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Windows Small Business Server 2003 Upgrade Best Practices

Preparing for Your Small Business Server Upgrade

To ensure a successful upgrade from the Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 server software or from Microsoft Small Business Server 2000, you should prepare your data, operating system, hardware, and network by completing the tasks discussed in the sections that follow.

Preparing your data

Protect your business critical and user data from loss or corruption by running a virus scan and performing a complete backup of your existing installation. To prepare your data, you should complete the following tasks before you begin your upgrade.

  • Perform a virus scan on all Windows Small Business Server drives and files. If possible, you should perform the virus scan the day or evening before you begin your upgrade.
    CautionCaution
    If you are running Small Business Server 2000, do not run the virus scan on the Exchange M: drive. A virus scan on this drive can corrupt the Exchange database. For more information, see "Backup and Recovery for Small Business Server 2000" at the Microsoft TechNet Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=12282).
  • Perform a full system backup including the System State data and Exchange. If you are running Windows Small Business Server 2003, see "Backing Up and Restoring Windows Small Business Server 2003" at the Microsoft Download Center Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=27140) for more information.
    CautionCaution
    If you are running Small Business Server 2000, do not back up the Exchange M: drive. Performing a backup on this drive can corrupt the Exchange database. For more information, see "Backup and Recovery for Small Business Server 2000" at the Microsoft TechNet Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=12282).
  • Verify that the backup ran successfully, and then test the integrity of the backup. To test the integrity of the backup, randomly select several files from your backup, restore them to an alternate location, and then confirm that the backup files are identical to the source files.

Preparing your operating system

Prepare to upgrade your system by installing all required updates and service packs. You must also determine if your existing server applications are compatible with the server upgrade software. To prepare your operating system, you should complete the following tasks before you begin your upgrade:

  • If you are upgrading from Small Business Server 2000, you should prepare your operating system for the upgrade by performing the following tasks:
    • Verify that Small Business Server 2000 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) is installed on your operating system.
    • To verify that your server is running Small Business Server 2000 with SP1, click Start, and then click Small Business Server Administrator Console. In the console tree, click Server Status (BackOffice Home). In the details pane, click About. The version information should read 2000 with Service Pack 1.
    • If you are not running Service Pack 1, you can install it from the Windows Small Business Server 2000 SP1 CD, which you can download or order from the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=16820.
  • Confirm that your existing server applications are compatible with the Windows Small Business Server upgrade software. For more information, see the Windows Server Catalog at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=4303).
  • Stop services for any non-Microsoft applications that are running on the server using the Local System account. If such applications are running as the Local System account, they may have a file lock on operating system files. The file lock will prevent Setup from upgrading your operating system.
    To determine if a non-Microsoft application is running as the Local System account, open Services by clicking Start, then click Run, and type Services.msc. Check to see if any of these application services show Log On As set to Local System account. If these services are using the Local System account, stop the service, record the setting for Startup Type, and then set Startup Type to Disabled.
  • Turn off or disable any disk tools, such as real-time antivirus monitoring software or backup software with open file agents. If these are not turned off or disabled, they could interfere with the upgrade.

Preparing your hardware

Ensure that the hardware you are using is supported by the Windows Small Business Server upgrade software that you will be installing. You should also confirm that you are using the most current drivers for your hardware devices. To prepare your hardware, you should complete the following tasks before you begin your upgrade.

  • Verify that your computer hardware is compatible with the Windows Small Business Server hardware recommendations contained in the Windows Server Catalog. Following these recommendations will help you to achieve optimal performance from your upgrade. For more information on Windows Server Catalog hardware recommendations, see the Microsoft Web site at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=4303.
ImportantImportant
Verify that you have up-to-date drivers for your hardware devices and the latest system BIOS (basic input/output system). If you do not have the latest drivers or system BIOS, contact the device manufacturer for more information. In addition, if you have a hardware driver that is not supported, it is recommended that you contact your hardware manufacturer before you run the upgrade Setup.
  • Ensure that the hard disk on your server has the required amount of free space available to support the upgrade. Consult the documentation that accompanies the Windows Small Business Server upgrade software for hard-disk space requirements.
  • Prepare your hard disk by running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter.
    • To open Disk Cleanup, click Start, click Run, and then type Cleanmgr.exe.
    • To open Disk Defragmenter, click Start, click Run, and then type Dfrg.msc.

Preparing your network

It is recommended that you verify all connectivity requirements for the upgrade and that you ensure that your server is offline before you install the upgrade. To prepare your network, you should complete the following tasks before you begin your upgrade:

  • Determine whether there is new information for connecting to the Internet that you need to collect. To determine whether there is new information that you need to collect, consult the documentation that accompanies the Windows Small Business Server upgrade software for information about Internet connection requirements.
  • It is strongly recommended that you notify all users that they must log off and that they will lose their Internet connection during the server upgrade. If you are beginning the upgrade while users are still working on the network, request that users log off from the domain.
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