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I have been put in charge of maintaining an old PBX system which is running Windows Server 2003 and TeleAdvantage PBX software. The big concern is that the company that originally built this PBX box is out of business and we have no way to simply re-install this software. I'm looking for the best method to back up this machine and ensure we can restore it if something like the motherboard dies and we have to restore it on a new machine. I've used Norton Ghost before, but I know that it that the image, when restored on a completely different system, doesn't work. When we tried it, the system simply booted to a Blue Screen. This system relies on a couple add-in cards for T1 service and POTS. Each card is about $2000-4000, but we have a supplier at least to replace them. We just don't have a supplier to replace the software.

EDIT: Another issue I am concerned about is Windows Server activation on the replacement hardware. I'm never had to restore Windows Server like this and am not sure what to expect.

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I would look at Symantec System Recovery . We have used this to create an image of a running system with specialized software installed and then restore to different hardware. It can also convert to a VMware virtual machine or HyperV virtual machine which has also worked for disaster recovery for such systems. There is a trial version available.

You may need to reactivate Windows but it is usually a simple process if you have the COA or Key.

I understand the VM could be an issue but it has worked very well doing a restore to different hardware for our internal projects and for clients replacing old hardware with complex software installs on mission critical hardware.

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I've considered trying to replicate the system in a virtual machine, but I don't think it's a viable option since the software needs access to the T1 and POTS cards for controlling the PBX. I'll look at SSR, my experience has been with Norton Ghost which hasn't worked in the past. – penguin359 Mar 20 '12 at 0:18
Should I expect any difficulties with re-activating Windows Server 2003 on different hardware? – penguin359 Mar 20 '12 at 0:27
penguin: There are a number of products that you can look at, such as Acronis, SSR, etc. but the key thing to look for is a product capable of performing a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware. – joeqwerty Mar 20 '12 at 0:27

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