I have a windows 2003 r2 server with lot of users, websites , sql server , DNS , How can i move this to a fresh windows 2003 r2 including NTFS permissions without manually creating users , websites , db etc., its independent server, not in a domain.


Your big problem here is going to be the user accounts and NTFS permissions. To be able to move these across to the new server as they are, the only real way to do this is through backup as many have stated.

SQL is a bit easier, as you can backup all your DB's seperatly and restore them to the new server. However if your SQL db's use windows user accounts for permissions, your again going to have a problem.

With IIS, this can again be done by a restore of the metabase, or you could use a tool like IIS Export to move your IIS settings across, you'll still need to move your files though.

Your not going to find a way to do this with a single tool. With a mix of different tools then you will be able to get most of the way there, but I think your going to have an issue with user accounts and permissions without using backup.


The pretty standard way would be backup the existing server and restore the backup to the new server.

If you want you can use a disk duplication utility like Ghost or Acronis, but this can be a little sketchy if hardware configuration is radically different, including RAID controller hardware.

  • I am not looking for disk clonning, i want to copy Users,FTP,Websites,DNS,SQL Server, NTFS permissions to new fresh installation – Priyan R Sep 5 '09 at 6:01
  • Why do you need a fresh install? Is it a hardware upgrade? If this is the case, just make a backup of the server and restore it on the new hardware, as suggested above. – MDMarra Sep 5 '09 at 6:09
  • Its not a hardware upgrade, the current installation has some unrepairable problems, So i am reinstalling the same machine it self, – Priyan R Sep 5 '09 at 6:27
  • If there are software problems that you cannot repair outside of a fresh install, then there isn't much you can do to bring everything over untouched. You can copy files easy enough, but without being willing to restore from a backup, you're probably going to need to do it by hand. How far back is your last good backup for the bad machine? Perhaps you can restore that and then do the changes by hand if you don't have an incremental? – MDMarra Sep 5 '09 at 6:50
  • 3
    Right, and that tool is called a backup. – MDMarra Sep 5 '09 at 13:02
  1. Do not give up cloning idea: there is (should be) a way to substitute all the hardware-specific drivers with universal ones, then clone to new hardware, then install proper drivers.

  2. Do you have AD? If not, convert your old server into DC, then connect new server as secondary DC. Be careful with SQL and IIS permissions: most likely they will be screwed after migration to domain.

  3. Consider installation of whatever-is-used-for-authentication-in-non-AD-domains (LDAP?) on the third computer just to synchronize users of two computers.

  • -1 for point #2. This is dangerous advice, which will effectively destroy a lot of the OP's configuration if it is followed. I don't wish to be rude but in cases like this, if you're not 100% sure that a process will work then please be very careful about suggesting it. – Rob Moir Jul 10 '10 at 23:59

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