URGENT: MOVING users from exch2k to new exch2k server

This is for an exchange move that we have slated for this weekend, and I need to make sure all my ducks are in a row....

Currently we have one Exchange 2000 server, post sp3, we’ll call "Exchange1" that is limping/choking along with all our mailboxes on it.  We have a new server already configured with Exchange 2000 post sp3 destined to replace it that we’ll call "Mail2".

At the moment we have installed Server 2000 and exchange 2000 post SP3 fixes on the new server Mail2.  We already migrated two mailboxes over to this server from Exchange1 and everything seems to be working fine (except OWA...which is understandable given our secure site still points to the older server...).  This weekend we plan on migrating the other 300 users to the new server. Our plan for this is to MOVE all the users mailboxes (under exchange options, through AD users and computers for each OU) to Mail2, and then do a proper uninstall of exchange 2000 from the Exchange1 server to remove it from Active Directory, leaving Mail2 as the only email/instant messaging server on the network.  

We’ve done some research and it was mentioned to us that we should make sure that we change the Offline address book setting and public folders (which are already being 'replicated' to the new server) and that we should also change the Recipient Update Services (RUS) to point to Mail2. What else should be considered when doing a 'move' of this manner?  ie, are there other settings that will need be redirected to the new server inside of Exchange system manager or AD or .... ?  We have the firewall and DNS (mx) entries covered (at least I think we do!!).  Will all other settings automatically be redirected to the new server once the old server is successfully uninstalled/removed from the network, even if we forget to manually redirect any settings?

It has also been suggested that instead of "moving" mailboxes to a server with a new name/ip address, we should do an "exchange /disaster_recovery" install instead, and use the same server name and IP as the original Exchange1 server. Due to issues we are currently having with the old server, I am wary of using my backups of this old Exchange1 server if I don't have to....and I really, really, really don't want to if I can avoid it.  

To recap:  When moving a high volume of mailboxes to a new server (exchange 2000 post sp3 to faster server, but same build out), using the MOVE command, and then UNINSTALLing exchange from the old server (through proper means), what other services do I need to redirect to the new server besides the RUS, Offline Address Book, and public folders (which is already being replicated)?  Again, due to my concern over poor backups of the old server, I am not comfortable with doing a /disasterrecovery option of exchange and would prefer just to MOVE the mailboxes, since this option seemed to work for our previous IT Manager (no longer with the company).


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David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
Your move mailbox method is just fine. But you can't remove the first server until everyone logs in with Outlook. Second, make the new server the RG master beforehand, to make sure that you have mailflow. Third, make your firewall adjustment to reroute port 25 back to the new server's IP. Test all your mailflow, and public folder access ahead of the move this weekend.


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aquiliusAuthor Commented:
Thanks!  As noted, we've got two mailboxes on the new server already: mine and my tech's and since we're both fairly heavy users, I figure the mail flow is/must be good.  We are both able to open the public folders that are on the network, too, but we'll test a non-admin account by wednesday to make sure nothing funny is going on.  Good suggestion on the RG master, I hadn't thought of that...I'll do that friday afternoon (the move is scheduled for 10pm, so plenty of time to take hold, don't you think?).  The firewall switch is noted, too.  Is there a way to tell when _all_ my users have opened and accessed their outlook?  I plan on waiting a good month (because I can), but just to be safe is there a tool that I can use to check this?  Exch Sys Manager under mailboxes enough?  Would accounts that haven't logged in show up here, or do only those that have been accessed show up?

The most troubling thing so far (that's been fixed) was the fact that by default, admins don't have rights to browse the IIS exchange folders (under IIS manager)--they have Deny by default, and since it was greyed out, I assumed I couldn't change it, and the fact that I could see those folders under IIS on my existing server was stumping me.  Found out a few days ago all I had to do was give admins full access rights, too, and everything works now.  No documentation for that in the exchange 2000 class I took about a month ago, nor in my exchange 2000 install guides.  Glad these forums are around!

Thanks again for the help!  Let me see if my tech has anything to ask re: your response, and tomorrow I'll accept your answer.

189286 XADM: How to Delete a Server from a Site
284148 XADM: How to Remove the Last Exchange Server 5.5 Computer from an Exchange 2000 Administrative Group
189286 XADM: How to Delete a Server from a Site
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aquiliusAuthor Commented:
One parting shot... can I disable my smtp service while I move my mailboxes?  Would this affect the move in any way, shape or form?  I am concerned that some of my remote users might not log off of their machines and they may still have their Pocket PC's cradled, thus creating a conduit to the email server and their mailbox.  I want to disable any and all possibility of this hindering our move.  I thought if I shut down SMTP that might do it.


David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
That will stop the server from receving mail, but if your users don't logoff, the mailbox may not move, and error out. SMTP being turned off will not affect that fact. Give them fair warning, and let them logoff.


aquiliusAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I try to give them three notices, two before the day of, and one the day of...but I still usually have to run a remote shutdown/restart script because they forget.  Will probably do that again just to be sure.  Just curious if disabling one service would have done the same thing.  Thanks!


The definitve Ed Crowley Move Server Method, works like a charm, I've used it many times.

aquiliusAuthor Commented:
Wow, that's a great article Krowllaw, thanks!

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