Restore backup to new hardware?

Warren_R used Ask the Experts™
Hi all,

I'm upgrading my server that runs consumer hardware to some new consumer hardware. This is what I have done:
- backed up orginal server with Windows Server Backup
- this machine had a Gigabyte EP45-UD3R main board and an Intel Core2 Quad
- restored that backup to a new machine with a new HDD
- this machine has a Gigabyte P67A-UD3R-B3 main board and an Intel Core i7

This has worked. I had to uninstall the old video card drivers and I also uninstalled the intel software for good measure and replaced both with the new harware drivers.

Everything seems fine (for the past half hour). My question is, am I playing God? Have I created a monster. Will this continue working or is it a ticking timebomb?

Many thanks,


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As long as you have the correct MB drivers then it will continue working
Most Valuable Expert 2015
First of all, if your OS is an OEM version of Windows, you can't do this as that version will only run on the original mainboard it was activated on. So first check for any licensing issues...

Second, what server OS are you using? Windows Server 2008 and above should not be a problem, but Windows 2003 or below can be. If that is the case you should run Paragon's "Adaptive Restore" utility on the restored system, this will remove unnecessary drivers and and make sure the correct HAL is used. Windows 2008 uses the same HAL for different hardware, so there it isn't an issue.
You had nothing said about OS and the roles you have installed on your server.
Per example for restored domain controller they recommend that it is not used in production environment, but when you restore it, you should install another one and move all roles to new one and retire the old one.
If you have on server just file server, than if the event viewer is clean you should have no problems even in future.
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Rindi, my heart skipped a beat when I read your OEM bit...

Yes it is SBS 2008 OEM... I assume that there is no way around this? From an honest user's point of view, I am actually retiring the other machine to greener desktop pastures and there can only be one SBS box in the domain... BUT are you saying that my activation needs to be thrown out if I want to use the new board?
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Correct, you need to buy a new SBS license for the new hardware. OEM is always bound to the hardware it was originally activated on. Although you can add some hardware or change some devices like video cards etc, changing from one mainboard model to another is a too big difference and is regarded as different hardware.

In some cases, for instance you get the server hardware and the OEM OS from a large manufacturer like DELL, you may be able to move to another DELL server and move the OS along. But the unbranded OEM versions won't allow that.

I don't see too many problems, both MoBo are Gigabyte, based on Intel chips, with the same audio chip almost the same NIC.
Also sometimes the OEM versions aren't that specific, a MoBo manufacturer won't create an specific Disk for an specific hardware but will cover most of their hardware.
The only thing I can recommed is to update all of the controllers as some of them may be working with the new chips but not performing at is's best.
Its not just activation problem and being able to move OS, but it is "being legal" problem.

OEM license is tied on HW and you can not move it around.

"Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required.

If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty."


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