This article explains how you can restore a tape backup from one computer
to another computer with different hardware, and maintain user accounts and
working environment. This procedure may be needed if there is no backup
domain controller or fault tolerance implementation on the network and the
primary domain controller is down for some time.
A backup set is intended to be used as a disaster recovery utility to
maintain your system by backing it up and restoring it to the same, not a
different computer. When you restore to a different computer you may
encounter problems, due to hardware differences between the two computers.
This procedure is not recommended by Microsoft and therefore is not
supported. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the
performance, stability or reliability of this procedure.
NOTE: If you need to only change the primary hard disk and controller while
maintaining user accounts and desktop settings, please see the following
article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
TITLE : Changing Primary Disk System After Installation
If you want to restore a Windows NT backup from one computer to a
similar computer, please see the following article in the Microsoft
Restoring a Backup of Windows NT to Another Computer
To restore a tape backup from one computer to another computer with
different hardware, and maintain user accounts and working environment:
- From the original computer you need a tape backup of the registry and
all other files you want to transfer.
- Partition and drive information should be set up the same as the
original computer. However, the primary partition should be a FAT
partition and initially Windows NT should be installed onto a FAT
partition (it can be converted later). Use the same computer name and
domain name as the computer that is being replaced.
- Create a directory off the root called CNFGTEST. From the backup set
restore the Registry (%SystemRoot%\system32\config directory) to
C:\CNFGTEST on the hard drive.
- Delete SYSTEM.* and *.EVT files from C:\CNFGTEST.
NOTE: These files must be deleted in order to remove hardware specific
- Boot to DOS and copy the remaining files from C:\CNFGTEST to the current
NOTE: You cannot replace SAM or Security hives while Windows NT is
- Reboot the computer and make sure that everything is functioning in
Windows NT. When you restart user accounts should be in place.
- If you use TCP/IP with DHCP and/or WINS, you can restore the
%SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\DHCP and the %SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\WINS
directories. It may be necessary to reestablish the DHCP scope.
- The %SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\SPOOL and %SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\REPL
directories can now be restored. If you were using TCP/IP printing,
printer queues will have to be re-created and IP addresses reassigned.
- Convert to NTFS if the original install was NTFS. To replace data with
permissions you must convert to NTFS. To convert the file system to
NTFS, type the following from the MS-DOS Command Prompt:
convert <drive letter> fs:ntfs"
Next, restore the user data.
Article ID: 139822 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 4.1
- Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
- Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
- Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
- Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
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