SBS 2008 Migration Gotcha

I was recently migrating a client from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008.

I was using the Microsoft method (backed up by the techniques in Dave Overton’s book!) and having ran the source tool on the old server I kicked off the migration on the new server and got this error.


Weird….I’d ran the source tool without issue?  

So I rebooted and ran it again yet I still repeatedly got the same message.

I found an article on the official SBS blog outlining the error but it basically says the resolution is to run the source tool.

Confused I decided that there must be a log somewhere so called up a command prompt (did you know you can do this during setup? press SHIFT+F10) and changed to the log directory.

SBS 2008 keeps all the major logs in one place.

C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs

There is a post on the official SBS blog about this with full details.

So I opened the setup log and saw lots of passes until I got to this.


[3040] 110609.125848.6694: Setup:     Setting sValueName to MigrationReady
[3040] 110609.125848.6694: Setup:     ReturnValue=0
[3040] 110609.125848.6694: Setup:     uValue=1
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     Setting hDefKey to 2147483650
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     Setting sSubKeyName to SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\Migration
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     Setting sValueName to LastCheckTime
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     ReturnValue=0
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     sValue=2010-06-10T09:50:48.3281250+01:00
[3040] 110609.125849.3246: Setup:     Error – Run the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server – Has Help

Basically the new server connects to the registry on the old server and checks various things. In the section of the log I’ve listed above it shows the “MigrationReady” value. This is how the wizard knows if the source tool has been run as it sets this value.

The final check is the date stored at “LastCheckTime”

When you start the migration you get 21 days to complete everything. I was doing all this on the same day so I initially thought checked everything OTHER than this.

I tapped a couple of friends up and got suggestions such as bad media and OEM specific media and I was considering starting again when I checked the date and time on the NEW server using the DATE command at the command prompt and the penny dropped.

The time was correct as was the day and the month but the YEAR was set as 2011.

No wonder it didn’t work! As far as the server was concerned I was well over the 21 days!

I’m still trying to figure out why the year was wrong on the new server. It may have been human error but I can’t say for sure.

Anyway once I corrected the date the wizard carried on as expected.

It would have been helpful if the wizard displayed a more specific error but at least the logs were there to help me out.

I’ll definitely double check the date and time settings next time around.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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2 thoughts on “SBS 2008 Migration Gotcha

  • Andy,
    Great post.. its interesting though that you could change the date back and it was happy. Does this mean if you really had passed the 21 days and then changed the date back, would it work !!! interesting

  • Hi Chris

    In theory I guess you probably could.

    In practise though to do this you’d probably need to change dates on both servers as well as a registry key which could potentially cause other issues.

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