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I have VMWare image clone of our virtual Sharepoint web frontend. All the connections are the same (same farm basically), same exchange server, same sql server. I am afraid to connect this box to the network. Will this change anything on the farm? Unfortunately the sql and exchange server connections are production servers, whereas this box is a development/testing server.

This server was supposed to be a fail-over project that got trashed, and now I need to use it for testing. Will anything I change in this server reflect changes in the other server? Also, because the network is disabled I can't get to Central Admin because it says "Cannot Connect to Configuration Database".

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I decided to use third party tools to clone from a web application level rather than a server level. Thanks to all for your help. –  Mike Sep 13 '10 at 15:39
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Run the configuration wizard and disconnect the server from the farm.

You may be able to run NewSID and change the identity of the machine and then re-join the domain.

You certainly want to create a new farm for the test environment.

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I can understand a different sql server and frontend, but what about the exchange? can that stay the same? any conflicts there? –  Mike Jun 25 '10 at 20:35
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It's probably not a good idea to do this. The cloned machine will have the same SID as the original server. If both are on the network it will cause computer account conflict issues.

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ok, so you are saying a fresh reinstall would be better? is there anyway to prevent that? –  Mike Jun 25 '10 at 19:01
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At the very least you want to follow Paul's suggestion of removing the server from the farm first. But doing this also removes any configuration, installed solutions, etc. At this point I would question the value of the effort. It would be best to do a new install to ensure you have all necessary patches/updates installed. –  Mark Jun 29 '10 at 18:19
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