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Windows 2003 File Server Migration to Windows 2008R2 on VmWare


We have a VM file server on Windows 2003 and we would like to move the data to a new Windows 2008 R2 file server.

The data resides on the D and E drives (vmdk disk files) can I remove the vmdk disks and add to the new Windows 2008r2 VM and keep the same file server name and share names.

Any thoughts on this regards to best method with minimal disruption?
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Pete Long
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Yes - Just don't forget anyone who has UNC paths mapped to these drives/folders will need DNS changing to reflect the move.

As long as you intend to completely decommission the 03 server I would see no issue with that. I've used this method for moving around data from server to server a number of times.
I'm assuming you'll keep the same machine name on the new 2008R2 server. That would certainly make it much easier! For VMWARE - make sure you do not have any snapshots of the disks you're planning to move to the new 2008R2 machine. If you do, make sure to remove them beforehand!

Use this as a quick guideline:
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If I am keeping the same file server name why would I need to do anything with DNS?

Plan of works

Take Windows 2003 file server down and take off domain.
Remove vmdk disks and add to Windows 2008 R2 VM
Change computer name to the same as the old Windows 2003 file server

Do I not need to do anything with the file shares or should they work on the new file server?
You will have to recreate the shares. the shares are at the OS level. so when you bring the disks onto the new 2008 system the shares won't exist.

You should be able to do a test migration before you cut over for good. You could take the 2003 server down to copy the vmdk files then bring the 2003 server back up. add the disks to the 2008 server and keep it isolated...check permissions, shares, you know how it will behave when you do it next time for real.

You may have network equipment or machines where you have to clear their ARP cache after the switch. Rebooting takes care of that or running command to clear the cache.
You will have to recreate the shares on the new server with the same share names.

Great point by ZabagaR. Definitely remove all snapshots from these drives first.
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Sounds like a proper plan by importing share registry keys on the new server it will create the shares and set necessary permissions?
Yes, provided that physical folders are present on the server with same drive and path as source.

You can test for confirmation..

ACLs will already be on the NTFS disk.

Make sure you have a Backup befoer you start ALL this!

Full Backup not a Snapshot!

The number of times, we have seen VMware Admins, do the simplest of things and "cock it up" e.g. like detach a VMDK, and add to a different server!
If you copy the lanman reg key for shares are you going to also retain share permissions?
Or just the setting that its shared? I'd test that ahead of time.
You get both shares and security from the reg key export
Now it's just a matter of testing! :-)
Will keep on hold for now as the migration has been pushed back until April
Not Sure if EE will allow you to keep question open for such a long duration

Just need some more time
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Thanks for your assistance guys