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Posted Mar 18, 2001

Moving SQL to a New Server

By Andy Warren

Got a plan for moving your data to the new server? Try this one! I've had the luck(!) to have had the need to do this several times. This checklist works if you're moving to a different machine with the same logical drive layout. If you use it, I recommend that you print it and mark it up as you go, so you have your own customized version of it for the next time and it also serves to document your installation.

1 Install the OS and the same service pack as on your existing machine. The computername cannot be the same as the one with your data right now, so use a "temp" computername. Put the computer on the network.
2 Stop the SQL service on your old machine. Copy the entire SQL7/SQL 2000 folder and it's subfolders, plus any separate folders containing logs or data, to the new machine. Also copy over any other folders containing data that you want to move to the new machine.
3 If you have any shares on the old machine, you'll want to transfer them. The easiest way is to script out the registry key [HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\Shares] to a .REG file. Copy that to the new machine as well.
4 Make notes about how your drive permissions are configured, any jobs that you have set up in the OS (backup usually), email profiles, anything else you can think of! Using the /3GB switch? Be sure to add it to the new machine's boot.ini.
5 Shut the old machine down and disconnect the network cable. Have your network administrator remove it from the domain. Don't delete anything yet! This machine is your backup plan!
6 Back to the new machine. Rename the folders for now. For example if your data folder is D:\Data, rename it to D:\DataGood. If your SQL install folder is C:\MSSQL7, rename it to C:\MSSSQL7Good. The reason for this step is that when you install SQL, you don't want it to overwrite the contents of any of your folders.
7 Change the name of the computer to that of the old machine and reboot. Once you have it on the network, install SQL and the same service pack that you are using on the old machine. Make sure that during the install you use the same folder names you have been using on the old machine.
8 Start the service. Now is a good time to set up your email profile(s) on the machine and verify that you can get SQL Agent to send a test message.
9 Stop the service. Rename the folders that SQL created during the installation to have a suffix of OLD, so that C:\MSSQL7 becomes C:\MSSQL7OLD. Now rename the 'GOOD' folders to their original name, so that C:\MSSQL7GOOD becomes C:\MSSQL7, etc.
10 Start the service. Verify you have your databases, make sure the agent is running and that it can send email. Check the error log. Resolve any problems you have before continuing. Verify connectivity using Query Analyzer from your workstation. Do a quick test of ALL your applications that connect to this machine - now is the time to find any issues. If you run into problem, just start up the old machine so you can double check how it was configured. Just DO NOT let it have network access. Two machines with the same name on the network is bad!
11 Merge the .REG file to add the shares to your new machine. Set drive permissions. Set up any jobs you need.

You're done! Got a question or a comment? It may take a day or two depending on my schedule, but I WILL reply!

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