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How I cloned my DC and Moved it to new hardware by briansdell
Posted: 4 Mar 04

Procedures for moving Win2000
Installation to new hardware!

I was recently faced with the problem of moving any existing Win2000 domain controller to a new hardware platform. The only reason for the move was that the current hardware was failing. After a search MicrosoftÆs Knowledge base and posting on the chat boards it did not appear that anyone had a straight forward process for making such a move.

The following is a step by step explanation on how I accomplished the move, with little or no down time for the users. Total time needed to complete the process was about 4 hours.


ò    Dell PowerEdge 2300 (Old system)
ò    Dell PowerEdge 2600 (New System)


ò    Win2000
ò    Active Directory installed
ò    System running as Primary Domain Controller
ò    Veritas BackupEx


ò    Both servers must have the same type of tape drives used for backups
ò    New and Old server must have the same name
ò    New server should not be connect to the network until process in completed


1.    Configure your hard drives, Example: my old server contained six 9gig HDÆs split into two volumes. The first being the (C:\drive) and labeled system disk made up of three 9gig drives configured raid 5. The second being (D:\drive) and labeled Benson made of three 9gig drives also raid 5.

The new servers drives consisted of six 36gig HDÆs split into two volumes. The first being the (C:\drive) and labeled system disk made up of three 36gig drives configured raid 5. The second being (D:\drive) and labeled Benson made of three 36gig drives also raid 5.

2.    Prep your two volumes then install Win2000 server, make sure that you name the server the same as the old one. Do not install active directory just a basic install of windows 2000 will do.

3.    Next install your backup software in my case I use Veritas,

4.    On the old server run a backup make sure you backup the whole server including system state.

5.    Re-boot the new server when Win2000 starts to load press F8, from the menu choose Director restore mode and the server with start up in safe mode.

6.    Using the backup tape that you just make in step 4, inventory and catalog the tape on the new server. Once the catalog process in completed you can begin the restore process.

7.    In Varitas choose restore, you should then choose to restore all drives including the system state. I also selected the following options listed below to take place during the installation. Then start the restore process.

ò    Restore over existing Files
ò    Merge the existing hardware configuration and registry services with the data to be restored
ò    Restore junction points, files and directories from backup Media

8.    The restore process could take several hours depending on the amount of data being restored.  During this time you should make sure you have the device drivers for the new server handy either on CD or Floppy as you might need then during the reboot.

9.    When the restore is complete you should be asked to reboot if not shut down the server and restart it, letting it boot up normally. As the new server boots up windows should start to find new hardware and begin to install drivers for that hardware. You might be asked for the drivers CD or floppy during this process. This process may be slow in my case it took about ten minutes to complete the boot process.

10.     When windows is done booting from step 9 shutdown and restart again this time during the boot process you may see error messages that one or more services did not start. In my case it was the Veritas services, during the restore process the registry changes prevent Veritas from starting you can ignore this for the time being.

11.    Also during the boot process you will notice that Win2000 seems to get stuck at Preparing Network Connections. This is normal as the servers active director is attempting to connect to the other servers but canÆt. You should not be plugged into the network yet. After what seems to be forever but is more like 15 minutes Windows with boot to the login screen.

12.    Login as administrator and verify the following;

ò    Any programs that were installed on the old server are working on the new one. In my case two of my programs stopped working both were dependent on services that start during the boot process. I un-installed both programs via add and remove programs then re-installed them both then worked fine.
ò    Verify that the syvol information on the new server matches the syvol from the old if not make the needed corrections.
ò    Next verify that your NIC card is configured properly
ò    When configuring the new NIC card after you may receive the following error: ôThe IP Address you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter. Adapter is hidden from the network and Dial-up connections folder because it is not physically in the computer.ö To resolve this issue use article Q269155 from Microsoft Knowledge Base.

13.    Shut down the new server completely and power it off.
14.    Run one final backup on the old server, I recommend a Friday night to ensure all work for the week is backed up.

15.    After the backup is completed on the old server disconnect the server from the network by removing the network cable. DO NOT shutdown the old server you might need to go back if the process fails or you may want to confirm configurations once the new server is running.

16.    Connect the new server to the network and then power on the server. It should boot faster this time and logon as the administrator. Clear the admin logs and permit the server to run for some time checking the logs from time to time for errors. In my case I was dealing with a domain controller I also had a secondary controller on the network. So during this time I checked to see that both were processing logon request and the replication was taking place.

17.    After an hour and in my case I had received no errors both servers had replicated and were processing logon request. It should be noted that I performed this process while two users were login to the network neither user reported any problems nor did they even realize that a change had taken place.

18.    Clear any messages from the admin logs and reboot the new server one more time and you should be in business.

NOTE: I used Thursdays tape to build the server and restore active directory, as in my case I had to restore some data files from work that was done on Friday prior to changing the servers. You may need to restore some data files from the last backup on the old server; however you should not restore any operating systems or active director from this point on.


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