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Wiping and reinstalling Windows SBS 2008

I am going to be reinstalling SBS2008, as it has had many many problems, and I was not the one to install it at the client in the first place...they have exchange running on it as well...I have been researching the most effective way to do this, and was just wondering what suggestions people might have in regards to making this the smoothest and easiest transition...I know I want to backup all the data and the exchange database, but other than that, I would like to start from scratch...any advice would be greatly appreciated...
Daniel Fishkin
Daniel Fishkin
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
few of suggestions:

1.  if it was that badly setup, you might want to consider installing from scratch - this has issues with profiles and exporting/restoring mail, but you will definitely end up with a clean domain that YOU setup.
2.  Assuming you start from scratch, consider just buying replacement hard drives and pull the existing drives.  Drives are generally cheap and besides, they have moving parts and WILL fail eventually.  While there are no guarantees that new drives would last longer, statistically speaking, they PROBABLY will, so you end up with a more likely to be stable system on new drives AND you have a full backup of the old install.
3.  Install virtually - either as a migration (preserving the existing domain, if you want to go that route) OR as a fresh install - doing the fresh install virtually would allow you to setup almost everything before hand and potentially minimize down time.
Are there specific issues that can be corrected? It would be a lot of work to re install SBS 2008. You also have to consider all the applications that are hosted on the server. You would need to make adjustments to the applications on workstations as well. This could be a lot of work and down time.

I would reconsider and see if the specific issues can be resolved.

If you do decide to re install, I would back up all the databases (Exchange, SQL, and any other database). If you have any software support for the database applications, I would contact them to see if they can provide a step by step guide on moving the database, its worth the time.

Backup the printer drivers with the printmig.exe tool from Microsoft. Having a login script will save time with adding shared printers and mapped drives.
Daniel FishkinOwner and Principal ConsultantAuthor Commented:
sadly there are not specific issues that are easily fixable...exchange is very spotty at best...the printers won't connect through the server...the file sharing seems to freeze at random times...I have checked the network connections and everything related to that is working great...
would you have a suggestion in regards to repairing exchange or SBS 2008....thank you
It sounds like the server is lacking resources so reinstalling may be a waste of time. Whats the average memory and CPU usage during the middle of the average work day? I normally use the Task Manager and see what processes are using the most memory and CPU. If there are any SQL databases running on the server then its possibly a memory issue. Installing memory is relatively inexpensive and quick to install.

Also check the free space on the hard drives. If there is not enough space (2GB or more) then you will start seeing performance issues and other random issues like shared folders and printers are not accessible and Outlook disconnecting from Exchange. A tool I like is treesize (http://www.jam-software.com/freeware). It will scan the hard drives and displays the folders that take up the most space.

For Exchange issue you can try repairing the Exchange database by running eseutil.exe /r. Then defrag and compact the database with eseutil.exe /d. The store must be offline first and MAKE SURE to take a backup of Exchange beforehand. Running the /d option will defrag the databases and might save a few GB of hard drive space.

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