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Transferring Clone of Windows 2003 SBS to a Different Server

I have a Dell PowerEdge 800 Server. I need to make some major modifications to the OS, but b/c this is a primary production server, decided I should first clone the entire HDD and copy it on to a test server where I can make all the changes I want without fear of bringing down the primary server. But the complication is that I don't have a spare PowerEdge 800 server lying around. So I need to copy the cloned system to a PowerEdge 400SC server. But there is a big difference...the 800 is using a SATA drive connected via a RAID card (but in JBOD mode) and the 400SC is running an IDE HDD connected right to the system board.

I used Clonezilla to clone the primary server to an external HDD. Had no problem copying that cloned image to the 400SC. As expected, the 400SC is unable to boot b/c many of the hardware drivers are for the 800 server. I was hoping I could just run a repair install of 2003 SBS Server to update to the correct drivers. But this is not the case.

I can boot of the Windows 2003 SBS CD and request that the OS be installed on the already existing partition. It seems to start to work just fine, but then when the system automatically reboots to continue the install, the server just freezes up.

Guessing the obvious problem is that at this stage Windows is still trying to boot using RAID drivers for a card which doesn't even exist on the new server.

Anyone know a way to work around this problem so I can complete the repair install of Windows??
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anuneznyc
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anuneznyc
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2 Solutions
 
rindiCommented:
I would take a different approach here. Install VMware vSphere Hypervisor (provided the server supports it, it is free) on the "test" server. Then use VMware's vCenter Coverter Standalone to convert your current to a VM on the test server:

http://vmware.com

The advantage of using a Hypervisor for any server is that the actual hardware used is irrelevant to VM, as it always runs on the same virtual hardware.

Otherwise if you don't want to or can't go Virtual, use Paragon's Adaptive Restore utility (just boot the cloned Server with the CD, and it'll remove all drivers and allow you to add new ones if necessary from the installed system):

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Rindi, thank you very much for the excellent suggestions. Free is always good, so I like the idea of vSphere Hypervisor. I found VMWare site rather confusing, so I'm not 100% clear on this product's requirements. Can I download vSphere Hypervisor and do a bare-metal install right on my server *without* a host OS already installed? And does it required 64-bit architecture? My PowerEdge 400SC has a P4 CPU, not a dual-core one?

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rindiCommented:
It is installed without another OS, but it does require a 64bit CPU, and it must also be VT enabled. I've just checked the specs of that server and it definitely is too old for any modern hypervisor. So I'm afraid your left with the paragon Adaptive restore utility.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
What about using v3.5 of vSphere Hypervisor? That seems to be designed for 32-bit systems.
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rindiCommented:
That is being phased out, not free, and probably also not available for download anymore. I also didn't see your server listed in it's HCL.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Oh, OK. Earlier I downloaded a file from their site with the following name:
VMware-VMvisor-InstallerCD-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386_DELL_Customized_OM603.iso
I thought it said it was a free license, but I'm not really sure.

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pmckenna11Commented:
Another option is Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery. Install it on the old server then you can use it to make an image that can be restored to different hardware. It works quite well. You may or may not have to provide the RAID drivers when restoring to the second machine. Symantec provides a fully functional 60 day trial which would allow you to accomplish the migration. I have done this several times and was impressed enough to purchase it for several clients to create and maintain images for emergrency recovery.
The VMWARE method mentioned above will work but frankly since it seems that you are not familiar with the software the BESR will probably be easier.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Other thought I had is that I have a Dell Latitude E5400 laptop with a dual-core CPU. Obviously not designed to be a server, but for purposes of experimentation, could I go that route? The laptop is running 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate.
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rindiCommented:
I don't think that laptop has a 64bit CPU, but you could try that download you made (you can also try it on the server first though). I just wasn't aware that was still available.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Yes, the laptop is 64bit. I got the following info from Belarc Advisor:
2.53 gigahertz Intel Core2 Duo
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
3072 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
pmckenna11, thanks for your suggestion. Sounds like it might be an easier approach.

If I go the VMWare route, do I install Standalone Converter on the target machine before I install vSphere Hypervisor?
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rindiCommented:
First check in the BIOS of the Laptop whether you can enable VT or something worded similarly.

First you would install the hypervisor on the PC (as it is it's own OS take a separate harddisk for this). Then on another PC, it can be the current server, install the converter. You can then tell it what source you want to convert from and as destination select the test server.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
OK, got it. Thanks for clarifying. I'll post an update later this week once I make time for this project.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Finally had some time to come back to this. Went with Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery and it did the trick. I can now boot up properly. Thank you for your assistance!
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