We have a Windows 2003 with SCSI disks on a RAID card.
The SCSI card is now unusable. As the server is old, we don't want to buy an identical SCSI card, we prefer to change the server. But we first need to boot this Windows 2003 in order to do some work on it.

We have a complete backup image. We can restore it on whatever disk. But when we boot, Windows displays a message saying it can't boot because the disk interface is not the same.

If the Windows 2003 was still in function, we just have to plug a PATA disk, reboot Windows, agree with the new driver installation, and then this Windows could boot on a PATA drive.
But this wasn't done.

How can I make this Windows 2003 boot on a different drive hardware than the only one it knows ?
He knows a specific SCSI card.
We want to boot on whatever other hardware. Probably PATA is a good choice because the drivers are included on the Windows CD.

The server is since reinstalled from scratch.
The message was missleading. The problem was only about partition numbering. Once the initial and hidden partition was recreated, the boot could start.
But the boot process stopped while the screen was yet black.
No way to use the recovery console (admin password refused, even after erasing it with a live-cd), and no way to have /bootlog create the log file. So impossible to see which driver was the problem.


Essentially, you need to get the .SYS file for your driver into %SystemRoot%\System32\drivers and the .INF file for your driver into %SystemRoot%\inf. If you have a .CAT file, then it needs copying as well, but, sorry, can't remember where this goes without having a Win2k3 box to hand.

Various ways to get the files on the server, but burning them to a CD and booting into Recovery Console (from the server installation media) is probably the easiest way.

Once copied, reboot and let plug-and-pray do the work...

---EDIT--- If you're booting into the Recovery Console, there's the likely hood that the drivers on the default Windows CD won't include your SCSI card. In this case, press F6 when prompted to load your additional drivers (from the CD that you've burned).

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    Seems this is not sufficient. I looked into the driver manager to see which files are used. They already are present in the target disk, exact same content, byte to byte. I took ATAPI, IDE, etc. – Gregory MOUSSAT Sep 6 '12 at 17:26
  • Can you post the exact wording of the error - I'm interested to know if it's NTLDR problem or an inaccessible boot device stop screen. Have you been able to boot into the recovery console and see the contents of the HDD? (you seem to be reading the disk some how). What hardware (specifically SCSI/RAID adapter) are you using? Can you post your BOOT.INI file? – Simon Catlin Sep 7 '12 at 15:47

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