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Our company has started to out grow it's Windows 2008 SBS. We have purchased and built a new server with Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard. I have already promoted the new server to a DC and moved most of the roles to it (DNS, DHCP, etc). One final service that needs to be migrated is File Services. The User Documents folders are handled by FS as well as several other folders. Is there a straight forward approach to migrating this data to the new server? I was trying to follow the steps outlined from technet, but because the source server is SBS, I'm not able to register the server migration tools on it.

We don't use Exchange, so I'm not worried about anything more except the files themselves and a being able to seamlessly move the data to the appropriate user-accessible folders before demoting the original server.

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Here's what I'd do:

  • Create folders corresponding to the shares on the old server on the new server and share them (setting permissions as you'd like, etc), making sure to match the share names from the old server computer

  • Copy over all the shared folders from the old server to the new server using robocopy with the /copyall command-line switch (do be sure you're using the robocopy instance on the new Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, as the version of robocopy that ships with Windows Server 2008 doesn't copy permissions)

  • Demote the old server to a member server and either rename it or remove it from the domain

  • Assign the old server's name to the new server as an OptionalNames entry as-described in this wonderful Server Fault answer

  • Create a DNS CNAME record to alias the old server's name to the new server computer

Any old UNCs, shortcuts, drive-mapping scripts, Group Policy Folder Redirection policies, etc, will "just work" with this method-- silently using the new server in place of the old server. I use this method in most file server migrations because it creates the least headache for users and, if done right, ends up being invisible to the end user.

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