SBS 2003 has a ‘transition pack’.  A method that you can upgrade from SBS 2003’s restrictions to the full fledged products of it’s big brother servers…and big brother price tag…..and as SBSers go through this transition pack, invaribly they post in the newsgroup “What’s the transition like”. 


I swear this is a worm hole…. because they ask about it…and never post back.


Well one mortal who has survived in our SBS MVP ranks posted about it and I thought I’d capture it here…from Michael Cocanower of ITsynergy.com


 OK, here’s what I found.

Installed the Transition pack on SBS SP1 Premium (running SQL but not ISA). It churned for a while and rebooted twice. Note that you are warned all over the place that you’ll have to reinstall all service packs after installing the transition pack. Towards the end of the install, I get a message box “Setup cannot continue because the version of Windows on your computer is newer than the version on the CD. Warning: If you decide to delete the newer version of Windows that is currently installed on your computer, the files and settings cannot be recovered. To exit, click Cancel. For more information, click Details. Clicking Details got me nowhere, so I clicked Cancel. I thought I was in trouble, and was ready to call PSS. I rebooted after clicking cancel, and much to my surprise, I get prompted that the transition pack was installed successfully. So now the box is in the “I think the transition pack is applied” state. I moved FSMO roles to another box without a problem (something you’re only supposed to be able to do post transition pack). I moved Exchange and SQL each to their own box. I am also now running 2 DHCP servers in the environment, and the old SBS box seems to be stable. I’m not sure what else I can do to confirm that the transition pack is OK, but everything seems to be stable at this point.


To give more background… the transition pack was indeed applied successfully… …the way you check is attempt to disable license logging serivce and sbscore services. If those two services will shut off and stay off, you don’t have a SBS box anymore. In this “no longer a SBS box” state, Remote Web Workplace and all the SBS wizards still work, there are just no guarantees that future patches/service packs will break things. 


The ‘transititioned’ server is now three boxes.  Exchange was the snap migration process to a new box.  SQL LOB app, also a piece of cake.  Sharepoint was the one that needed fixing in permissions, site owners, versions of MSDE and what not.  The site to this day is still chugging…OWA running fine along with Remote Web Workplace…and yes the client fully understands that technically while it still is running, [and they use it quite a bit] there are no absolute guarantees that RWW might be broken with some security patch or service pack and it’s no longer supported.


If I were in charge of the Universe.. I’d steal RWW…customize it a smidge more…and stick it in Centro.


…now… to go get myself in charge of the Universe… that’s the problem…


So… there we go… one ‘story of someone who survived the “Black hole of the transition pack” and we’ve now posted his story.


P.S.  For you folks that have commented with issues….can you email me at sbradcpa -at- pacbell.net as I’d love to check with you guys on some points you’ve raised. When you don’t leave an email address, I can’t email back directly.

 

10 Responses to The black hole of the transition pack

  1. Matthew Frahm says:

    I’ll have to give this a try in the old lab.

    Our Server 2000 firm merged with a SBS 2003 firm, so we bought Transition Pack to get their licenses up to “Server 2003” or whatever you call it. And we, of course, bought Server 2003 for our location. All one big happy AD Forest now.

  2. The Centro link doesn’t seem to be working.

  3. James says:

    I had nearly the same experiance with my transition pack install. Everything seems ok except for Terminal Services. I don’t think all the neccessary files to install it got copied over.

  4. James says:

    I had nearly the same experiance with my transition pack install. Everything seems ok except for Terminal Services. I don’t think all the neccessary files to install it got copied over because I don’t get the prompts during the intsalltion that I should be.

  5. James says:

    I had nearly the same experience with my transition pack install. Everything seems ok except for Terminal Services. I don’t think all the necessary files to install it got copied over because I don’t get the prompts during the installation that I should be.

  6. James says:

    I had nearly the same experience with my transition pack install. Everything seems ok except for Terminal Services. I don’t think all the necessary files to install it got copied over because I don’t get the prompts during the installation that I should be.

    Oh yeah, I was one of the NG posters but I went back and left some feedback 🙂

  7. Richard Gadsden says:

    Is there a transition the other way?

    My employers are spinning off a small division as a separate business, and I suspect that SBS would be an excellent solution for them.

    Is there an easy way to transition from a conventional Exchange server and a File/Print server to an SBS setup?

    I think they’d really value Remote Web Workplace. At the moment, they get remote access through Citrix Secure Gateway and the parent company’s Citrix farm, but they will lose access to that when they are a separate business. RWW looks like a much nicer solution than trying to set up a separate Citrix farm (expensive) or Terminal Services.

  8. Miles Atkinson says:

    We’ve had a hell of a time over the past few days with the Transition Pack, the SBS 2003 server originally had SBS SP1 installed and Exchange SP2 installed.

    After running the Transition Pack wizard, all was fine and completed. We thought all was fine and dandy as trusts had been created to different domains. Then after a reboot for installing SP3 for Veritas 10.0, the server came up with the Activation Wizard requesting Activation. None of the keys provided worked, and on clicking the link to activate via phone a blank space where the Installation ID should have been generated.

    The folks at MS Activation wouldn’t help and referred us to PSS, whom we duly called. Unfortunately after two days worth of following their advice via Live Meeting the server was rendered inoperatable. It would appear there is a method using the command line to generate the Installation ID, however our first PSS guy was not aware of this and unfortunately the issues snowballed after that.

    One of the MS guys mentioned that on running the Transition Pack *all* 3rd party applications have to be uninstalled, not just (as per the documentation) disabled. Especially Veriatas and APC software.

    Fortunately we have a good backup and have successfully recovered the SBS, but we are having doubts about running the Transition Pack on our (now) live SBS system.

  9. lampholder says:

    good topics for me

  10. Don Hess says:

    Hi, I’m about to do it. I have uninstalled APC Business edition and there is no Veritas, we have MANY thrid party applications and uninstalling them would be ridiculous. I’ll try to post agin later to let you know how it worked, or email me at dhess@entrecs.com
    Thansk ,Don