How can I take an Image of a Windows 2003 server and put it on different hardware

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I have a user that has a Windows 2003 Server. Unfortunately he did not install the software on it nor does he know how it was configured. He is worried that it will fail and leave his clients without service. I was thinking instead of trying to guess all of this info is it possible to image the old hardware and then put this image on different hardware.

I am aware there will be diferences that need to be taken into consideration (I.e. Drivers , CPU, etc) but is there not a way to incorporate that somehow?

Hopefully there is a free / near free solution for this?



  1. Move the hard drive to the new Server (make a backup image of this drive before you do), or

  2. Image the old hard drive to the new hard drive in the new server

Then, before you ever boot into windows on the new Server:

scroll down to “replace a failed motherboard” follow the instructions.

You will need to use a Windows 2003 install disk of the same version and Service Pack level to do the repair.

Here is a free disk imaging program


Again it’s not Free but Acronis Backup & Recovery is fantastic for this. I have used it moving many servers to new hardware. Also to do offsite app testing, upgrade testing etc. It can do a lot more too so worth looking at. Although the price could be a factor, its not cheap.

Not free but it works and will save you serious grief. What is the cost if the server fails? Backup Exec System Recovery works very well for taking an image and restoring to different hardware. Have used it many times without issues. There is a demo located at BESR2010

After doing the disk imaging, recommend to him that he migrate the at-risk server to a virtual machine on a VMWare Server or some other product. He’ll save on power, rack/floor space, and if he ever needs to move it again, its elementary. Its a good solution for customers with several older at-risk systems set up by vendors that have since vanished.

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