I'm tasked with moving an entire 930GB drive full of data from an old file server to a new one, and it needs to be done in a single weekend.

The old server runs 2008 R2 Standard and acts as a file server for our office. The new server will run 2012 Standard, (and before anybody brings it up, yes I know that it's all horribly outdated. I inherited this network when I started this new job, I can only work with what I'm given and at this time upgrading isn't an option.)

The new server is already configured with all of the roles and features it will need to do its' job, so I'm not worried about doing a full system migration or anything. My only concern is the data, and if possible the existing file shares and settings.

The old server is still in active use so I'm dealing with a time limit and can only do this entire process in a single weekend. I'd like to find the simplest way to do this. The new server will need to be deployed and ready within 48 hours of taking the old one down.

I have access to an external hard drive large enough to hold the entire drive that I'm planning to use for the transfer.

The network is on a workgroup, and there's no domain or active directory set up, (again, I inherited a mess. Upgrading everything is my next major goal.)


This is pretty off-topic, because it relates to simple file copying and setting up network shares.

It should be simple, and any gigabit network is going to be fine to transfer that data in far less than a weekend. Using an external drive is going to double your time and efforts, as its two copy operations, rather than one.

I would setup the new shares to reflect what the existing ones look like (permissions, names, etc), un-share the current folders after closing any open files and begin copying using xcopy or something that will carry the permissions of the files and folders.

Adjust your GPO to reflect the new share locations and that should do it.

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  • Ah, okay, thank you. I'll look into doing it via the network. – J.S. Sep 25 '17 at 15:23
  • Some people do an initial robocopy while the source is still operational/available, with /MIR /R:0 /W:0 to fail fast for any files that are open. On cutover, a final delta robocopy during to capture new/changed files. Robocopy performance can be improved using the /NODCOPY switch, but should be assessed. support.microsoft.com/KB/2646535 . Custom permissions will need to be re-done (workgroup), unless they are for well-known security identifiers like Builtin\Admistrators, Builtin\Users, Everyone, etc. – Greg Askew Sep 25 '17 at 16:00

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