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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, To R2 or not to R2... in Technical; Hi all, Have two DC's, one 2003 and one plain 2008. The 2003 holds the roles, but with the end ...
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    Koldov's Avatar
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    To R2 or not to R2...

    Hi all,

    Have two DC's, one 2003 and one plain 2008. The 2003 holds the roles, but with the end of all kinds of support happening for 2003 and XP we need to move up a bit.

    I'm not moving to 2012 as I'm on my own (with minimal experience and nobody to back me up if it goes wrong) and thinking that might be too much of a culture shock anyway. I'm hoping R2 will just be a more feature filled version of the 2008 server I have now and I'm ok (ish) with that.

    Can anyone give me a guide (if needed) for an inplace upgrade or anything I should watch out for, as I cannot see myself being able to do a full fresh install. Any reasons I shouldn't do this etc...

    Is there an upgrade disk or is it a full R2 disk that can just upgrade 2008?

    Kol.

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    A fresh install is usually *easier* than an upgrade !
    Less to go wrong. Less to debug.

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    A fresh install is usually *easier* than an upgrade !
    Less to go wrong. Less to debug.
    Yeah, I guess. Being a bit naive probably, just hoping it would be like an upgrade/service pack affair, so I could chuck a disk in and after a reboot have the same old server with a few more whistles and bells...

    I mean it doesn't hold much, it's a DC, does DNS, print server and holds a massive amount of user data (and although it could be fully backed up (needs a totally clean local disc, not networked for 2008?)), seems a bit of a faff. It's only a couple of years old though I think, so isn't too full of cr*p to go wrong.

    Kol.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    I'd say A New Install, if you back data up make sure you backup the permissions - or make sure you know what they are supposed to be set too.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    R2 is 64bit only, so if your 2008 install is 32bit then it's a reinstall only I'm afraid - can't be upgraded

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjitservices View Post
    I'd say A New Install, if you back data up make sure you backup the permissions - or make sure you know what they are supposed to be set too.
    OK, thanks. Not too sure about those. There are quite a few shared folders and I don't know a quick way to tell who has permissions for what! Plus I am half way through migrating home folders from the 2003 to 2008 server.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    R2 is 64bit only, so if your 2008 install is 32bit then it's a reinstall only I'm afraid - can't be upgraded
    Yeah, it's 64 so no worries there

    Kol.

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    Duke5A's Avatar
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    I'm going to assume you've got your shares on a separate volume from the OS drive. File level permissions will stay intact and you can export all of the shares from the registry and re-import them once you have 2008 R2 up and running. I had to do this a number of years ago when a Windows NAS took a dump.

    Saving and restoring existing Windows shares

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    Sounds like your making more work for yourself by trying to be lazy.

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apeman View Post
    Sounds like your making more work for yourself by trying to be lazy.
    Is this directed at me?

    If so, maybe you could you please elaborate on the steps involved in a fresh installation versus an upgrade, including decomissioning, installation time, recomissioning, rebuilding it's roles such as DNS, DC, print server (including reinstalling drivers etc), data store shares including exporting registry keys for permissions (as above) and I'm sure loads of stuff I've forgotten or don't even know about!

    As I have never installed a server from scratch, I'm sure I mentioned that I'm a bit reticent to do so due to lack of experience. Obviously this stuff is easy for experienced technicians, but I'm not one of those and I'd like to keep opportunities for mucking up to a minimum. In fact I'm quite happy with what we have, it works fine for what we need it for and if my hand wasn't being forced I wouldn't be doing any upgrade at all.

    However, although I do know that fresh installs are 'best practice' I'm not confident taking down a server and completely reinstalling it. This is why I posted here to get some constructive replies, help and advice on whether an upgrade is possible and if there are any major reasons why it shouldn't be done.

    Kol.

  10. Thanks to Koldov from:

    mac_shinobi (19th July 2013)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    I would be interested if someone could post back with a reasonable guide from start ( what to backup whether permissions / shares and how to backup said items ) to doing the re-install once you have done everything you need to before re-installing and then also the steps to get it re-installed and if there are any gotcha's to watch out for and how to do the re-install in what process / order etc )
    @Arthur or anyone else
    @Koldov - Am in the same boat as you with regards to not having done much in the sense of re building a server etc so I too would like to know how it is done.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koldov View Post
    As I have never installed a server from scratch, I'm sure I mentioned that I'm a bit reticent to do so due to lack of experience. Obviously this stuff is easy for experienced technicians, but I'm not one of those and I'd like to keep opportunities for mucking up to a minimum. In fact I'm quite happy with what we have, it works fine for what we need it for and if my hand wasn't being forced I wouldn't be doing any upgrade at all.

