Old servers never die. That’s part of the reason I share responsibility with two other people for administering 125 of the wretched things. And “wretched” is a nice way of describing the state of an NT server that’s almost old enough to drive.
How about two free tools for moving at least the shares and print queues off old servers and onto a new one? Moving the applications is still up to you, but moving file shares, either manually or via a batch file, is tedious work, so these are still welcome tools for the weary sysadmin.The first is Windows Print Migrator 3.1. This is a tool you should be running anyway, even if you can’t get rid of that particular print server, because it backs up everything about your printer configuration. Should that print server die by means of something other than a BOFH-style unfortunate (wink wink nudge nudge) incident, this tool’s backup copy lets you re-establish print queues in no time flat.
The second is Microsoft’s File Server Migration Toolkit, which allows you to move the shares from one server to another, and, if you have DFS set up, you can even preserve the UNCs so that the migration is completely transparent to the end users.
Both tools are a little bit tricky, so you want to play around with them in the test room with a couple of old machines on a hub or switch that’s not connected to the main network before you try them in production.
But once you master them, they can take work that would have taken you days to finish and reduce it to an hour or so.