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Create a migration answer file for Windows SBS 2008 migration

Updated: November 12, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

An answer file serves the following purposes when you are installing Windows SBS 2008:

  • Starts the migration process during the installation of Windows SBS 2008.

    noteNote
    You must use an answer file if you are migrating to Windows SBS 2008. You can also use an answer file for an unattended installation.

  • Provides information that is automatically entered into the Windows SBS 2008 installation pages.

  • Helps value-add professionals build servers before taking them to the customer site for final configuration.

    noteNote
    You must be at the customer site to install Windows SBS 2008 in Migration Mode and to finish the Getting Started tasks.

ImportantImportant
To fully automate an installation in migration mode on a server that has a preinstalled operating system, you must also use the OOBE.xml answer file for the operating system phase of the installation.

To fully automate a clean installation in migration mode, you must also use the autounattend.xml answer file. When you use autounattend.xml, you must specify the C drive. Windows SBS 2008 can be installed successfully only on the C drive. For information about creating an answer file by using the Automated Installation Kit (AIK), see “Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008” at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=115680).

To create a migration answer file, complete the following steps:

  1. Collect the information for the migration answer file.

  2. Run the Answer File Tool.

  3. Copy the migration answer file to the root partition of a USB flash drive or other removable media.

Step 1. Collect the information for the migration answer file

The following tables list the information that you need for the answer file.

Clock and time zone settings

Information to provide Description

Clock and time zone settings

If you choose to manually set the clock and time zone, the migration stops, and then it prompts you to set the clock and time zone.

If you choose to automatically set the time zone, you must manually set the clock in the server BIOS to the correct time. The system clock cannot be set automatically by using the answer file.

Company information

Information to provide Description

Company information (optional)

Name and address of the business. This information is used for settings on your server and is not sent to Microsoft.

You can edit the company information later. To edit it, in the Windows SBS Console, click the Help list menu, and then click Edit Company Information.

Certificate authority name (optional)

The name of the certificate authority that you want to use. If you leave this field blank, Windows SBS 2008 uses the internal domain name and the server name (syntax: <InternalDomainName>-<Windows SBS 2008 ServerName>) to generate a self-signed certificate (for example, Contoso-NewServer).

Source Server (existing) information

Information to provide Description

Domain administrator account name

The user account name of a domain administrator in the existing domain.

ImportantImportant
This account must be a member of the Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins, and Schema Admins groups. However, the default security group for the account cannot be one of these three groups.

noteNote
It is recommended that you create a new administrator account on the Source Server for migration instead of using the built-in Administrator account.

Password

The password that corresponds to the domain administrator account name.

noteNote
The domain administrator account password cannot be blank. If it is, you must either change the password for migration or create a new domain administrator account that has a password.

Source Server name

The name of the server from which you are migrating settings and data.

Source domain name

The full DNS name of your organization's internal domain—for example, contoso.local.

Source Server IP address

The IP address that is assigned to the Source Server.

Default gateway

The IP address that is assigned to the router on your network.

DHCP is running on the Source Server

Select this box if the DHCP service is running on the Source Server. It is recommended that you run the DHCP service on the Destination Server. If you are running the DHCP service on the Source Server, it is moved automatically for you. If the DHCP service is running on another server or device, you must manually disable it on that server or device.

noteNote
The domain administrator user name and password that you supply in the answer file are also set as the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password. If for any reason you need to log on to the server in DSRM, you must use the same user name and password that you specified during migration. These passwords do not synchronize, so if you change the password for your administrator account on Windows SBS 2008, you must continue to use the old password to log on to the server in DSRM.

Destination Server information

Information to provide Description

Destination Server name

The name of the server to which you are migrating. You will install Windows SBS 2008 on this server. The Source Server name and the Destination Server name must be different.

Destination Server IP address

The IP address that you want to assign to the Destination Server.

Step 2. Run the Answer File Tool

Next, run the Answer File Tool to create the migration answer file.

noteNote
To run the Answer File Tool, you must have .NET Framework 2.0 or later installed on the computer that you are using to create the answer file. To download and install .NET Framework 2.0, see the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=81886).

To create the migration answer file

  1. On a client computer or a server, insert Windows SBS 2008 DVD1, navigate to the Tools folders, and then double-click SBSAfg.exe. The Answer File Tool opens.

  2. Click Migration from existing server (Join existing domain).

  3. Type the information that you collected in Step 1.

  4. Save the answer file as sbsanswerfile.xml.

Step 3. Copy the migration answer file to removable media

ImportantImportant
You cannot start the migration without completing this step.

Copy the migration answer file to the root partition of a USB flash drive or other removable media. Then, insert it into a USB port on the Destination Server before you start migrating to Windows SBS 2008. If the Windows SBS 2008 installation wizard detects a migration answer file, the migration starts automatically.

ImportantImportant
The answer file contains logon and password information that can be used to log on to your server. To help protect your server, when you finish migrating to Windows SBS 2008, delete the answer file.

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