    Kol.
    Although, I wouldn't advice "experimenting" with a production server - especially if it's the schools sole server, I can understand why you'd be a bit reticent - I will say this, you'll never get the experience until you actually do it! (Something I'm very found of reminding the techs here).

    Before doing anything, build a couple of virtual machines, set up test DC and experiment. See what happens when you do a direct upgrade, try and work out the steps to doing a fresh install or a migration. Once you've seen it working in a test environment you'd be much more confident in which way to go and how to do it on the live environment.

    As for instructions, there are some old threads around here. I'm sure I posted to one or two in the past.

  13. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    mac_shinobi (19th July 2013)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put in 2008 Server now as this is essentially 'Vista Server', with 2008 R2 being 'Win 7 Server'.

    You could argue if you waited a little longer, you could jump straight to 2012 R2 at the end of this year, which should (in theory) be pretty solid and give admins the tools they need.

    As others have stated 2008 R2 is 64Bit only and although it's a long process, it's one many admins end up doing or buying in support if they can't do it on their own. There's no shame in doing this, everyone starts off somewhere. 2003 Server is being retired next year along with XP, so you still have some time to play with yet

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    mac_shinobi (19th July 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    As for instructions, there are some old threads around here. I'm sure I posted to one or two in the past.
    Any chance you could find and post the URL's / links to said threads so we know which ones you are talking about / referring to

    Thanks @tmcd35

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Although, I wouldn't advice "experimenting" with a production server - especially if it's the schools sole server, I can understand why you'd be a bit reticent - I will say this, you'll never get the experience until you actually do it! (Something I'm very found of reminding the techs here).

    Before doing anything, build a couple of virtual machines, set up test DC and experiment. See what happens when you do a direct upgrade, try and work out the steps to doing a fresh install or a migration. Once you've seen it working in a test environment you'd be much more confident in which way to go and how to do it on the live environment.

    As for instructions, there are some old threads around here. I'm sure I posted to one or two in the past.
    I have no experience with VM's and no spare machines to run them on and no time really to deal with that learning curve before I am forced to do the upgrade. School finishes Tuesday next week and I am planning to start the upgrade on the Wednesday as I won't have access to them for most of the holiday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I wouldn't put in 2008 Server now as this is essentially 'Vista Server', with 2008 R2 being 'Win 7 Server'.

    You could argue if you waited a little longer, you could jump straight to 2012 R2 at the end of this year, which should (in theory) be pretty solid and give admins the tools they need.

    As others have stated 2008 R2 is 64Bit only and although it's a long process, it's one many admins end up doing or buying in support if they can't do it on their own. There's no shame in doing this, everyone starts off somewhere. 2003 Server is being retired next year along with XP, so you still have some time to play with yet
    Yeah I've heard that 08 is based on Vista and R2 is based on 7, but a Vista to a 7 upgrade is viable also. Anyhow, the original post is that we have 08 already and I'm hoping that I can just upgrade it to R2 in the first instance with a minimum of fuss, down-time and stress, considering I have minimum time to do this and a million other jobs over just a few days in the summer.

    Thing is, my hand has been forced a little. Our other DC that runs SIMS is 2003 and support for this ends after this summer not next year in line with Microsoft. Unfortunately I have been a little late in finding this information out so am trying to do this as quickly and easily as possible due to the now necessary admin PC upgrades and all the other work moving SIMS over will cause...

    Plus there may be no shame in sourcing outside help, but if I can possibly do it then that is a bonus. It's all relative, let's face it I am employed to be the tech (so I should be trying to accomplish this if at all feasible) and also due to various reasons there are as always budget constaints.

    Kol.
    Last edited by Koldov; 19th July 2013 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Extra info...

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    Why do you want to upgrade the 2008 box?? as you said the 2003 box is your problem.

    Like everyone else has said an upgrade is not advised especially if your just hopping for a few features.

    You do realise there will be down time during the upgrade?? this could be a good couple of hours depending on hardware, its not just a windows update. If this is your only DNS, print server and primary file server you will have a lot of issues/complaints and make your network pretty much unusable.

    As you didn't install either server you don't know how either of them were setup (each admin has there own way of doing things) and there could be a number tweaks or patches that have been made to fix problems before your time, these may catch you out during the upgrade. This is why good documentation is key.

    You won't find many good guide on upgrades out there as everyones network is so different and everyone will have different issues to deal with so following there guide could cause serious issues for you.

    If i were you i would sit down plan what you want to do and what you want the outcome to be don't just jump in.

    Download virtual box on your pc or even take a classroom pc home if allowed and spend a few weeks over summer teaching yourself windows 2012 and active directory. Hint forget the gui in server 2012 and look into powershell, you can bring a new domain controller up in less than an hour with only about 10 commands.

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