Migrating SBS Exchange 2003 to Windows 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010

Prerequisites for this upgrade/migration are that the SBS 2003 server must be at SP2, with Exchange 2003 also at SP2. In addition to this both your domain functional level AND forest functional level must be running at 2003 native (This is the highest available on SBS 2003 SP2). Finally, your Exchange organisation must be running in 2003 native mode.

The first steps involved are upgrading the Active Directory schemas, for this you’ll need to put the Windows 2008 R2 DVD into your 2003 SBS server, open a command prompt and run the following commands:

X:\support\adprep\adprep32.exe /forestprep
X:\support\adprep\adprep32.exe /domainprep
X:\support\adprep\adprep32.exe /domainprep /gpprep

Obviously replacing X with your DVD drive, or it could be a network share etc. In previous versions of Windows Server, you would have to use the correct media to match the architecture of your SBS 2003 server, as of Windows server 2008 R2, x86 is no longer supported, hence the adprep32.exe instead of adprep.exe!

At this point you can fire up the new (x64!) hardware that you’re going to use to run Exchange 2010. Install Windows 2008 R2 onto here, give it a static IP, a name, all the patches and updates it wants, service packs, also do a full IIS install from the server manager page, it’s probably also a good idea enabling remote desktop at this stage! We’ll need a small selection of remote server amdin tools for during the Exchange installation, so run the following command to install them:

ServerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS

We can now go ahead and join the new server onto the domain, once you’ve done this reboot as requested. When the system has come back up, put in the Exchnage 2010 DVD, and fire up a command prompt and run the following command:

X:\Setup.com /PrepareAd

These will prepare Active Directory and your Exchange organisation for the new Exchange server while still allowing for compatibility with Exchange 2003 SP2. If you get any errors here, it might be worth double checking the functional level of your exchange organisation, as mentioned in the prerequisites. Hopefully you haven’t encountered any errors, so can run the main Exchange 2010 setup from the DVD. Select the languages you want to install, and then proceed through the setup. You’ll need to select the current Exchange 2003 server in the mail flow configuration screen, so that mail can route between both Exchange servers during the migration.

The Exchange 2010 setup will then perform some readiness checks, if any of these fail, do what needs to be done, then click retry! Exchange 2010 should then install the relevant roles onto the system.
Once the Exchange setup has completed, it’s probably a good idea to install any updates. While they are installing, have a look on the SBS server, you should now see two administrative groups in the Exchange system manager.

Add a SMTP send connector as required on the 2010 server (Org config > Hub transport > Connector > SMTP), also allow inbound anonymous SMTP connections (Org config > Hub transport > Default > Permissions).

I’d also advise moving the location of the mailbox database and public store databases, as they are on the system drive by default, it’s a good idea to keep logs and databases on separate RAID volumes. You can move them under Org config > mailbox > databases.

I choose to move public folders first, as this can take a long time, so we keep user mailboxes where they are for now. To move the public folders, use the Exchange management on the 2003 server, right click the public folder store, and select move all replicas – take note of the message and what it says – it will take a long time, and it is only complete once the instance store folder is empty as it says. You can check things are moving by using message tracking in the Exchange 2010 powershell. One you are sure this has completed, you can delete the old public folder store in exchange 2003, select the new public folder store when you are asked where to move the existing bits and bobs to, once this has been done, it’s advisable to unmount then remount the public folders database using the exchange 2010 manager.

The final set with regard to the public folders, is to create a new container on the 2010 server, by right clicking on the 2010 exchange group, then selecting new public folder container, once this has been created, simply drag the public folders from the 2003 group into the 2010 folders group.

Now onto moving user mailboxes, easiest way is by using the Exchange 2010 management console, under server > recipient config > mailboxes > new local move. Follow the wizard to move everything over.
Before we are ready to decommission the old 2003 server, we just need to move the offline address book over, this is under Org config > mailbox > offline address book, right click it, select move and use the wizard. We then need to assign an offline address book to our mailbox database – right click it under Org config > mailbox > properties > client, and pick the offline folder.

We can now delete the 2003 mailbox store, say ok to the warnings, then delete both routing group connectors between the two servers. Using 2003 manager, change the recipient policies, so they only have email addresses – not mailbox manager. Finally we need to delete recipient update services for the domain, then the enterprise – although the latter will need doing via ADSIEdit.msc!
Finally, using add remove programs, change the SBS installation so that it doesn’t include Exchange.

At this point, our 2003 Exchange server is decommissioned, and we’ve now running on the new 2010 version.

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