If I activate a 2003 server and then ghost it.. can I restore the image on any other machine with the same configuration.. ? I have 3 lisences and 3 servers.. I guess my question is if I create an image from server1 can I use the image on server2 (same exact machine type or hardware/software profile) and the other way round.. any one with any suggestions!!
Based on my understanding of activations, this would not be possible. During the activation process, Microsoft assigns a hash-value to the PC. When you restore the image on a different PC, the hash value on the new PC will either be different than the value Windows is expecting, or will be missing altogether.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup
Phaedrus is correct but I'll add my personal experience. We had problems with Activation and XP and Drive Image, even restoring to the SAME machine. After getting shuffled all over Microsoft, I was told the only way to avoid activation was to purchase an Enterprise license. This wasn't too bad because it's only 5 copies, but I don't know for sure if it will be the same with Server 2003. My advice is to not call regular sales, they want to tell you you're in violation of the EULA by using Ghost, haha, can't back up my machine, haha. Go to Corporate Sales, you'll wind up there anyway.
FYI.. I was able to use the ghost image without activating windows.. so if I roll back the system date (BIOS) to the date I installed the server or any date prior to the date, I get 60 days evaluvation.. dont know how will it behave once I activate the lisence..! will keep you guys posted!