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Convert a SBS 2003 to VHD

Posted on 2011-09-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
We are going to migrate from our current SBS 2003 (with Exhcange) box to 2 VM's running on a Server 2008 R2 Hyper-v box.

1 VM will host AD and file/print server. 1 VM will host Exchange 2010.

I have found an EE article outlining the details on how to do the migration.

(http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_2881-Migrate-Small-Business-Server-2003-to-Exchange-2010-and-Windows-2008-R2.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+10+2003+2008+2010+30+busi+exchang+migrat+r2+server+small+window)


My question at this point. How do I convert the SBS 2003 box to VHD so that I can bring it into a VM.

I really would rather not migrate directly from the physical box, because I need the option of snapshots if anything goes wrong.

I've read that, in order to convert a DC, an 'offline' conversion must be done. Problem is, it seems that the free tool (disk2vhd) only does an 'online' conversion.

The other option that I found was, to use System Center Virtual Machine Manager to do an offline convert.

Problem with that is, it can only be installed on a DC or a machine that has been joined to a domain. In my case, where we have 1 physical server. I do not want to promote the server to DC, neither do I want to join it to a domain that is being hosted on one of the guest VM's either.

What would be my best approach??

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Question by:clesin
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Accepted Solution

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Gaurav Singh earned 2000 total points
ID: 36474962
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 36479349
The article you supplied looks very promising, and exactly what I need to do. I will go ahead and follow it and let you know how it went.

Thank you.
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 36488570
I just ran the my first try last night. It took like 5 hours to convert 28 GB out of 137! I had to cancel it since it would cut into the next working day.

Do you have any idea as to how long it should take to do the conversion? does 18 hours sound 'normal' for 137 GB??
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:James Haywood
ID: 36498758
If you are doing the conversion via USB i reckon its about 9 hours (depending on controllers, disks etc). If you are copying over a GB network it should be much faster.

I have done an SBS2003 P2V using disk2vhd and it works perfectly, i didn't stop any services just disconnected the network cables to prevent mail flowing.

You should be looking at doing something major like this over a weekend. I'd leave it overnight on a Friday then spend the Saturday sorting the host etc.
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 36499074
How large was the SBS2003 that you converted??

I installed a SATA drive onto the board, it still estimated my 'arrival' 18 hours later. I just would like to know if there is anything wrong with my system, or this is the process??
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 36523987
Dear 'systechadmin',

I followed your instructions and it worked like a charm. I connected a WD Raptor 300 GB drive to the board of the old server. I think it ran for 13 hours or so. Once I copied over the VHD file, I was up and running in under 30 minutes.

Thank you again!
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