Prepare to Move Data

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Before you start moving data, complete the following tasks:

  • Familiarize yourself with the terms that are associated with moving data.

  • Verify that your hard disk drives are installed, partitioned, and formatted.

  • Back up your data.


Each wizard that you use to move data folders reminds you that you should always back up the data on the server before you move the folders.

  • Review the best practices for moving data.

  • Notify users that data will be unavailable during the move.

Review terms and definitions

The following key terms are associated with moving data folders in Windows SBS 2008:

  • Destination partition: The partition to which you are moving data.

  • Drive (also referred to as a Volume): An area of storage on a hard disk drive that is formatted by using NTFS and that has a drive letter assigned to it. A single hard disk drive can have multiple volumes, and a volume can also span multiple hard disk drives.

  • Partition: A portion of a hard disk drive that functions as if it is a physically separate disk. After you create a partition, you must format it and assign it a drive letter before you can store data on it. On basic disks, partitions are known as basic volumes, which include primary partitions and logical drives. On dynamic disks, partitions are known as dynamic volumes, which include simple, striped, spanned, mirrored, and RAID-5 volumes.

  • Source partition: The partition from which you are moving data.

Verify that hard disk drives are installed, partitioned, and formatted

You must ensure that the hard disk drives and partitions that you need for moving data folders are installed and that they are formatted before you start moving data folders. Windows SBS 2008 only recognizes partitions that are formatted by using NTFS. For more information about installing and configuring hard disk drives and partitions, see “Managing Disks and Volumes” at the Microsoft Web site (

Back up your data

To protect your data from accidental loss in the unlikely event of an error occurring while you are moving your data folders, back up the data before you move it.

Verify that the backup completed successfully. To test the integrity of the backup, select random files from your backup, restore them to an alternate location, and then confirm that the backed-up files are the same as the original files.

It is recommended that you backup the data before you start the wizard. If you have not configured Backup, after the server is checked for available space to move the data to, you are prompted to configure Backup and back up the data before moving it. However, if you have configured Backup, the wizard does not prompt you to Backup the data before moving it.

To configure Backup

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Cougar Server Management.

  2. Click Backup & Server Storage, and then click the Backup tab.

  3. In the Tasks pane, click Configure Server Backup.

  4. Complete the steps in the Configure Server Backup Wizard.

For more information about completing a backup, see “Backing Up and Restoring Data on Windows Small Business Server 2008” on the Microsoft Web site (

Use best practices for moving data

You should use the following best practices when moving data:

  • Locate your application and user data on a separate hard disk drive or partition from the data and program files for the operating system.

  • Do not store data in the same location as application folders.

  • Balance the data across different hard disk drives for better performance (if there are multiple hard disk drives on your server).

Notify users that data will not be available

While you are moving a data folder, the resource that uses that data is not available. If you plan to move any data while users are connected to the network, you should notify them that the resources will not be available. For example, you could send an e-mail message to users several days before you plan to move the data to tell the users which resources will be unavailable. You could then remind users on the day of the move.

  • While you are moving the users' shared data, the users cannot save documents to their existing shared folders.

  • If users’ Documents data are redirected to a network drive, the users cannot access their documents while you are moving the users’ redirected Documents data. Users can access documents that are locally cached, but the documents will not synchronize with the server while the move is in progress.

  • While you are moving the Windows SharePoint Services database, the internal Web site is not available to users. Users must save open documents from the site and close browsers that are accessing the internal Web site.

  • While you are moving the Exchange Server data and log files, users cannot send or receive e-mail messages. If they are using Office Outlook®, they can access e-mail messages that are cached on the local computer.

  • While you are moving the Client Backups data, administrators cannot back up client computers.