SBS 2003 Upgrade

This might seem a little stupid I know... but here goes. I have a small office client who doesn't want to replace their server hardware just server software. There is no good upgrade option for them being that their old system is Windows server NT/Exchange 5.5. Is there any way I can do a parrallel install of SBS 2003 on that server and keep the same domain settings? It seems I've done a parallel install like this before and even though the local domain name was kept the same, client machines didn't recognize it as the same domain and all clients had to be re-added to the new domain and all settings had to be migrated.

I understand this might be a little confusing. Please ask if you need clarification.
Who is Participating?
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.

Chris StauntonCommented:
I'd consider starting from scratch.  Exmerge off all the Exchange 5.5 mailboxes, then backup everything on the server and format and reload.  If this is a small office then just readd your userbase and configure exchange then exmerge your mailboxes in to your new Exchange 2003 SBS.  Hopefully all your clients are XP, join them to the domain and rock and roll, this will give you a nice clean install to start from, always better then trying to either patch something together or attempt to install next to another OS.  Just triple check your backups to make sure you have everything, also remember that user machines will need settings backed up, favorites and such...


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
Robberbaron (robr)Commented:
for the price of buying SBS standalone, i'm sure you will find an SBS OEM with new hardware for very little more.
Try HP / ASUS / DELL .....

Depending upon number of clients, you should look at the swing Migration utilities.  Either that or start from scratch.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
You DO NOT want to do an inplace upgrade of an NT server to SBS 2003.  I don't know what you mean by Parallell install, but you can't add an SBS 2003 to an existing NT domain either (you can do it to a Server 2000/2003 AD Domain, but I still don't recommend it).

The only trusted migration path is to use the Swing Method (

I don't know what you charge or how many users are on their network... but if you are the CONSULTANT in this relationship it's important for you to impress upon the client that it will cost him MUCH MORE to NOT replace the server.  In my consulting practice I require that not only the server be replaced, but ALL workstations and OS's.  I have proven many times that the ROI on new vs. troubleshooting and patching legacy is a no-brainer.  

Basically, if they LEASE equipment and software (through Microsoft, Dell, HP, or wherever) their total cost for EVERYTHING new will probably be less than 3% of their entire PAYROLL cost.  That is the number to compare to... because if they can't recover 3% in productivity gains, or an equivelent increase in sales, etc, then they shouldn't upgrade in the first place.

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.