Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (Full Version)

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agoowjr -> Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (21.Aug.2006 8:25:19 PM)

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if someone can give me some advice. I am working on a project where I am migrating a 2003 Server Domain (Domain Controller) that is running 2003 Exchange on top of it.

My approach is basically bringing the new server up in the Domain and joining as a member server to the existing Domain Controller. I am going to install DNS on the new server then install 2003 Exchange on it once it joins the existing Domain. Of course I will be joining the existing Exchange enviornment as a second Exchange server.

My next step was to create new mailboxes for every user since there is a total of 20. I am not going to migrate only because a Microsoft Engineer from the Exchange connector team recomended creating new mailboxes and not using xmerge migration, which I have no clue about. Then I will replicate the Public Folders to the new Exchange Server.

Then after creating the new mailboxes he said to export all the users .pst to their local hardrive then import the .pst file and the mail should still be there. He also said something about decommisioning the first Exchange Server before the export and import.

Does this make any sense? I starting this project Thursday and if anyone could throw some advice it will be much appreciated. I intend to call Microsoft Tech Team just incase I screw something up but I preffer advice from you guy's here.


a.grogan -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (21.Aug.2006 10:20:38 PM)

Hiya, are you planning to keep the original server as a domain controller? - if so you will not need DNS on the Exchange server.

I would

Join the new server to the domain
Install Exchange (including service packs)
Use the move mailbox wizard from either the Exchange System Manager or Active Directory users and computers to the new server (this will maintain Single instance storage) which is why the chap from the Exchange Connector team told you not to use EXMERGE.
Perform a replication of Public Folders from the old Exchange server to the new - remember to make you new Exchange server the primary Public folder repository for each mailbox store.

You can use EXMERGE to import all of the users local PST data to the Exchange store (remember to rename each PST to the be the same name as the relevant mailbox alias (for example if you have a user with a mailbox alias of Fred.Bloggs - call the pst from their machine Fred.Bloggs.pst).

BEFORE you decommission the first Exchange server you will need to follow this article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822931/

Good luck and I hope that this helps,


agoowjr -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (21.Aug.2006 10:29:42 PM)

Thank you for the nice response,

However, I will be removing the 1 st server from the Domain. 2nd, I actually setup a lab at home to test out and I moved a mailbox to the 2nd exchange server but when I went to retreive mail I could not. The mailbox showed there was messages in there but I could not retreive the messages. Also, I tried backing up the Information Store to reset the logs because there was a huge number but after 2.5 hours into the backup it failed with an error note which I do not have on me.

Your information is very helpful and I appreciate it. I hope I get this right~

a.grogan -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (21.Aug.2006 10:35:57 PM)

You are welcome, Hmmm - sounds like you have your hands full - I am curious;

It sounds like that you are completing the following;

1. Migrating Exchange to a new server
2. Migrating Active Directory to a new server.

This is a very detailed exercise and I am concerned that after you have tried using the Move Mailbox feature you could not access any e-mail.
It is not recommended to run Exchange on a domain controller - and, you should not demote (remove) a DC that has Exchange running on it until you have completely removed all mailboxes, public folders, routing duties or RUS services from it.

Please post back with exactly what you need to do so we can all help you.


seinhorn -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (22.Aug.2006 4:16:43 PM)

Hey Andy!

when you move mailboxes does the mailstore rehome to also to the new server???


a.grogan -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (22.Aug.2006 4:19:34 PM)

Hiya S,

When you say does the mailstore rehome do you mean the mailbox itself?
When you perform a move mailbox the HomeMDB should be pointed to the new database store


seinhorn -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (22.Aug.2006 4:32:34 PM)

i am replacing my current exch2k3 server with a new one, it is not a dc...i am just looking for the easiest way to do it. i dont use public folders..only 50 mailboxes....


agoowjr -> RE: Migrating 2003 Exchange to a new Server~ (23.Aug.2006 10:34:46 PM)

Thank you to everyone with your comments. Let me be a little more detailed as what I am going to do now.

I am replacing an old IBM Server with a new Dell Poweredge Server. 2.8ghz. Dual Processor and 4GB ram. There are 50 mailboxes total and about 15 workstations that will physically be connected to it.

Now the current Server is running Active Directory, Exchange with Puclic Folders, and DHCP. The new Dell server will take over the current roles that the old server is handling. So, I am starting this project tomorrow morning and I intend to do these steps.

Connect the new Server to the network with a staic IP address. ( Then I will join the existing Domain as a member server. I will then install DNS, then install 2003 Exchange  join the existing Exchange Server enviornment. (Which I have done in other Exchange enviornments.) Once that is complete I was planning on replicating the existing Public Folders to the new Exchange Server. (Which I have also Done before). Then after that I will shutdown the primary DC Server ( The Old Server) which has all the Exchange mailboxes on it. And leave the new server up and running. I will make sure that the client workstations point to the new Dell Server for DNS, DHCP, and outlook settings point to the new Dell Server.

Now this is the tricky part I am wondering about. Should I create the mailboxes from scratch for all the users on the new server and just Export everyones .pst file to their local machine, then import it back and hopefully everything syncs to the new mailboxes? This is where I am lost. I need to make sure that everyone can access there email's that reside in their old mailboxes into the new mailboxes. Also I am wondering about the users that use OWA, POP.

Now I want to note that the reason why I am creating new mailboxes is because thats what Microsoft adviced me to do. Not only that, I think starting fresh with this new server will possibly work better than migrating mailboxes.

Now I no I have a lot on my plate, but I intend to bring Microsoft support on this install if things get a little hectic. However, I would like a little advice for this project. I am starting it tomorrow morning.

Thanks again,

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