Migration Tools for Server 2003

Posted on 2014-03-15
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Looking to do a migration from Server 2003 to Server 2003 - but want to leverage a tool to do most / all of the heavy lifting.

The Mgr on-site insists on doing a Server 2003 (Server A)-> Server 2003 (Server B)- for the sole purpiose of updgrading the Hard Drives....they currently run an old Dell P/E Server with SCSI drives that aren't upgradable much beyond 750gb - So we've got a newer server with mirrored 2TB drives....I would install Server 2003 on the newer server then, would look to leverage a tool to essentially make Server B look / function EXACTLY like Server A.

Server A would then be decommissioned. BTW Server A currently is the PDC and handles DNS, DHCP, and File Server duties - NO EXCHANGE on this server

Question by:teks14
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

Don Thomson earned 375 total points
ID: 39931792
The easiest way to handle this is to configure the new server as a member server of the domain and make sure Active Directory is working on the new server.

Then is really just a matter of remapping drives after you have moved the data.

If you want to create a new unique domain you will have to recreate all the users and their passwords on the new domain server.

If you choose this road - use something like Profwhiz  - it's free and all you do is run it on each workstation - tell it which server and which domain you want to join, give the Admin usercode/Password  to authenticate and tell it that you want to re-use the existing  user profile.

Then after it switches over to the new domain, you will most likely find that the drive mappings are wrong.  Disconnect from the old drive mapping and do a mapping to the new server.

IF you don't run exchange, you should be able to move over about 40-50 users over a weekend. If you have several people doing it - even less.

We use remote software for all our clients and replace servers remotely all the time (usually 2003 to 2011 SBS - I don't like the standard migration schemes from MS  because you are just migrating the problems as well as the data.  With the remote software I can have up to 10 PC's up at once and can easily migrate 50 users in about 8 hours without wver going out to the client.  (Most of our clients are across the country)
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39931812
I don't know where to begin.

Your setup is old and antiquated and shouldn't be used.  I would have several questions including:

1. Why are you migrating to a new server using the OLD software that is outdated and essentially not supported.  It puts your company at AT LEAST as much risk of problems as does running it on old hard drives.
2. You should be virtualizing if you MUST use 2003 so that you can easily migrate it to new hardware and protect against other disasters with things like replica (using Hyper-V)
3. What kind of heavy lifting do you envision?  Buying a tool to do this is a huge waste in my opinion and I doubt there are many to pick from because this procedure is generally simple.  You either use a product like Acronis that can transplant Windows from one server to another, sort of forklifting it - in some senses like a complete backup and restore where the software program supports the ability to change the underlying hardware - or you just add the new server as another DC and then move the files over.  If you were moving the files to a virtual environment it would be as simple as running Disk2VHD and creating a virtual hard drive with all your files and attaching that as your data drive to the VM based DC.

Here's the thing, I want to understand your problem before I go recommending SPECIFIC courses - what I recommend above is general and based on experience and best practices... but if you want more specifics, I need to know why you must stay on 2003, what kind of hardware you're using, more about your business... Understanding the big picture is important to getting the right solution.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:Lionel MM
Lionel MM earned 125 total points
ID: 39932429
If you want them to be exactly the same except the new hardware I suggest you simply clone the old drive onto the new drive, then do a Windows 2003 "reinstall/repair". This does not always work but it is worth a try and if it works will save you tons of time. if it doesn't work you will find out pretty quick so not too much time will be lost.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Don Thomson
Don Thomson earned 375 total points
ID: 39932455
I agree with "lionelmm" regarding cloning the drive - just make sure that
1. You have fixes all of the issues on the old server after running a Best Practices Scan and
2. That you have a copy of ALL the drivers required for the new hardware on a mem stick or CD/DVD handy

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