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I currently have Windows Home Server 2003 installed on a machine that I am needing to use for other projects. The purpose of the Windows Home Server 2003 is solely for back up purposes. It is not used for anything else. The computer I have it installed on is an overkill. So I'm trying to figure out how I can transfer my WHS2003 to another machine. I have no problem reinstalling it and setting everything back up, however, I would greatly prefer to not lose my historical backups. Ideally I would put the WHS2003 on my private cloud so it can use resources as needed since it's used only to recover data and it's used only from 12am until 4am for backup purposes. Since only 5 machines back up to the WHS2003, it's not a big deal but preferred greatly to not lose the historical backups. One of the five machines connects through a VPN to back up. It's back up size is about 40GB and about 200MB each evening. You can see why I would probably prefer to save the backups and relink that offsite computer to the new Virtual WHS2003.

Any thoughts if this is even possible to migrate from WHS2003 to another WHS2003?

UPDATE: I did find a solution and have posted below.

I have confirmed that this works exactly how it's described. I would make notes of three items here that may not be clear.

  1. When you copy the backups. They are stored on (old) D:\DE\folders and it tells you to copy them to the new D:\folders (without the DE). This is correct.

  2. After running discovery, it will reconnect to the new server. If you have installed WHS2003 and still have the old box on the network, shut down this old server.

  3. You may be required to install the new connector software. First establish the connection to the WHS2003 server. Then \server and get the new software.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I found a potential solution to this. I'll have to give this a shot and see if it works. Hopefully!

http://wiki.wegotserved.com/index.php?title=Migrate_Shares_and_Backups_to_New_System

This link is no longer valid as they have removed Wiki from their site. Luckily Google's cache is awesome.

Backups are definitely a lot more tricky to recover. One missing file can render the entire database useless. Some of the following steps may not be necessary, but I'm including them to make absolutely certain that the backup database is fully recovered and working 100%.

Once your server is up and running, the first thing you will want to do is turn off the "Windows Home Server Backup Service". This is done by running "services.msc", or opening up "Administrative Tools" and launching "Services". The backup service should be towards the bottom. If you have the console open or have a computer already connected, it will immediately throw a fit because the backup service is off. Ignore this for now. We have turned it off to make sure it doesn't screw with the database while we're copying it over.

On each data partition, you're going to want to go back into the "DE" folder, but this time open up "folders". There should be a folder named "{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}" here. Copy that folder to "D:\folders\". Most of the files are going to be 4GiB sized. Do this for all the drives in the old storage pool.

Then open "\folders{378AE094-F4CA-4D9B-BDA5-649D6F738276}" on your old "D:\" drive. There should be a file called "whs.reg". DO NOT merge this file into the registry. You will want to edit this file. We are looking for a few entries. What we want specifically is everything between "[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Transport\Clients]" and "[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Transport\Server]". This is the registry information for each client connected to the server. Either copy this to a new file (like backups.reg), or delete everything else but these and the first line ("Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00").

Once you've run this modified reg file, and merged it into the registry, it will complete the restore of the previous backups, and all the associated, attached computers. The last step is to restart the service, but I would recommend restarting the computer at this point. Once it's done restarting, you will want to run the backup repair wizard to ensure that the backup database is completely intact. You will also probably have to run "C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\Discovery.exe" on all your client computers now.

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I did want to confirm that this option did work successfully (multiple times now) –  kobaltz Sep 28 '11 at 4:59

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