My win2k8 r2 server's mobo recently died, and silly me, I never made any backups. The hard drive is intact, though. I have another computer to spare with a completely different mobo, but when I put in the hard drive, it doesn't boot up; following the loading screen, it will blue screen for a millisecond then reboot. Googling suggests that win2k8 does not like changes in the storage controller.
Safe mode doesn't work either, it will hang.
What're my options? I see three:
1) Try to manually get this install to recognize the storage controller, but I have no idea where to begin.
2) install win2k8 r2 on a different hd, then use hyper-v to virtualize the old one, but I don't know if this possible.
3) reinstall and reconfigure the entire system, which would be very annoying.
Reinstall the entire system. It'll give you good experience and less likely to provide issues in the future.
Windows wraps itself around the hardware you install it on which is why virtualization is a great thing.
Since you're asking the question I know you don't have a great amount of experience in dealing with these issues. You could use something like WinPE or alternatives to go through and modify the base OS to resolve your issue, but this can be complex and require far more effort than reinstalling everything. Honestly, it is Win2k8, it is extremely easy to rebuild compared to Win2k or Win2k3.
Ok so you should be able to use this other motherboard with the original windows installation. Previously you would've been screwed and required to reboot but with Windows7/Server 2008, your system should be able to accomplish this. I have on a regular basis used an HP ML350G6 server to install a windows OS on RAID1 Drives, then moved them to my HP-DL385G7 and it starts up just fine (the DL385 has no optical drive).
Then with Windows 7, I've taken my OS installation on an SSD from a dual Xeon motherboard with Nvidia GPU and put it into an AMD Fusion/Llano with Radeon GPU and had it start up, obviously i had to take care of the drivers after starting it up but two systems cant be much more different than they were between those 2, and windows7 worked fine.
Anyway, With the drive loaded in your server/motherboard, toss in your Server2008 setup disc and boot it up, then go to the recovery console.
Once in the recovery console it will ask you what windows installation you would like to use (usually only 1 listed here) then you are prompted to type in the administrator password and then you get a blank command prompt,
Type in "FixBoot" and hit enter (accept any warnings)
then after that type in "FixMBR" (again accept any warnings)
And then restart your computer (take that Server disc back out)
If it still does not work, go back into the recovery console and run "chkdsk /r" on the C: drive