Preparation for SBS SP1 -- Need advice

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Dave Hampson, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Dave Hampson

    Dave Hampson Guest

    Hello All,

    With SBS 2K3 SP1 on the way in a couple of months, I'm thinking of backing
    up all essential stuff on my home SBS server and starting over with a clean
    install, for a number of reasons. I wanted to make sure I was covering all
    my bases.

    We have 2 workstations and the server. The server runs Exchange w/POP3
    Connector for mail, and stores all of our files. I use OWA from the server,
    but we don't use any SQL stuff currently.

    First, here is what I want to save:

    Exchange Mailboxes
    User shared files (Includes all the pictures of our 9 month old. I lose
    these, and I won't need a server anymore. :) )
    Other files saved to the server for all users to access. Music and such.
    Profiles possibly, but keep reading.

    Here is my current setup:

    Dell PowerEdge 500SC
    2 16 GB SCSI drives
    Disk 1 has the Dell partition and one additional partition (C:)
    Disk 2 has 1 partition. (F:)
    1 80 GB IDE Drive
    2 Partitions (D: (50GB) and G: (30GB))
    1 CD Drive, not a burner
    512MB RAM
    1 El Cheapo Dell Tape Backup TRAVAN drive.

    I don't have a lot of free space left on any of the drives. In the process
    of reinstalling SBS, I'd like to swap in a huge IDE drive for the 80GB
    drive. The 80GB drive would migrate to my PC to store backups for the server
    if possible. The tapes I have for the drive aren't big enough to hold my
    backups anymore, and it needs a cleaning tape as well. I can't afford much
    more than one additional drive and the server only has one additional 3.5"
    bay for drives. (In other words, bigger SCSI drives are out and more than
    one additional drive is out)

    What I'd like to do is this:

    Drive Setup:

    2 16 GB SCSI drives as a mirrored pair using software mirroring with one
    partition just for SBS.
    1 300 GB (If possible) IDE drive with multiple partitions as follows:
    Partition 1 would hold Exchange Data Store.
    Partition 2 would hold Shared Files.
    Other partitions will be set up as recommended/necessary.


    I'd export the Exchange Mailboxes to PST files to reimport into the new
    Exchange setup.
    I'd backup the Shared files/Folders to restore to the new setup.
    Profiles I'm not sure of. I'd back them up, but if I reinstall SBS from
    scratch, I'd rather start off fresh with profiles. I'd probably redo the two
    workstations at the same time. I have all of the software I need to rebuild
    the workstations via the Action Pack.

    For backing up, I'd like to get a USB drive, or just copy the stuff to the
    80GB drive and the drives in my workstations temporarily while I reinstall
    SBS on the server and configure the new drive.

    I'm currently running on one NIC without ISA, but with ISA 2K4 I'd probably
    go back to using the firewall in the server and both NICs. I was having
    problems with my wife's OWA for her work not working behind ISA, but she
    doesn't use that anymore, and I'm pretty sure all my other apps will work
    fine behind ISA.

    Can anyone see anything I'm missing? This is a huge posting, and I
    appreciate any ideas that you all have.

    Dave Hampson, Apr 2, 2005
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  2. I also have a home setup, and did a reinstall in November due to
    hardware failure.
    Main reason I lost the tape backup, going to disk based backup over
    I have a much simpler setup using nightly backups to a Linux server.
    I don't use mirroring on this machine as it slows things down, and I
    can get the box up again quickly if required (tested this). I use a
    40 GB drive (data requirements reduced significantly from yours, but
    also because I use another storage server for music et al). 10GB for
    SBS c: drive (I have not really filled this up, but don't see that
    changing soon), 10 GB for Exchange (currently 2GB) and 20GB for the
    rest of the user's data etc (currently around 9GB).
    Yes this is what I did because it was a lot simpler as only a few
    Exchange users.
    Since they will need to rejoin your new domain I would agree with
    this. I did try and save profiles, but it was a mess, and I don't use
    roming profiles on the server anyhow, because the software on the
    machines are quite different, and I don't really want people logging
    into this machine - a blank profile puts people like my sisters off,
    but people who know what they are doing will continue.
    I have a Linux machine with SAMBA on it I used for this purpose - I
    also do the SBS nightly backup to this machine.
    I hate ISA with a vengeance so don't use it.

    Andrew Hodgson, Apr 2, 2005
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  3. Dave,
    Sounds good, I would reccomend you take a look at EXMERGE you can download
    it from the following link

    I know there is only a couple of mailboxes but it also a very good tool for
    backing up those mailboxes to PST on a regular basis it can even be scripted
    for example to backup your mailboxes every evening or so to PST on your
    workstations HDD.

    You might be able to save yourself some cash by putting together your own
    external USB drive, you simply purchase an ordinary IDE hard drive of
    whatever capacity you want and you can buy a kit which is basically a box
    and an IDE to USB connector and power supply.

    If you really want to save money you can buy the IDE to USB connector and
    power supply without the box, which is a good addition to the toolkit anyway
    but obviously you probably would'nt run an external drive without some kind
    of chassis for a long period of time.

    However it might be just the thing to allow you to connect we'll say a 240GB
    or 300GB IDE drive via USB. I think the following approach could be useful.

    1) Use an IDE to USB adaptor similar to the one above, connect your new IDE
    hard drive to the connector / usb to server

    2) You would be able to make a complete copy of all your shared files and
    photos etc data ,
    b) Use exmerge to export all the mailboxes to PST and set the destination to
    your new (external) drive
    c) I would also for safety sake make an offline copy of exchange to the new
    To make an offline backup of Exchange, you need to go to Start,
    Adminstrative Tools, Services and stop the Microsoft Exchange System
    Attendant Service
    This will allow you to copy the complete Mailbox store to the external
    disk, default directory to copy is C:\program files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA

    NOTE : If you have a full copy of this directory it is possible to get all
    the mails back, however this would be a last resort and I would still export
    to PST using Exmerge or Outlook.
    Just remember to restart the Exchange Services that are stopped
    when you are finished copying, Microsoft Exchange System Attendant,
    Microsoft Exchange Information Store, MTA Stacks.

    3) Next, replace the 80GB with the large new IDE drive and before you
    continue to wipe your 2 16gb partitions you can verify that the removed 80GB
    is readable from one of your workstations.

    So basically before you continue you have at least 2 hard drive backups (I'd
    still take a backup to tape if you can just in case) and maybe because the
    photos are so important make sure you can copy them from the connected 80GB
    to the Workstation's hard disk - I know you probably wont have space to
    duplicate them onto the workstation however I always feel better if I take
    maybe a dozen or so files from different directories and make sure they copy
    just to validate you can read files from the drive.

    4) To get the software mirroring you mentioned you will need to convert both
    of the 16GB disks to Dynamic, After you have reinstalled SBS you can convert
    from Basic to Dynamic by Right Clicking my computer and then choosing Manage
    Computer and then Disk Management.

    Should be ok to do Dynamic however I would do a good search on these groups
    and on google to make sure no one has had an issue using it.

    Hope this helps

    Regards Mark (The Irish MCT)
    Mark Mulvany [An MCT as Eire], Apr 2, 2005
  4. Dave Hampson

    Dave Hampson Guest


    Thanks for the reply. Many good suggestions in there. I'll think on those. I
    have a couple of months to get this together, but I don't want to goof it

    Dave Hampson, Apr 3, 2005
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