Windows Server 2003 system state restore (from upgrade)

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_upgrade (More info?)

I have a single win2k3 DC environment. The server was upgraded from win2k
sp4. The server recently crashed and I had to restore from system state
backup. Before I could run the system state restore ofcourse, I had to
install the operating system to be able to boot to Directory Services
Restore Mode.

The problem is this: Since it was an upgraded server (win2k advanced server
to win2k3 enterprise) the installation path was WINNT, instead of WINDOWS.
As a result, my system state restore would fail because all of my services
(etc.) were pointing to the WINNT directory after the system state restore,
and NOT the new WINDOWS directory that win2k3 installs. The way I worked
around the problem was to first install win2k server, then upgrade it to
win2k3 server (in order to retain the WINNT directory), and then run my
system state restore.

My question is this: How do you specify a different directory (i.e. WINNT
instead of WINDOWS) to install win2k3 server to?

(This way, if I need to run a system state restore again I won't have to go
through the same steps of installing win2k first and then upgrading to

Thanks in advance,

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More about windows server 2003 system state restore from upgrade
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_upgrade (More info?)


    Currently you cannot change the default directory that 2003 creates and
    installs in (%windir%). The only time the isntallation prompts you to
    change the directory is if a windows directory already is installed on the

    If you have enough space on that boot partition you might try this.
    Install a copy of 2003 Server in the Windows directory and just make this a
    minimal installation to conserve drive space. Then install 2003 server
    again and specify the installation directory winnt. Then configure and
    make this installation the "production" version. That way if you had to
    reinstall again (without formatting the partition) it will find a windows
    partition and always prompt you for the path to install.

    This also serves another good purpose. It gives you a parallel
    installation of the operating system that you can boot into (I am talking
    about the first minimal installation). This parallel install allows for
    you to boot the server and hopefully access the file system if you have
    issues with your production installation.

    Best regards,
    Blane Clark

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    You assume all risk for your use.
    (C) 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved
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