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Unfortunately for me, I need to move a WSS3 instance to a new machine. Also unfortunately, it includes 3rd party products that I may or may not be able to locate the install files for.

Is there a way to extract/transplant those from the existing installation or is the deployment story on that version too brittle for that?

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to download all installed the solution use the below free MSDN tool. http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/SPSolutionExtractor

If you know the 3rdparty vendor you can contact them for installer / documentation. May be some products required more configuration.

this is not easy move. You need to make sure, you documented everything before moving it.

  1. The %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12 directory.
  2. Any customizations that are made to the Web.config file.
  3. Default quota templates.
  4. Blocked file types.
  5. Administrator-deployed form templates.
  6. Database names and locations.
  7. Web application names and databases. Be sure to document the content database names that are associated with each Web application.
  8. Crawler impact rules.
  9. Activated features.
  10. AAM settings
    Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc261918(v=office.12).aspx
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