Move Exchange 2000 server to new hardware

I am getting a new server for our Exchange 2000 server. What is the best way to go about moving all the users/mailboxes and configurations over to the new server? Move mailbox method?

This Exchange server is one of two, and is the master of the exchange site/org.

Is there a way that I can keep the same machine name / IP? Possibly through a DNS entry?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

see this EE question that I just posted a few days ago if you just want to move the mailboxes ...

If you want to keep everything the same with respect to IP address and server name, make a backup of your information store and load it on your new exchange server when you install exchange with the /disasterrecovery option. Microsoft knowledge base 297289 references this whole process and seems very straight forward:;en-us;297289

good luck,

mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
So it looks like you just had to do this very same thing, is the move mailbox method the best way to go about this?

I used that method when going from 5.5 to 2000 and it took 4 days to move 1000 mailboxes with about 11gig of data.
mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
Oh your doing it this weekend....Good Luck!! I am doing this during our Christmas break. Our Exchange server is installed on standard server before Microsoft came out with the doc that states running E2k Enterprise on standard server is not recommended. So we have major memory leak problems on that server causing us to have to reboot once a week when this was supposed to be fixed by two service packs. We bought advanced server and ordered a more powerful server to move it to.

I just want to know if this is the best way to go about this?
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

I'm running e2k standard on a standard 2k server, so fortunately, I haven't had those memory leaks issues you talk about, but I've got so many bugs on our existing server, it forced us to migrate to a new one.  Not exchange's fault, but rather faulty hardware on our original box...but of course, after so many blue screens, now the OS and the e2k install is fairly hosed too.

I like the move method, as I try not to depend on our backups more than absolutely necessary.  I have no 'test' servers to try out my disaster recovery ability on my backups, and as such, I hesitate using them for that if I can avoid it.  They work fine for file restores, but for something like restoring the information store?  I'll wait to try that option for when I have a test server to practice on.  The previous IT manager at my company used the move mailbox method two times with no issues whatsoever, so I'm happy to keep going with it.  

We have 300 users, and with exchange's standard edition store limit of 16gb, it should take us about 3 hours to migrate all the mailboxes over.....I hope!

This forum is packed with great, friendly and knowledgeable ppl who can help.  The choice of a) moving mailboxes vs. b) doing a 'disasterrecovery' rebuild on a new server seems to be a matter of opinion as to which is 'best'.  You have more users than me, and since you want to keep the same IP address and server name, it sounds like you want to go with the disaster recovery option as referenced by the MS knowledge base article above.  This also allows you to 'save' your old email server (shutdown or off the network at least), just in case the new build out doesnt' can just bring back online your old one, while you try and figure out what went wrong with the new one.

I like the move method in my case because it really is very simple and straight forward for the size of my organization...just a little more time consuming.

I know Kidego, vahik, and others have more experience with this stuff, so they may have particulars that are more revelant for you than in my original topic.  For instance, I have no idea if there is any difference between doing a move mailbox for e2k enterprise vs. e2k standard (or for that matter, the disaster recovery option)...I've never worked with enterprise level server/exchange so I couldn't tell you what to look for ....but I am curious to know myself for future installs!

good luck again!

"4 days to move 1000 mailboxes with about 11gig of data"

you must had anti virus software running at that time. It is recomended that you disable the scanning the emails during the move. Don't disable your antivirus just the realtime scanning.

As far as replacing your hardware, Unless there is really good reason to keep the old name, it is not necessary. Just have the other server join the site but make sure you transfer all the other roles such free/busy publishing and so forth. otherwise you really asking trouble doing the way you thinking about it. let me kow if you need more detailed information.

mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
Your right ydirie, I did have my VS enabled, I forgot about that. So disabling only the real time will speed things up huh? Funny enough when I did this the last time in test mode it took about a day in half, because no VS on the test. And then in production it took 4 days. So makes sense about the VS.

I just want to make sure I have everything running that same way it does now. I guess keeping the same name isnt really important, only a few DNS changes and I could always use a CNAME for this who may use the direct URL for OWA access. And I know that there is a microsoft doc on stopping client access during a mailbox move

And once I set up the new server I can make sure all the configs match up through one MMC. Either way I would have to reconfigure all the components, smtp, policies...etc...correct? Those are not backed up in the store is it?
No. it does. Anyway,you seem to be heading the right direction. I like admins who really keep it simple and easy. Trust me on this specially when dealing with exchange. You get no credit when **** works and you catch all crap like " my outlook is slooooow or I can't connect to it" and so forth when things don't work. Please remember to move your free/busy. And before you kill the original box, just shut it off few days before you remove it from the site. Don't let someone presure you removing the box. Take time. On another note, dont scan your M drive and your exchange folder using the anti virus software for the OS.

