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".

  • 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
    Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


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.

  • I can understand a different sql server and frontend, but what about the exchange? can that stay the same? any conflicts there?
    – Mike
    Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 20:35

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.

  • ok, so you are saying a fresh reinstall would be better? is there anyway to prevent that?
    – Mike
    Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 19:01
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 18:19

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