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My drive is failing and I have a new one ready to go.

Can I just create a BKF file on a separate drive with the Backup utility, then shut down, swap in new drive for failing one, insert Windows Server 2003 disk, and restore the drive from the BKF file?

I'm just really concerned with the mention of needing to "connect a floppy drive". I'm not interested in jumping through hoops involving floppy drives and hunting down ASR-related files in system directories. This kind of thing should be simple.

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This sort of thing is simple if you set things up correctly (using RAID) in the first place. Sounds like you didn't do that, though. – EEAA May 11 '11 at 17:19
Does this drive also have the system partition? – gravyface May 11 '11 at 17:20
@gravyface. Yes, it's the OS drive. I ran "backup" and selected drive C and "System State", and it wrote a BKF file to my data drive (E). I wasn't prompted for a floppy or anything, so I don't have one. If I shut this down and replace the old drive, is the Windows Server 2003 CD/DVD going to b*tch about needing a floppy, or will it be able to restore the new drive from the BKF file? – Triynko May 11 '11 at 17:26
Wow, take a deep breath. I'm glad to hear the data is RAIDed. I'm perfectly capable of answering this question, but don't have the time to do it properly at the moment. Short version - don't bother with the windows backup client. Take the server offline and use a disk cloning utility to clone the OS drive to the new one. – EEAA May 11 '11 at 17:31

Easiest option? Use a cloning utility such as Acronis or ShadowProtect to image directly onto the new drive.

For free, ShadowProtect Server will give you 30 days, install, clone, done.

*I'm not affiliated with either product, just someone who has used SP with enormous success in the past.

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If it's a domain controller disk imaging isn't the best way to move forward. – Evan Anderson May 11 '11 at 19:01
@EvanAnderson, If its a DC, it should be one of a pair or more, so a reinstall would be fine. However, if its an SMB, I would argue that it holds a lot of roles and an image may be whats best. – DanBig May 11 '11 at 19:05
Disk imaging DCs is a bad idea. The OP doesn't give us enough information. If it's a DC he should back off the DC role first, then disk image it, and re-promote it. If it's the only DC then he should bring up another DC first, transfer off the FSMO roles, then proceed with backing off the DC role and disk imaging the server. – Evan Anderson May 11 '11 at 21:08

If none of those other image solutions work, for whatever reason, you can try Clonezilla. It's pretty stupid easy to use for the most part and I use it all the time for workstations at my current place of employment.

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If you can take your server down for a few hours, I've had really good luck on workstations using Seagate's MaxBlast disk image

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I'm not paying for backup software. The OS should provide a usable solution out of the box, after all, it's THE OPERATING SYSTEM, and it should be able to do something simple like save a drive image and restore it later. Personally, I use Acronis True Image for drive imaging. – Triynko May 11 '11 at 17:33
@Triynko - stop being rude, or we'll suspend you and then nobody will be trying to help you, gratefully accepted or not. – Chopper3 May 11 '11 at 17:35
@Triynko. That's actually a free version of it. It does a sector by sector copy. You boot from an ISO. – Nixphoe May 11 '11 at 17:49

Have you installed the new HDD, installed the same exact version of windows (same service packs and hotfixes) and ran the Backup and Restore Program?

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You mean, put my Windows Server 2003 disc in... then instead of RESTORING MY BACKUP, I'm going to waste an hour pointlessly REINSTALLING THE OS from the disc, then immediately OVERWRITE it with the backup, from within the OS. No. I refuse to to do something so pointless. I'd like to insert the OS install disc, and RESTORE MY BACKUP, in one simple step. – Triynko May 11 '11 at 17:44
@Triynko - unfortunately Windows doesn't work like that. @DanBig's answer is your best bet. Just use the software he suggested or some other cloning software to clone to a new drive. – EEAA May 11 '11 at 17:49
I find the "I'd like to insert the OS install disc, and RESTORE MY BACKUP, in one simple step." statement amusing. There are lot of things in life I'd like, too. >smile< – Evan Anderson May 11 '11 at 21:09

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