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I run a small server on my home network that has Windows Server 2008 R2 installed. If I wanted to move this windows installation to a completely new PC with better specs, what's the easiest way to do this? Can I simply swap the primary drive to the new machine? I'd hope that Windows would boot up and recognize the new hardware and install new drivers for everything.

I run a domain controller, DNS server, and I setup VPN on my server. I want all of these settings to be retained.

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you can do what you suggest, although I haven't tried with a server and licensing restraints may come into play. but it sure isn't the "proper" way. @Jason has the right idea. –  Michael Lowman Jul 7 '11 at 18:22
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The proper way or the easy way?

The proper way is to do a fresh install of Windows Server on your new device, join it to the domain, promote it to DC, make it a GC, redirect DNS to it, then demote and remove the old server.

If you want the easy way, get a 2 week IT copy of ShadowProtect. Use that to image the server to new hardware.

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I guess I meant the "easy way", but also the "easy free way". Also, what is a GC? I don't really know much about servers. –  Robert Dailey Jul 7 '11 at 18:06
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GC is a global catalog. See this technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc728188(WS.10).aspx –  Jason Berg Jul 7 '11 at 18:33
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