upgrade exchange 2000 to 2003 in win 2k

i heard that upgrade sucks so it is best to uninstall and install a fresh copy.   if i do this what is the best procedure to back up my mailboxes?   is there a way to back up all my settings so i do not have to add them again?

any ideas?
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Seelan NaidooConnect With a Mentor Microsoft Systems AdminCommented:
you can use exmerge preferably before your upgrade, so that you can verify .pst files.
same must be done for the Public Folders with pfmigrate
MS does not recommend installing Exchange 2003 on W2K boxes...they prefer a Windows 2003 server...even if it is just a member server in a W2K domain....because it must modify the schema.

The upgrade sucks only if you don't read the MS literature and don't realize that you *must* take Exchange 2000 to Service Pack 3.  If you try to upgrade E2000 which is on 1 or 2, the upgrade will screw up big time, no question.

An upgrade is still your best bet for keeping current settings and preserving your mailboxes.

Regardless of upgrade on clean install....do, absolutely, a full backup of Exchange2000 to tape....NOT just the mailboxes....before you start.  Use a reliable program such as BackupExec.
Seelan NaidooMicrosoft Systems AdminCommented:
you can also use EXmerge, supplied to Exchange 2003, to export all mailboxes to .pst files.
You also have the option to re-import into new exchange database.

You can use PFmigrate to migrate your public folders. (also comes with Exch2k3)
gianitooAuthor Commented:
when do i use exmerge?  during the upgrade?
gianitooAuthor Commented:
is that tool in the 2003 cd?  or i have to buy it
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