Migrating old 2003 server with Exchange to new 2003 64-bit serverwith Exchange 2008

Discussion in 'Server Migration' started by Willo van der Merwe, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    We were running Windows Server 2008 64-bit with Exchange 2008. The
    hardware was unstable and eventually disaster struck and we lost the
    entire machine. we quickly commandeered a standby machine, installed
    Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) and Exchange 2003 on it, recreated the
    mailboxes, had all the desktop/laptops in the company rejoin the domain.
    It was not pretty. Mail was lost, profiles corrupted - generally nasty.

    This was 3 weeks ago.

    Now we have a replacement machine. The guys supplying the machine is now
    scared of Windows Server 2008, so decided to downgrade to the more
    stable (longer in the field) 2003 server - but because our backups of
    mail was in 64 bit Exchange 2008, it could not be restored without
    considerable effort on their part. Therefore they decided to go to
    Exchange 2008, 64-bit.

    They want to do the same as last time - recreate the mailboxes, have all
    the desktop/laptops in the company rejoin the domain. Understandably we
    are not very enamored with this idea. A bit of research revealed that we
    do not have to go this route.

    From my research it seems we should:
    1. Introduce the new server, without Exchange (or Exchange disabled) as
    a member server.
    2. Make it a DC.
    3. Wait till the AD has propagated.
    4. Demote PDC.
    5. Promote new server.
    Now the new server should be acting as the new PDC and users should be
    authenticating from it.

    The part where I get stuck is how do I migrate the existing Exchange
    2003 mailboxes to Exchange 2008, and still recover the mailboxes.

    Any suggestions welcome.

    Willo van der Merwe
    Willo van der Merwe, Oct 22, 2009
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  2. Hello Willo van der Merwe,

    Just to clarify some parts at the beginning, i think you talk about Exchange
    2007, so i will refer to it, because there is no 2008 version from it.

    Running Exchange on domain controllers is not recommended, it should be always
    installed on member servers:

    You have no need to built a new domain again, everything can be done from
    the existing domain.

    For the upgrade to windows server 2008 AD and change to Exchange 2007 in
    the same domain i suggest to do it in 2 steps, 1st AD and then going on with
    Exchange 2007.

    For exchange i will creaete a second posting to make it more easy to read.

    For AD upgrade see this step by step:


    - On the old server open DNS management console and check that you are running
    Active directory integrated zone (easier for replication, if you have more
    then one DNS server)

    - run replmon from the run line or repadmin /showrepl(only if more then one
    DC exist), dcdiag and netdiag from the command prompt on the old machine
    to check for errors, if you have some post the complete output from the command
    here or solve them first. For this tools you have to install the support\tools\suptools.msi
    from the 2003 installation disk.

    - run adprep /forestprep and adprep /domainprep and adprep /rodcprep from
    the 2008 installation disk against the 2003 schema master(forestprep) / infrastructure
    master(domainprep/rodcprep), with an account that is member of the Schema/Enterprise/Domain
    admins, to upgrade the schema to the new version (44) or 2008 R2 (47)

    - you can check the schema version with "schupgr" or "dsquery * cn=schema,cn=configuration,dc=domainname,dc=local
    -scope base -attr objectVersion" without the quotes in a command prompt

    - Install the new machine as a member server in your existing domain

    - configure a fixed ip and set the preferred DNS server to the old DNS server
    only, think about disabling IPv6 if you are not using it, some known problems
    exist with it. Follow (http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/paulbergson/archive/2009/03/19/disabling-ipv6-on-windows-2008.aspx)
    to disable it

    - run dcpromo and follow the wizard to add the 2008 server to an existing
    domain, make it also Global catalog and DNS server.

    - for DNS give the server time for replication, at least 15 minutes. Because
    you use Active directory integrated zones it will automatically replicate
    the zones to the new server. Open DNS management console to check that they

    - if the new machine is domain controller and DNS server run again replmon,
    dcdiag and netdiag (copy the netdiag from the 2003 to 2008, will work) on
    both domain controllers

    - Transfer, NOT seize the 5 FSMO roles to the new Domain controller (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324801
    applies also for 2008), FSMO should always be on the newest OS DC

    - you can see in the event viewer (Directory service) that the roles are
    transferred, also give it some time

    - reconfigure the DNS configuration on your NIC of the 2008 server, preferred
    DNS itself, secondary the old one

    - if you use DHCP do not forget to reconfigure the scope settings to point
    to the new installed DNS server

    - if needed export and import of DHCP database for 2008 choose "netshell
    dhcp backup" and "netshell dhcp restore" command (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772372.aspx)

    Demoting the old DC (keep in mind it is also best practise to have at least
    2 DC/DNS/GC per domain, failover and redundancy)

    - reconfigure your clients/servers that they not longer point to the old
    DC/DNS server on the NIC

    - to be sure that everything runs fine, disconnect the old DC from the network
    and check with clients and servers the connectivity, logon and also with
    one client a restart to see that everything is ok

    - then run dcpromo to demote the old DC, if it works fine the machine will
    move from the DC's OU to the computers container, where you can delete it
    by hand. Can be that you got an error during demoting at the beginning, then
    uncheck the Global catalog on that DC and try again

    - check the DNS management console, that all entries from the machine are
    disappeared or delete them by hand if the machine is off the network for ever

    - also you have to start AD sites and services and delete the old servername
    under the site, this will not be done during demotion

    Best regards

    Meinolf Weber
    Meinolf Weber [MVP-DS], Oct 22, 2009
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  3. There's also one more option to recover the mailboxes from the original
    Exchange 2007 database. There's a utility called Ontrack Power Control
    Tools. It can read the EDB files and extract all the mailboxes into PSTs.
    Once the PSTs are recovered, they can be used to add them to an Outlook
    profile, and pump the data back into their mailboxes. For Calendar items,
    use the Export/Import function in Outlook.

    Exchange Server Recovery, Exchange Data Recovery, Email Recovery ...Exchange
    data recovery, exchange server recovery and pst recovery. Ontrack®
    PowerControls™ is a powerful software tool for copying, searching, ...


    This posting is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties or guarantees and
    confers no rights.

    Please reply back to the newsgroup or forum for collaboration benefit among
    responding engineers, and to help others benefit from your resolution.

    Ace Fekay, MCT, MCITP EA, MCTS Windows 2008 & Exchange 2007, MCSE & MCSA
    2003/2000, MCSA Messaging 2003
    Microsoft Certified Trainer

    For urgent issues, please contact Microsoft PSS directly. Please check
    http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.
    Ace Fekay [MCT], Oct 24, 2009
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