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Can't upgrade from WinServer 2003 Web to WinServer 2003

Can I upgrade from Windows 2003 Web Edition to the full Windows 2003 Server without rebuilding the server?

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Unfortunately, Windows 2003 Web Edition cannot be directly upgraded to any other edition of Windows Server. Your best bet is to back up the data on the system and recreate it in a fresh install.

Note that you can't use IIS's configuration backup utility to save a copy of your IIS configuration and move it to another computer—I've tried this and it doesn't work, simply because the backup is "keyed" to only be restored on the computer it was originally made on. There's also a utility to move IIS installations between servers called IISSYNC, which is supposed to be supplied by default with Windows, but I do not know if Web Edition comes with it. (I'm using Windows Small Business Server 2003, and it doesn't seem to be there.) If you want to move an IIS installation between servers, there's a third-party tool called IIS Export which seems to do a better job than almost anything else out there, and it works across and between multiple versions of IIS.

This was first published in September 2006

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