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Image a server, then restore it!

Discussion in 'Software' started by Sparky, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ok, I’ve just inherited a server with a 3GB system partition, arrgh!! Looks like it was running NT originally and it has been upgraded.

    I can’t extend the partition as it is a dynamic disk.

    Basically I want to image the server rebuild it with a larger system partition. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    I can’t use BackupExec to back the server up as it uses up too much space on the C: drive by default. I think this because you can’t change the directory to where the .NET framework is installed although the program itself can be installed to another partition.

    I am looking at products such as Ghost and Acronis True image to see if I can image the server and then restore it. I am concerned that I may need to mess around with RAID controller drivers when trying to restore the image though!

    Any suggestions welcome! :biggrin
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    As far as I know Acronis True Image will be your best bet.

    But I am not sure how it will affect the Raid Controllers, you may be wise to ducument the settings or even better putting them on a disk just in case.
     
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  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah, this is a domain controller as well though so it has to get restored 100% :ohmy

    I may test the image on another server (we have a few in the office) so if I cant restore the image the the customers server at least they will be able to operate.
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    That would be a good idea, as it would be a pain in the arse if it didn't restore fully. Although I have never used Acronis (had no need) I have heard good things about it and that its very reliable.
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Downloaded Acronis True Image trial and now installing it on my test server. This might get me outta jail! :biggrin
     
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  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    fingers crossed dude 8)
     
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  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    At work I use symantec ghost 7.5. It works really well.
     
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  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cool, I have used Ghost before to deploy desktop images. This time I need to restore a server, I think I may need to include a RAID driver or something like that to get this to work. :blink
     
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  9. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    If you have another machine, why not load server onto it, join it to the domain hosted by the original server, promote it and then let AD propogate. You can then demote it, clean it and then do the reverse. AD is saved and there are no problems with different hardware.

    Tis a tad long winded but as a last resort !!!
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I did that at another site (same problem) however this server is also hosting Sage and a another DB app which is replicated to 6 other sites so to save all the hassle I need to put the server back the way it was but with more disk space.

    Thanks for the suggestion though! :biggrin
     
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  11. warrmr

    warrmr Byte Poster

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    or just use windows backup or what ever its called now. and use it to back up the sysvol folder. then restore it to another machine, then you have a backup domain controller.

    then do a clean install like you suguested.,
     
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  12. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Ahh Bugger
     
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  13. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Sparky,

    So what's your plan for business continuity with "...Sage and a another DB app which is replicated to 6 other sites..." during the downtime to image the server and restore it?
     
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  14. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Sparky,
    I have a file server that I upgraded from 240Gb Raid 5 to 1.5Tb Raid 5 config. I used Acronis True Image to back up the 20Gb system partition, then replaced the drives and then restored the system partition back onto the Raid 5 with Acronis. Didn't have to mess with raid contoller drivers or anything like that, it was as simple as backup then restore.

    HTH
    NB:)
     
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  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good question. :biggrin

    The “plan” so far is to try and take a full image of the server. This will be done overnight and I will try and restore the image before the start of the working day. If all goes to plan I will make my own server the live server and I will take the customers server offline.

    Then I will sleep for a few hours!

    Then I will test the image restore on the customers server, if there are any problems then I can take my time as the customer will still be using my server. Once I have figured out any potential problems I will take another image of the live server (my server) out of work hours and restore it to the customers server which will then have the new hard disks installed.

    Also I noticed that Acronis has disk clone utility that means I can could fire two hard disks into the RAID controller, mirror them and then clone the original partitions into the new drive.

    From Acronis

     
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  16. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cool, how did you restore the image? Did you need to make a bootable image of the server or use a boot disk to get things started?
     
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  17. Spilly

    Spilly Kilobyte Poster

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    As at @greenbrucelee
    said
    way to go!
     
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  18. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    If you install Acronis on to a machine you have the option of creating a boot cd/usb drive from the menu. Just create this and use it to boot from. In my case i booted from the usb drive and imaged it to an external caddy.

    HTH
    NB:)
     
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  19. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Sparky,

    Don't forget that the specifications of your server must identically match the specifications of the customer's server as in cpu, ram, hd, motherboard, and other components because you may run into issues such as driver mismatch all the way through to mismatching computer security ID. I would like to second AJ's advice.

    What if there are problems and your server is the one that need to remain as the "operational server" for an extended period of time? Will your server at least meet the performance of the other server?

     
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  20. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Unfortunately the server is fairly old so I won’t be able to match the hardware. My server is a higher spec so it will be able to handle the roles on the current server.

    I have recommended a new server to the customer but unfortunately there are no funds available so we are patching up the existing hardware. Potential for a complete domain upgrade next year though. :biggrin
     
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