Thoughts on Windows Server 2003 End of Life

A post by me has a just been published over on the Fordway blog at

This was written in parallel to my earlier post Windows Server 2003 End of Life Spreadsheet, reproducing the spreadsheet for documenting your Windows Server 2003 environment originally posted by Microsoft. In this new post on the Fordway blog, I talk about some of the areas that we need to focus our attention and other up some food for thought. If you have any questions then please feel free to get in touch either with myself or someone at Fordway who will be happy to help you.

Windows Server 2003 End of Life Plan Spreadsheet

Last week, the folks over at Microsoft published another entry in their blog post series Best Practices for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support Migration ( which included a visually appealing spreadsheet template for helping you keep track of and plan your Windows Server 2003 migrations but to my shock, they didn’t provide the actual Excel file for that design (shame on them).

I’ve copied the design and made it into an Excel spreadsheet which I’ve setup with Conditional Formatting in the relevant cells so that when you add your numeric values and X’s it will automatically colour the cells to help you keep it as pretty as intended as after all, we need a bit of colour and happiness to help us with Windows Server 2003 migrations right?

Click the screenshot of the Excel file below for the download. As a note, make sure you use the Excel desktop application and not the Excel web app to view or use this file as the web app appears to hurt some of the formatting and layout.

Server 2003 Migration Spreadsheet

UPDATE: If you want to read more about Windows Server 2003 End of Life, a post by me has been published on the Fordway blog at

The Case of the Broken Default Domain Policy

So over the last couple of days, I decided as part of my server virtualization project at home with my new hard disks, I would rename the domain to something more suitable.

I found a tool on the Microsoft site called rendom.exe along with a few other tools for renaming a domain. I read all of the instructions and had a plan set out for doing it, and the process was fairly painless due to only having one Domain Controller, so there was no need to wait for forest and domain replication to take place.

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Using NTBackup in Vista

So it’s official that with all of the nice new features and pretty things in Vista that the new backup utility sucks especially if your interested in scheduling things from the command line.

Reason? The new Vista backup utility only allows you to backup entire volumes or specified mount points using their GUID, so what happens if you want to backup only a few selected folders?

The answer is to use NTBackup from Windows XP or Server 2003, however this isn’t as simple as copying the ntbackup.exe file from the XP System32 directory.

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