How to Replace a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

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Summary

This Knowledgebase article provides the step-by-step procedure necessary to replace a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter.


More Information

Initial Assumptions

  • The Operating System is installed on the C:\ drive
  • Neverfail is installed on the C:\ drive
  • Neverfail is installed in a LAN environment
  • The Secondary server will be replaced
  • The replacement server meets the documented prerequisites for Neverfail installation (for example, ACPI compliance with the remaining server). See the Neverfail Heartbeat Installation Guide for more information about hardware requirements for Secondary and Tertiary servers.

Before You Begin

  1. Read this entire article before performing any steps.
  2. Identify the server that needs to be replaced. The identity of this server is referred to as TO_BE_REPLACED throughout this document.
  3. Identify the active server.  The identity of this server is referred to as TO_BE_BACKEDUP throughout this document.
  4. Open the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client, click Data and select the File Filters tab. Make a note (in a file or on a piece of paper) of all replication filters.

Procedure

On the Active Server:

  1. Shutdown Neverfail Heartbeat.
  2. Set the Neverfail Server R2 service to Manual using the Windows Service Control Manager.
  3. Write down the identity of this server.
  4. Open the Neverfail Heartbeat Configure Server wizard.
    1. Select the Machine tab.
    2. Change the Physical Hardware Identity of the server scheduled for replacement to TO_BE_REPLACED (defined above).

      WARNING: Do not change the Server Identity in any situation other than this.
    3. Change the Current Role to Passive .

      Note: This step applies only to Neverfail Heartbeat v5.5.1 and Prior
    4. Click Finish .
  5. Launch the Windows Server Backup utility.
    1. Start the Backup Once action.
    2. Select Different Options .
    3. In the next screen, select Custom and press Next .
    4. Click Add Items and select System State and any other drives that contain protected application critical program files or any other application that is required to be present on the replacement server. Click OK and then click Next .
    5. Select the destination of the backup using a local location or directly on the Secondary or on other server. If the destination is remote, a Share or Administrative Share location for that server must be provided.
    6. Before starting the backup you may want to exclude large files located on the drives selected (see step d, above) to reduce the size of the backup files.

      Note: Exchange or SQL databases or any other data that is included in the Neverfail filter set is not required to be cloned because Neverfail automatically synchronizes them.
    7. Use the following procedure to exclude data:
      1. Navigate to Start > Run , enter Regedit , and click OK .

        IMPORTANT: Always create a backup before modifying the registry.
      2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToSnapshot
      3. Create a new multi-string value (Exclusion) and add to it all the folders and files that should be excluded from the backup (press Enter after each excluded folder or file).

        Note : The recursive exclusion syntax for all files under a folder is: <FolderPath>\* /s. You may specify files directly without wildcards. See the Microsoft knowledgebase article linked below for the syntax for the various exclusion options. The best practice when working with registry long data values is to limit them to 300 characters so please create additional multi-string values to accommodate this.
    8. After the backup is complete, run the Neverfail Heartbeat Configure Server wizard again.
    9. Select the Machine tab.
    10. Change Physical Hardware Identity to TO_BE_BACKEDUP (defined above).
    11. Change the Current Role to Active .

      Note: This step applies only to Neverfail Heartbeat v5.5.1 and Prior
    12. Click Finish .
  6. In the task bar, right click the Neverfail Heartbeat Server icon and select Start Neverfail Heartbeat .
  7. Log into the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client. Select the option to Stop replication but leave the Protected Application running .
  8. Set the Neverfail Server R2 service to Automatic using the Windows Service Control Manager.

On the New Server (the Replacement):

  1. Copy the backup file from the active server.
  2. Recover the files and folders:
    1. Start Windows Server Backup. Go to Action -> Recover .
    2. Select A backup stored on another location , click Next .
    3. Select Remote shared folder , click Next .
    4. Type the path for the backup (for example, \\localhost\D$ ). Click Next .
    5. Check that the correct backup is selected and click next
    6. Select files and folders, click Next .
    7. Select the first disk the needs to be recovered (for example, Local disk C: ) and click Next .
    8. Select another location and browse to the corresponding drive; select to overwrite the existing versions with the recovered versions ; select Restore Access Control list (ACL) permissions to the file or folder being recovered and click Next .
    9. Review the backup recovery items and click Recover .

      Note: Perform steps a.-i. For any additional drives that must be restored.
  3. Restore the System State
    1. Perform steps a.-e. from Step 2.
    2. Select System State and click Next .
    3. Select Original location , click Next and acknowledge the warnings. A window displays the message:

      The specified backup is of a different server than the current one. We do not recommend performing a system state recovery with the backup to an alternate server because the server might become unusable. Are you sure you want to use this backup for recovering the current server? .
    4. Click OK . Another window displays the message:

      If you perform a system state recovery from a backup on a remote shared folder, if there are network connection issues during the operation, the computer that you are recovering may become unusable. Instead, if possible, copy the backup to the local computer and then perform the recovery. Do you want to continue?”
    5. Click OK if the conditions are met. Then click Next .
    6. Clear the Automatically reboot the server check box and click Recover .
  4. When prompted for a restart, unplug all network cables and restart the server.
  5. Allow Plug and Play to continue and restart the server if prompted.
  6. In the Properties window of each network card, verify that the IP address settings are correct and the Neverfail Heartbeat Packet Filter is enabled for the Public network connection and disabled for all channel connections. It may be necessary to remove ghost NICs. If ghost NICs are found, open a command prompt and run the following commands:
    1. set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    2. devmgmt.msc
    3. in the device manager snap-in click View -> Show hidden devices
    4. Uninstall all ghost NICSs without deleting driver software for those devices.
  7. On the Machine tab of the Neverfail Heartbeat Configure Server wizard, verify that the Identity and Active Server are configured correctly.
  8. On the Public tab of the Neverfail Heartbeat Configure Server wizard, verify that the Public IP is correct.
  9. Use the route print command to check that all WAN routes are correctly configured.

    Note: It may be necessary to re-authenticate Windows.
  10. When replacing a Primary server and using Neverfail Heartbeat v5.5.[n] or earlier, follow these steps:
    (These steps do not apply to Neverfail Heartbeat V6.0 and more recent.)
    1. Follow the instructions in Knowledgebase Article #1255 How to request a license key for Neverfail Heartbeat using SCOPE Data Collector Service V4.1 and later to obtain a new license key .
    2. Select the License tab in the Configure Server wizard and replace the old license with the new one.
    3. Click Finish .
  11. Reconnect the Public and Channel cables.
  12. In the task bar, right click the Neverfail Heartbeat Server icon and select Start Neverfail Heartbeat .
  13. Log into the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client and start replication.
  14. Set the Neverfail Server R2 service to Automatic using the Windows Service Control Manager.


Applies To

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter


Related Information

Microsoft knowledgebase article — Excluding Files from Shadow Copies
Knowledgebase Article #1816
— How to Replace a Windows 2000 Server
Knowledgebase Article #851
— How to Replace a Windows 2003 Server
Knowledgebase Article #1774
— How to Replace a Windows 2008 Server
Knowledgebase Article #2613
— How to Replace a Windows 2008 R2 Server

KBID-2725

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