windows backup (ntbackup)

Microsoft Windows server 2003 enterprise
October 7, 2009 at 17:57:16
Specs: Windows
Hi,
I was wondering if the Windows ntbackup.exe was capable of doing a, kinda like a bare metal restore of a system state backup. Pretty much what i mean is that, i want to backup the system state of my current machine and be able to restore it to another machine with the same OS but with different hardware configurations. Just wondering if ntbackup would let me do this.
Thanks



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#1
October 7, 2009 at 18:08:06
That is what it is for. You do have to install the OS though. It is not an image.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#2
October 8, 2009 at 08:31:55
Pretty much what i mean is that, i want to backup the system state of my current machine and be able to restore it to another machine with the same OS but with different hardware configurations. Just wondering if ntbackup would let me do this.

You could do this but you'll have issues since you're moving from one hardware platform to another. Yes, you could remove all hardware in device manager and "find" all the new stuff but your system will still have issues.

This is not what ntbackup was intended for. It was intended for doing a restore to identical hardware. I would highly recommend you don't try this if it's an important production server because I can promise you, you'll regret it.

If you want to move a server onto newer, better hardware you need to port it over the slow tedious way. Which is to say, build your new server, install the OS on it, then install the software you wish to move from old to new server and then port the data for that software over.

It's slower but if you have the time to lab it out, you can go through as many iterations as you have to (documenting the steps very carefully) until you can successfully move your programs, and their associated data, over to the new platform.

I've done this successfully several times in the past with database applications and never regretted spending the time and effort to do it right.

I've known a few people who've tried to use the shortcut method you mentioned and had nothing but trouble until they did it my way.

Oh, one thing you need to keep in mind, no matter what you do, leave your original server intact as a backup. If you do, you can always bring it back up and use it if you have to. If you wipe it and something messes up...........


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#3
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#4
October 8, 2009 at 13:40:54
You should actually read the articles jefro. The following is a direct quote cut and pasted from your first link - 2nd or 3d paragraph into the article.:


Microsoft does not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration.
Microsoft will only provide commercially reasonable efforts to support this process. Even if the source and destination computers appear to be identical makes and models, there may be driver, hardware, or firmware differences between the source and destination computers.

Notice how the bolded sentence upholds what I already said in my previous post (ie: that's not what ntbackup is intended for) and that it's from Microsoft themselves.



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#5
October 8, 2009 at 13:59:51
And yet they wrote the article on how to do it???

And other people use it all the time.

The only other choice is to load OS and every app and every setting by hand.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#6
October 8, 2009 at 15:35:30
Jefro I think you are confusing sysprep with system state. NO ONE restores system states to different machines. Unless they like turning their computers into boat anchors.

jaysunn what you desire is called a disk image. This is where you clone the drive to a file you burn to bootable dvd or store on a different disk in the system. To restore you reimage the drive back to when you did the original image.


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#7
October 8, 2009 at 15:59:51
ya... i was just trying to look for an easier and cheaper route... (which probably isn't the best way to do this kind of thing ><) i guess i can't with ntbackup, lol thanks for the heads up

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#8
October 8, 2009 at 16:02:17
I am not confusing anything.

If you follow the instructions microsoft wrote ntbackup will work.

Their page labled "How to move a Windows installation to different hardware" ought to be easy enough.

You do have options though. There are other backup plans that can move to different hardware.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#9
October 9, 2009 at 05:42:42
Yes, MS wrote an article on how to do it....but that portion of said article that I posted and bolded says quite clearly in plain English (and I quote again)

"Microsoft does not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration."

What part of "does not support" are you not understanding and what does that statement in and of itself say to you?

To me it says they're saying, "Go ahead and give it a try, but don't expect it to work and don't call us when it doesn't because we won't help you as we don't support this."

If you follow the instructions microsoft wrote ntbackup will work.

Yes, ntbackup will restore to another machine because the backups aren't machine specific and ntbackup only cares that the OS you're restoring to is the same OS you backed up.

That's not the issue or the point though. The issue is when you try to move it from one hardware platform to another you're going to have no end of trouble with that server.

I appreciate you're trying to help the OP, we all are. But I've actually tried this a couple of times without any real success and that's why I advised against it.



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#10
October 9, 2009 at 07:47:41
"Yes, ntbackup will restore to another machine because the backups aren't machine specific and ntbackup only cares that the OS you're restoring to is the same OS you backed up."

"That's not the issue or the point though. The issue is when you try to move it from one hardware platform to another you're going to have no end of trouble with that server."

Your telling me. I had the same problem a while back with imaging an Exchange Server to unlike hard ware. The system state backups only seem to work if you have the same hardware because Windows will blue screen when trying to load the drivers for the other systems hardware and will not boot up.

If you find the solution to this I would love to know.


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#11
October 9, 2009 at 13:19:31
I have used this in the 2003 server class and it worked so go figure. A course teaching this stuff.. The exchange server is also noted in other technet issues as to other problems.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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