Help with migrating SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 with only the source server's hard drive

Posted on 2012-08-29
Last Modified: 2013-10-25
I've scoured the internet for about two days now trying to find a solution for restoring or migrating active directory to a new server without an actual backup. We have an SBS 2003 server that is no longer functioning - the hard drive controller on the motherboard is dead and the system is too old to get replacement parts.

Even though there was a decent amount of file corruption on the drive, I've managed to recover the majority of it and have seen no sign of the drive itself being bad, so I was hoping it might be possible to somehow bring the Active Directory over to the new server so that we don't have to reconfigure the entire domain.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
Question by:CompTechNS
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Was the drive part of a RAID array?  Can you plug the drive into a USB enclosure and boot to it?
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    The hard drive was not part of a striped array so it is accessible. I did try to boot to it but about 5 seconds after the windows logo comes up it just restarts (I'm sure it's a BSOD). My problem is I don't have any hardware platform remotely close to the one it came out of.

    I really don't have time to attempt a repair install on new hardware...
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Unless you can boot into it, there is no supported method for migrating AD data from one DC to another.

    Can you boot into directory services restore mode?  What about safe mode?
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    It's either troubleshoot the BSOD or cut your loses and start fresh. You can just pick a few files and migrate across, I'm afraid it doesn't work that way, especially on a migration of SBS.

    Going forward, have a good disaster recovery plan and ensure your hardware is warranted.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Ok. I'll try for active directory restore mode. If that doesn't work then oh well. The problem here it's we inherited this old system and poor setup when we were hired by the customer and he dragged his heels making any changes that cost...

    I'll either patty back if I get into the old system or close the thread if I have to start over.

    Thanks for the help.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

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