Good luck and cheers!
David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
you can do the mailbox moves to another server, or build another server and restore the data. either way, it will work. I've done both without issue. The only difference will be how much downtime are you willing to have in order to keep the same name and IP. If you want to know the process:

I took a new server, and built it W2K, and added it to the domain.
Then took server1, and backed up the database files (4 files) to the new server, on the hard drive. Then I took the original server offline.

Rename the new server, and give it the new IP (reset the original server's computer account when you rename the new one)  The new server should have the same partitions and drive letters as the previous server for this to work.
 Install Exchange with the disasterrecovery switch, and when it's done, shut down the services, and copy in the 4 files to empty mdbdata folders. Mark the databases to be overwritten by restore, and start the services. Everything should start nicely.

Move mailboxes would be smoother I suppose, depending on what your timelines and goals are, but either will work just fine.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Kidego, If your expected downtime is very limited. What option you would choose ?
mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
Downtime for me is not an issue, getting this done the easiest and smoothest way is.  Kidego, what is your preferred method?

Looks like the backup/restore method is the easiest....but with all this input, I am
The question you need to ask yourself is how much you trust your backup, though you can stop the services and copy the files to different location. How big is your database ?

move mailbox could be easier. The other question is that does this server in production ?
David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
Like I said Mike, depends on what you'd like to accomplish. A backup/restore by tape on 20 GB, will probably take over 6 hours, plus the time to install Exchange. But, if you have the time, a simple file copy (otherwise known as an offline backup) can be very quick and effective. For example, I used an external USB 2.0 drive to copy the files, and take them over to the other server, and copy them back. USB 2.0 is signifigantly faster than a network copy, is you have USB 2.0 connections. Otherwise, 1.1 is horribly slow, and not worth it. In a 2.0 scenario, you could move all 20 GB in 1/3 the time. If you already have the server built, and your users aren't going to miss the mailboxes for a few hours, this would be my first choice.

My second choice is the mailbox move, which can be seamless to the user. However, at then end of it, you need to remove the first server from production, and you don't get to keep the same name and IP, and you also have a lot longer before you can say "hey, i'm done with this".

That's all the personal preferences I'm allowed to give, right :)???

There is nothing wrong with both decisions.

good luck with whatever you decide to do.
mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help. I guess my decision will be depend on how bad they want to keep that same name, which can be done with a DNS entry anyhow.

Thanks again
When migrating mailboxes from a SBS 4.5 to SBS 2000 I used ExMerge to export all the mailboxes to .PST files.  I noticed that the process was going very slowly.  I had two windows explorer windows aimed at the local server and one aimed at the new server in the directory that exmerge was placing the files.   Task manager showed about 8% utilization.  I closed the explorer aimed at the new server and utilization jumped to 80+%.  Don't know if you've experienced this but closing this view of the distant server sped up the export process tremendousloy.

Regards  Bob

mmurfmisAuthor Commented:

Not sure why closing the window would speed things up like that, but I have seen stranger things in the IT world...thats why I love it.


I need  to do a similar rebuild (to W2K Adv Server) within the nest few days. Current Setup:

W2K Server SP3
E2K Enterprise Sp3
One of four Exchange 2000 Servers
Partitions: c:\system, d:\data, e:\logs

I plan to format C:\ reinstall with W2K Adv Server and E2K Enterprise /disasterrecovery switch.

Should this work as well?



mmurfmisAuthor Commented:

Looks like your having the same problem I am having with running E2k Enterprise on Windows 2000 standard.

I am doing this with my server this weekend. The advantage I have is we bought a new server to move this to so I will have an escape route, but I don't plan on using it. Just makes me feel better that I have it.

Follow the accepted answer according to Kidego above by copy the database files and then yes the /disasterrecovery switch.


How did it go?

I am planning to do this rebuild this coming weekend.


mmurfmisAuthor Commented:
Worked like a charm, not a single hiccup. It kept all my settings. I didn't have to do a single thing after it came back up. The only thing that takes a little time is copying the database files through the network because mine was a total of 16gig.

Hi again, good to hear it went well.

Just to make sure these are the steps I plan to follow. Let me know if its what you have done.

1. Take a full online backup of Exchange
2. Format C:\system partition - reset account in AD
3. Install W2K Adv SP3
4. Rename the database folders in d:\data and e:\logs partitions (according to MS Tech Support)
5. Install E2K SP3 /disasterrecovery....
6. Assign correct persmission to Server using ADSI Edit (Q325674)
7. Rename databases folders (reverse step 4.)
8. Test mailbox access

Does this look correct.

David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
Congrats Mike, glad to hear it went smooth!! Email me sometime, and Happy New Year!

David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
Hartley, unless Mike tells me differently, you'd want an offline copy of the databases files, it's easier and cleaner. Having said that, you want to do an online anyway before you start just for GP. check the answer he accepted here, I'm pretty sure that's the one he used.

I had a exchange server died total, I only have priv1.adb and priv1.stm copy from the exchange server. Can I build a server with the same name and using those two files to get all mail boxes and exchange server up running? and how?

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.