I finally did my first SBS 4.5 to SBS 2000 upgrade last week. I
wasn't really pleased with the result. It took all day just to get the base
upgrade completed, including an hour waiting for the server while it claimed
it was "updating shortcuts to the active directory administrative tools." If
it weren't that the server's hard drive was grinding to pieces, we'd
probably have restarted it. I noticed that while it was doing this, a Ci
4109 event was logged: "Master merge was started on d:\system volume
information\catalog.wci because more than 20000 documents have changed since
the last master merge." Maybe that had something to do with it.
Anyway, I can get a new server to the point of applying service
packs and applications in less than three hours, maybe even two. This one
took more like seven or eight hours. Worse, the event logs keep showing all
manner of oddball messages I've never seen before. They're probably just
noise, but each one has to be investigated. "What does it really mean?"
"What causes it?" "Can we continue or is it a scrub and start over?" It also
now takes 15-20 minutes to shut down and restart because of the "cannot
unload registry" problem plus a hang after logon but before the desktop is
displayed (just the mouse cursor is displayed).
I doubt that I'd do this upgrade again unless I had a lot of
NT/2000/XP workstations or a lot of mailboxes. This one (8 95/98
workstations/mailboxes) probably wasn't worth the trouble for the result. It
would have been easier to export the mailboxes to PST files and do a scratch
install, and the result would likely have been better. Oh, the server works,
the client can work just fine, and we did not have to go back to the other
half of the mirror we had broken, but it just leaves me with too many
unresolved questions and problems.
I suspect that when Microsoft tests this sort of an upgrade it
does a fresh install of SBS 4.5 and then immediately upgrades it-- which
probably just works fine. Field machines are likely more flaky and variable
than that though. Meanwhile, will MS please, please get cracking on an easy
way to transfer a domain to a new server! One should simply be able to
export a domain onto a CD, like a portfolio, and then tell a brand-new
server (or hard disk), "Good morning, Mr. Phelps. This domain, should you
choose to accept it..."