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Move domain controller to new hardware

By rlynch@lockhartcadillac. ·
Hello,
I have done some research online on moving server 2008 domain controller to new hardware. I get some conflicting answers and thought would post the question here as well. My domain controller running server 2008 needs to be moved to a new server. Old server is just not getting it done anyone and its pretty much maxed out. Its controlling a very small office with only 10 users. It?s the only server in the domain and even forest for that matter. It is setup with folder redirection, but besides that it is really just used as domain controller/file server. Is it possible to just use the server backup utility built into server 2008 to create a full system image, and then install that image on the new server. The hardware is similar but isn?t identical, so Im not sure if that?s the best route. No RAID, and only one hard drive. I know that I would probably have to install some drivers after putting the image on new hardware, but if that?s the only additional step that?s fine with me. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Not that easy

by Churdoo In reply to Move domain controller to ...

There are some backup software that "claim" that they can backup and restore onto different bare metal (see Paragon for example, though I've never tried this in production on a DC and I wouldn't want to if I didn't have to), but Windows Server backup I don't think is one of them. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

IMHO, the best way to change out your DC is the ole tried and true way ... bring up the second server / join it to your domain / promote it to DC / and then over the course of the next week or so, migrate/re-home file shares, printers, other services as applicable (DNS/DHCP/etc.). When all files and dependency on the old server is removed, test by turning off the old server for several days. If nothing hiccups after having the old server off, then bring the old server up again and demote it properly before retiring it for good.

Hope this helps
--C

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This might help

by Spitfire_Sysop In reply to Move domain controller to ...

I agree with Churdoo except I have a plan that might get your new server up with the old setup. Instead of starting from scratch try this:

FIRST: Make your backup to external media and set aside. The backup in 2008 is really fantastic but it won't like different hardware.

Second: When you have a good time to take the server down run a "sysprep /generalize" on the old server. This will reset most settings to factory default and you would have to restore from the backup to get this server back to it's original state.

Third: You can now turn the server off and copy an image of the drive to the new server.

Now when you start up the new server it will act like a brand new installation at first but you will have all of your data and structure from the old server still in place. Unfortunately the old server will also act like a new installation when you next start it up as well.

If you want to go through the AD replication process described by Churdoo after that you would need to start the old server up first, restore from your backup and then start up the new server and join it to the domain. This does add some extra steps but it may get you farther than a clean install.

NOTE: Unsupported Sysprep scenarios
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828287

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