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We have a small office with one server on SBS 2008 and we don't have a budget right now to buy a new server.

Is it possible to buy a new harddrive, install hyper V then install the latest SBS 2012 and then move over all the data to the new server?

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Is there any reason you can't just back up your data, upgrade the OS and restore your data? – John Gardeniers Sep 10 '12 at 9:48
@John SBS cannot be upgraded, only migrated. – Mark Henderson Sep 10 '12 at 9:55
@Mark, that's the new thing I learned today. – John Gardeniers Sep 10 '12 at 10:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes. Use disk2vhd to make an image of your current OS. Put your original hdd aside in case you need it.

Install Hyper-V and import your vhd.

Then, install 2012 in a new VM and run the migration tools. Then, shut down the old VM.

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Hi Mark, this sounds like a workable solution. What about moving Exchange data from the old server to the new? --edit, sorry just noticed you were referring to migration tools. Do they include reliable tools for Exchange migration? – Jacques Sep 10 '12 at 12:08
@Jacques - yes. The instructions that come with 2012 are very good, I've done the migration three times now and it's gone without issue every time. Two 2008 -> 2012 and one 2003 -> 2012. – Mark Henderson Sep 10 '12 at 12:15
Thanks Mark. I must admit, I'm very nervous about this. Any recommended steps to follow to avoid loss of data or services when it's all done? – Jacques Sep 10 '12 at 13:03
I'm assuming that the end result should be that I have SBS 2008 running along side the new SBS 2011. Question is... Will they work like that? No conflicts in Active Directory? Or should the new SBS 2011 be setup to run with a different Directory name? – Jacques Sep 10 '12 at 14:09
@Jacques - You really must read the SBS 2011 migration document. It explains everything really well. You do not actually install SBS 2011 normally, you create a migration answer file from 2008, and then it automates the 2011 installation for you. – Mark Henderson Sep 10 '12 at 20:24

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