Reinstalling Widnows 2003

Posted on 2013-01-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-04-10

I'm seeking some advice. I have been given the task of redoing a Server 2003 Standard with about 5 active users, that after 6 years some of the drives started to give some issues.

This server used to have about 15 users and Exchange installed, I would like to replace the drives with new ones and reinstall windows from scratch but would hate to bring in all the AD setting for old users and Exchange.

My question is, if i so a Windows System State backup and restore will i bring all the users and Exchange setting.

Is there a way to only back and restore the AD without bringing the old junk?
Question by:rudym88
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Tony Massa earned 2000 total points
ID: 38765901
With so few users and no need for Exchange, why not rebuild a new 2008R2 (or 2012) forest/domain and migrate only the users and groups over with ADMT. You get a new, clean domain on an operating system that will be supported well past 2014.  Once you get the new domain all ready, just migrate the users and computers to the new domain...again, with ADMT.

ADMT: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc974332(v=ws.10).aspx

An authoritative restore of AD will most definitely bring all of the "garbage" in your current AD into a restored one.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 38765908
even you can perform complete fresh one since you have only 15 users. Because you don't want to get in another issue by doing above.


install another ADC-->move all the fsmo roles--> make it primary completely--> take offline of current dc--> monitor couple of days to confirm there is no issue (including exchange)--> take off the DC
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 38766053
your question suggests you want to replace the drives and keep the rest of the server, the above two suggestions assume you can install on a completely new box (which I agree with is the most ideal solution).

A clean install and AD restore can be tricky, you really need to document a lot of things first, and really for so few users, a clean install and walk around to each user and join a new domain would still be preferable to doing a restore.

For that few users, an entry level server will most likely be adequate and the time you will save by doing the migrate as recommended above will easily pay for the extra hardware.

The other alternative - is to use a backup product like storage craft or acronis and simply image the drive onto a larger/new drive in the same box with the same OS etc
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Leon Fester
ID: 38766174
Is there a way to only back and restore the AD without bringing the old junk?
You basically have 3 options (in order of easiest to achieve):
1. Add new domain controller/replace drives and then clean up the 10 user accounts and remove Exchange from your exisiting domain. P.S. Why aren't you replacing the entire server? If it's 6 years old then the rest of the hardware would be out of warranty already or soon. To my knowledge HP only offers support extension for upto max 7 years. Not sure about other brands.

2. Setup a new, second domain controller, move FSMO roles and then cleanup old users and Exchange.

3. Create a new domain and perform a user and workstation migration onto the new domain. You'd need to use the ADMT tool for this.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38766670
If the Fsmo roles, exchange and all user shares have been migrated off this server, then you can easily just replace the bad drives, go into your Raid setup, delete the old raid config, create a new one, initialize the drives and reinstall Windows.

A fresh install is the best way. You only have 15 users, so it you wanted too, you could review the domain after this is completed and bring it back into AD. It doesn't sound like your using Exchange, so that should not be a problem.

If this looks good to you and the server is already shut down, open the case and see what drives are in it. If you post the drive models here, I'll look them up and let you know where and waht to replace them with. It would help if you provide us with the brand and model of the server. if it's a Dell, also include the service tag so we can look up the exact specs.

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