Reinstalling or moving a Domino® server from one computer to another

Use this procedure to reinstall a server if an error occurs and the installer does not complete during the install of an incremental installer, or if the Domino® server is crashing and troubleshooting does not reveal the root cause.

About this task

Note: The following steps are a best practice to recover from a Domino® server upgrade failure or a complete reinstallation of a Domino® server. These steps relate only to the components installed by the Domino® server installer. Data stored in the data directory structure should be protected. Additionally, if there are logs that are stored in the binaries directory or if any other products are installed and reference files in this directory, you may need to backup those files.

If you are reinstalling a Domino® server, run a full installation of the Domino® server and point the install to the previously installed Domino® directory on the physical server. This will not overwrite existing system files; therefore, you do not need to perform an initial server setup because the install files will pick up all relevant information from the existing NOTES.INI file. The Domino® Directory is not overwritten; therefore, when the server is started again, it will continue as if nothing has changed. Server startup will continue and all previous settings will be intact.

  • If the Network Configuration changes, be sure to update the Server document. If the Net Address field on the Server document contains a server IP address, update this field if a new computer with a different IP address is installed.
  • Check for Directory Links when performing an upgrade/move.
  • Check for any OS level junctions or symbolic links that are defined. Ensure new symbolic links are created on the new server or the files for those links become part of the data directory.
  • If the server name is changed, ensure that all encrypted databases are decrypted before copying the files to the new server.
  • When moving servers between different operating system platforms, use FTP to relocate the databases or mail files to ensure the codepages are not corrupted. In some configurations, OS copy has caused database corruption.
  • If you are moving a server from one machine to another and the drive mapping changes, for example, from drive C to drive D, change the following parameters in the file NOTES.INI:
  • Perform a search in the server's NOTES.INI file to ensure that these parameters are changed appropriately. Perform a "find" (CTRL + F) on the old drive references and make changes as appropriate.
    Note: If you change the server's name when you move it to the new computer, you can notify users to make the appropriate change to their Location documents, or you can make that change for them.
  • When moving a server from a Microsoft Windows platform to a UNIX platform, always use the Domino® server to replicate the database, primarily because this does not replicate the incompatible view indexes to the new platform.
  • When you are moving a server from a Microsoft Windows platform to a UNIX platform, investigate and prepare issues with case-sensitivity for file names and paths.


  1. Turn off replication and mail routing to the server that is being rebuilt or reinstalled.
  2. Make a complete backup of the original Domino® server. The location of the program directory is identified in the NOTES.INI setting NotesProgram=.
  3. Create the \domino and \domino\data directories on the new server.
  4. Move all the data files from the old computer to the appropriate place on the new computer. The location of the data directory is identified in the NOTES.INI setting Directory=. Data files include:
    • Any file with the filename extension .NSF
    • Server ID file
    • Administrator ID file
    • Certificate ID file
    • Domino® Directory for the server (NAMES.NSF)
    • ADMIN4.NSF (Administration Requests Database)
    • All templates (files with the filename extension .NTF)
      Note: It is important to copy CERTLOG.NSF because it is used for security purposes and for user maintenance.
  5. Move all user mail files. By default, the user mail files are stored in the Notes\Data\Mail directory.
  6. Move all other databases that were created on the original Domino® server.
  7. Install the Domino® server software on the new computer by following the instructions in the Domino® server installation guide.

    When you install the Domino® server software, use the original SERVER.ID, ADMIN.ID and CERT.ID files. Remember to use the same Domino® server and Domain names. When the Domino® installation begins, you may see a message indicating that the Microsoft Windows Registry needs to modify some settings that are still present from the previous installation. Click Yes to correct this.

    Note: On Microsoft Windows platforms, use \domino and \domino\data as the install directories. (If you are upgrading the server and, at the same time moving it from one computer to another, install the new server software.)
  8. Disconnect the new computer from the network. Using removable media, copy the file NOTES.INI from the old server and place it in the Domino® Directory on the new server. Launch the new server to ensure that it was installed and configured correctly. The Notes® client should not launch at this time.
  9. Shut down the new server.
  10. When the new server has all its files, shut down the old Domino® server before bringing up the new Domino® server with the same name. Put the old server's IP address on the new server and then connect the new server to the network.
  11. Start the Domino® server on the new computer.