File Server Migrations

Hey guys,

I have a few file server migrations coming up, from 2003 --> 2012 and 2003--> 2008.

What is the best route to go through without manually creating all shares/ntfs permissions again from scratch?
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Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
I have always done clean and build new file server and  copied data from old to new.
You can export shares from old server and import into new (using registry)

then you can robocopy the data which keeps permissions, and allows for incremental file copy

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Jeff PerryWindows AdministratorCommented:
Direct migration is supported from 2003 to either 2008 or 2012.

To keep from needing to recreate shares your current shares will need to already be on a SAN, or separate set of disks that will retain file permissions.

Alternately it may be possible to set up a dfs share to retain permissions before the migration.

File permissions will be lost if the physical disks are moved between hosts or if the user is local to the files server.

An idea may be to use a backup/restore to retain permissions but that was not 100% reliable depending on the product. It has gotten better.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Physical to virtual or virtual to virtual?  
Virtual to virtual, copy the virtual hard drives containing the file server data and attach.  Simple.

Physical to Virtual depends on your virtualization platform.  If Hyper-V, use disk2VHD to create a copy of the existing file server disk as a VHD and attach.  All permissions are preserved.

For file shares, export the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares but MAKE SURE you assign the SAME drive letters you previously used before importing the registry key.

This all assumes these file server migrations go within the same domain.  If you're setting up a new domain or moving workgroups, you CANNOT preserve permissions, you'll have to reset them all.

And if you're NOT virtualizing, why not?  You're wasting a 2012 license and making your life more difficult in general.
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Cobra25Author Commented:
physical to physical.

Isn't there a tool that just do this? Would Syncback work?

Im looking for something easy.
Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
Robocopy (windows tool) will copy ntfs permissions between servers on same domain.
Cobra25Author Commented:
Thanks Steven. Any other tools you recommend? I've used Robocopy and its decent.
Steven WellsSystems AdministratorCommented:
Not really. Sometimes it's best to keep it simple. I have done about 10 file server migrations and always used robocopy.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Any reason you're not going virtual?  It would make things MUCH easier.

The WISE thing to do would be a backup and restore - this does two things - it VERIFIES that your backups work as you expect they do and it accomplishes the data move.
Cobra25Author Commented:
Lee, this server needs to be reaudited and rebuilt, so it requires a full rebuild.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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Windows Server 2003

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