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Preparing your system for an upgrade

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Preparing your system for an upgrade

This topic describes basic steps to take in preparing your server for an upgrade.

If you are upgrading to Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, or Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, on server cluster nodes, be sure to read Upgrading to Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition on Cluster Nodes.

Checking the system log for errors

Use Event Viewer to review the system log for recent or recurring errors that could cause problems during the upgrade. For information about Event Viewer, see Event Viewer overview, or Help for the operating system that you are running.

Backing up files

Before upgrading, it is recommended that you back up your current files, including anything containing configuration information, for example, the System State and the system and boot partitions. You can back up files to a variety of different media, such as a tape drive or the hard disk of another computer on the network.

Preparing mirror sets and other disk sets for upgrade (Windows NT 4.0 only)

With the disk management technologies in Windows NT 4.0, you could create volume sets, mirror sets, stripe sets, or stripe sets with parity, each with specific capabilities and limitations. By using dynamic disks, introduced with Windows 2000, you can take advantage of similar technologies, and with the Windows Server 2003 operating systems, you can also extend dynamic volumes without repartitioning or reformatting.

This transition from the technologies used in Windows NT 4.0 means that you must make certain choices before running Setup for Windows Server 2003. For important information about these choices, see Working with volume, mirror, or stripe sets or stripe sets with parity.

Disconnecting UPS devices

If you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to your target computer, disconnect the connecting serial cable before running Setup. Setup automatically attempts to detect devices connected to serial ports, and UPS equipment can cause problems with the detection process.

Reviewing hardware and software

When you start Setup for an upgrade, the first process it carries out is a check for compatible hardware and software on your computer. Setup displays a report before continuing. Use this report, along with information in Relnotes.htm (in the \Docs folder on the Setup CD), to find out whether you need to update your hardware, drivers, or software before upgrading.


  • If you use an Internet service provider (ISP), pay special attention to any recommendations about updating the ISP software necessary for your Internet connectivity.

For the most recent information on compatible hardware and software for products in the Windows Server 2003 family, click the appropriate links in Support resources. If you have hardware devices that do not use Plug and Play, see Taking an inventory of devices that do not use Plug and Play.

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