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I have a Windows 2003 Server that I want to migrate to new hardware. All the setup and configuration was done by my predecessor. Right now I'm in a real time crunch and I just want to copy all the files and settings to the new machine. Is there an easy way to do this or do I need to manually copy all the files and add all the settings?

Microsoft KB suggests "Automated System Recovery", is this the best way forward?

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Downtime isn't a problem as this isn't the main our main server and theres noone in the office for a few days – Alex Jan 4 '11 at 11:19
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Is the server a 2003 sbs server or a standard/enterprise?

The first thing you need to do is make sure migrating your hardware will conform with Microsoft licensing requirements. You need to check if your OS is OEM or Retail, if its OEM it dies with the hardware if its retail you should be ok.

Is this server a domain controller?

You will need to check the folder structure and the standard that was setup when the server was brought into action.

If you can let me know the answers to the above I can edit my answer with a solution for you.

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I think its OEM 2003 standard, the new server has 2003 standard pre installed. The issue here is that I'm not fully familiar with all the settings of the network, so I was hoping to find an easy way to get the new hardware up and running. I've been thrown in at the deep end and I'm not really a systems admin, I'm a developer. This server isn't the domain controller. – Alex Jan 4 '11 at 11:51
Hi Alex, due to it being OEM you cannot use the same license to install windows server 2003 on another physical server. What is the reason that new hardware is required? I will try to find the best solution with you! – JamesK Jan 4 '11 at 11:58
The old server is very old and past it, but most importantly becausen I have been told to. Theres a brand new PowerEdge T310 sat in a box. The network here uses Active Directory, so I should just be able tp put this into the new system. I have backed up all the files to an external HDD, however I'm worried about other settings like replication etc. – Alex Jan 4 '11 at 12:16
Hi Alex, has anyone checked if the poweredge has an OS installed? - from what you have said I'm not sure where replication would fit in! The first thing to worry about is getting the users access to the data, you would need to investigate the logon script and see if shares are mapped from there. – JamesK Jan 4 '11 at 13:12
Ok so I got a little ahead of myself, the new box didn't have the OS installed. I have installed it now and copied the settings but my fears have come true it won't work properly. I started a new question here…. Thanks for your help so far – Alex Jan 4 '11 at 17:46

You could use imaging software such as Acronis to take an image of the system and then restore it on the new hardware. This is assuming you can have the downtime on the current server, and that it is acceptable to install any necessary drivers for the new hardware after the image is restored.

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Acronis looks good but theres no way I can get that purchased in the timeframe availiable. The more I read the more I am tempted to do it manually. Is there anyway to backup all the settings as I think I can swap out the disks containing all the files? – Alex Jan 4 '11 at 11:22
You could probably just use a trial to get this done quickly: – Paul Kroon Jan 4 '11 at 14:23

I'd suggest either Norton Ghost or Acronis as above. You'll need to be taking it down though, definitely. There are other alternatives, though. You could move the harddrives if they are similar hardware, but still best to create a clone first.

My only concern with cloning would be if you aren't installing on similar hardware anyway? what is the reason for the migration?

I'm not sure how ASR would come into any use here? This is only for a faulty system. Alternatively you could set up the new server manually and migrate the files and settings.

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Symantec Backup Exec Syatem Recovery 2010 will allow you to capture a backup image of the existing hardware and restore it to the new, different hardware easily. Works great and a tool will allow you to assure you have the right drivers at hand for the new hardware when you restore. There is an eval at Backup Exec Family. Not sure of any limitations on the trial. Have used many times and it svaes many hours of time.

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