with the same domain name, servername, and IP will be seen as foreign to the PC's until they join the new server's domain.

Why not continue to use Exchange?
I also recommend getting familiar with the new backup and restore features:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/11/03/introducing-sbs-2008-backup.aspx
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by:alansean
ID: 34923007
RobWill - Thanks for your suggestions and answers.

However, I do not have SBS 2008, if I rebuild SBS it would be with SBS 2003.

With 5 Users on the domain it seems like a waste of SBS 2003 to run just for AD and Exchange. IT is a non profit Org and can have their e mail hosted for free off site (cloud).

My thought would be not to rebuild SBS and just make the File Server (Server 2008) the DC.

If I have no other option to have to re join the computer to a new domain (whether it has the same name) then I might as well just save the time of rebuilding SBS.

I was hoping that since the File Server (Server 2008) was already apart of the domain when the SBS 2003 crashed, I would be able to promote it to a DV and the users could authenticate to it.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34923052
Sorry I misunderstood. I thought you were going to replace SBS 2003 with SBS 2008.

Had you run DCpromo on the 2008 server while the SBS was still alive and made it a DC, you could now seize the FSMO roles, but with the SBS dead that is no longer an option.

If you wanted to rebuild SBS 2003 the instructions are the same as I reported earlier.

I have to disagree that SBS is not worth the effort. I can't imagine managing a workgroup server, 5 PC's and users, and a cloud based mail service would be less management than SBS. SBS if managed properly specifically addresses the issue of making managing a small network very time effective, even with less than 5 users.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34923420
I have to agree with RobWill.  

I'll add that, depending on the kind of non-profit, you may be eligible for a HUGE discount on pricing for SBS 2008 (like 90%) through www.techsoup.org
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by:alansean
ID: 34925144
The customer does use Tech Soup, but let's not get away from the point.

We don't have the time right now to order SBS 2008 from TechSoup.

It sounds like the consensus is to reinstall a fresh SBS 2003 to the server, set it up, and rejoin the workstations to the new domain.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 34925201
Um, no, don't think that is a consensus.  If you don't wish to maintain an SBS. You can dcpromo the member server out of the existing domain, clean up the metadata while in a workgroup mode, then dcpromo it to a new domain and then move the stations to this domain.  
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by:alansean
ID: 34925207
fl_Flyfishing - Thanks for the new look on the situation. Can you give me more specifics on how to do the dcpromo out of the existing domain, how to clean up the metadata?
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by:alansean
ID: 34925315
To clarify, I am not anti SBS, I was just hoping to make the repair go quicker and maybe easier by using the surviving 2008 Server that is a member of the domain as a DC.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34925529
I think fl_flyfishing misunderstood you - either that or we did...

You said the existing/remaining 2008 server is NOT CURRENTLY A DC, correct?

If that's true, you cannot "dcpromo the member server out of the existing domain" because DCPROMO is only used to make or remove domain controllers.  Unless you RECOVER the old server or try one of UTOOLS paid products, you cannot recover the old active directory.
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by:alansean
ID: 34925564
leew - that is correct. The existing Server 2008 (a file server) was/is a member of the domain, but is not  a DC.
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 34925757
Yes I think fl_flyfishing mis-understood the comments, there is no existing DC.

The only step you could take with DCpromo is on the 2008 server to create a totally new domain, and as mentioned still follow all of the original steps to disjoin and clean up PC's, re-create new accounts, and join the PC's to the new domain.

You cannot migrate AD from a server that doesn't exist.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 34925824
Well, I did not misunderstand, I just gave an incorrect answer.  <g>  Happens sometimes when I start to type before engaging brain. We sometimes call this EBKC, or Error Between Keyboard and Chair.

But the end result is the same... no need to revive/reinstall the SBS.
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by:alansean
ID: 34925831
@RobWill - I understand your posts that all of the workstations (and the File server) will need to disjoin the current domain and be cleaned up and rejoin the new domain.

I guess my only stumbling block is, if I am going to do that, why spend the time setting up the SBS 2003 again, when I could just do that same process (disjoin and rejoin a domain) by making the Server 2008 a DC and join the workstations to that.

My thought process about removing the SBS is that it does not seem to be utilized effectively. It only serves as the DC and Exchange.  It seems I could save a lot of time by moving the Exchange to an outside host, then update the 2008 server (which I have to do anyways).

again I am not Anti-SBS, it just seems it is not be fully utilized.
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by:alansean
ID: 34925869
@fl_flyfishing - I know the feeling. I hoped I had given enough information to explain my situation last night, what with having the flu.

But could you elborate or give me a link on how to "dcpromo the member server out of the existing domain, clean up the metadata while in a workgroup mode, then dcpromo it to a new domain". Particularly on the "clean up the metadata"
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34925929
DCpromo does 3 things
1) [Demote] remove a domain controller from an existing domain  (you don't have a DC)
2) [Promote] create a new DC for a new domain, or add it to an existing domain (to add to an existing domain the original DC must be present as the FSMO roles are on the old DC and it also must be present for replication of the initial AD structure)

I am afraid neither is much help to you for recovering your existing AD structure.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34925942
ps: >>""clean up the metadata" "
You have no metadata to clean up unfortunately.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34926013
Sorry folks I missed several posts above when I made my last posts

>>"I guess my only stumbling block is, if I am going to do that, why spend the time setting up the SBS 2003 again, when I could just do that same process (disjoin and rejoin a domain) by making the Server 2008 a DC and join the workstations to that."
That is fine and included in the above suggestions

I have no problem with using the 2008 server. That is very acceptable, but just an option:
There is also the assumption that cloud based e-mail service mean no maintenance. Thank heaves that is not true or we would all soon be out of work. It is just that SBS has wizards that let you add a user and in literally less than 1 minute you user account is created, remote access set up, redirected my documents set up, an-mail account created, applications configured to be deployed to the client. You cannot do that in a 2008 work group with hosted e-mail. You even loose group policy. Grab=noted most of that can be done with 2008 but there is a day of configuring the server that you don't have with SBS.

Please just accept those as points too ponder, using a 2008 DC and hosted is fine.

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by:alansean
ID: 34926074
All good points.

I guess my original question of can I just promote the 2008 member server is a big No. And that's Ok, I just thought I would ask.

So I find myself in the same quandary. Continue to use SBS or not.  That is not a question for the group (cause the answers and suggestions would go on forever.) just a decision I need to make in the next few hours.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34926180
>>"I guess my original question of can I just promote the 2008 member server"
As mentioned you can, but it is a new domain you are starting.

In order to turn full circle on my previous comments :-)  There is also an advantage in using 2008 in that it is 5 year newer technology and will be supported by Microsoft for 5 years longer, and thus secure for 5 years longer. SBS 2003 is in it's 9th year and getting old.

I agree it is a decision you need to make.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34926938
Just some things to consider:

SBS offers Remote Web Workplace - this is NOT a feature on any other product.  There are some vague substitutes, but nothing with the integration that SBS has.
SBS also offers wizards and reports that standard server itself does not have.  SBS is designed to be managed by non-IT people, Standard Server is not.  When setup properly BOTH will generally be VERY stable systems, but I don't like running SBS UNLESS you're willing to host your own e-mail since several of the SBS features are integrated with Exchange and running Exchange when it's NOT acting as your mail server is messy at best, in my opinion.
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