Chapter 2. Performing Upgrades and Automated Installations
IF YOU'VE EVER MOVED INTO A PREVIOUSLY owned house, you have an idea of the pitfalls of upgrading a server to a new operating system. For houses, minor "settling cracks" turn out to be caused by an infestation of termites. For servers, "occasional" blue screen stop errors turn out to be caused by a RAID driver that is just waiting for the right opportunity to corrupt your data.
For the most part, you'll get a more reliable operating platform by doing a fresh install of the operating system as described in Chapter 1, "Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2003." But, it's one thing to talk about reinstalling the operating system (OS) on every server in your organization and it's quite another thing to spend days and weeks doing the work. If you have a stable server running NT or Windows 2000, you may want to upgrade it to preserve the existing application settings.
This chapter is all about saving time as you deploy Windows Server 2003. It covers upgrading existing servers as well as automating your deployments using scripts, disk images, and a combination of the two. The chapter includes a functional overview of what happens during an NT4 upgrade and a Windows 2000 upgrade along with a step-by-step procedure for upgrading.