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Upgrade from NT4 with exchange 5.5 to 2003

I have an NT4.0 domain, 1 server - PDC with exchange 5.5 - server A, 1 server - BDC with exchange 5.5 - server B.
The BDC will be moved to my location for the project but lives in the next state, connects via point to point

I have new hardware ready to go and brint the domain up to 2003.  I have reviewed lots of the postings and just want to verify info. So...please advise and correct as necessary, I do not want this to generate a resume.

1.  install NT 4.0 on new server, join domain and install as a BDC, (I have forgotten how to do this, last time was years ago).
2.  promote to PDC - or transfer, again I have forgotten how to do this.
At this point I shoud have the AD at 2003 mixed mode? What should I check, etc...
3.  have a 2003 server join the domain, run forest and domain prep, install exchange 2003 on this new member server.
4.  migrate/transfer the mailboxes from the bdc that was the pdc (server A) to the new exchange server.  
5.  for the bdc that lives in the other state (server B), should I make a 2003 domain controller and install exchange, then transfer mailboxes from server B?  I am concerned that if this replacement server is not a DC and running exchange, if the link goes down users at the remote site will not be able to log in and get email.
6. unplug existing NT 4 BDC/exchange boxes and see how they work

Other questions/problems - what sort of time frame should I allow - weekend?  
The PDC 5.5 exchange server has hit its size limit a month ago, and is probably close to it again.
What about backing up the 5.5 store and restoring it into the 2003 exchange?  Or would that just not work? I am using veritas.
What sort of time frame for allowing the 5.5 abd 2003 servers lo co-exist before romoving them from the domain?
Any other got ya's to look out for?
Thanks a whole lot - Wayne
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1 Solution
sorry long time ... last time i have see NT4 before one year back
anyway you can read this one http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;260871
ans some more info i belive you alrady know it but just in case

good luck

wspjones99Author Commented:
I have some additional questions on this upgrade.

1. The domain is called XYZ, however the email addresses are XYZInc.com.  When I upgrade the domain I would like to call it XYZ.local.  How/when in the Exchange 5.5 upgrade do I force it to use XYZInc.com for the email address?  Also, what about the user login?  If I name my domain XYZ.local, won't users have to type in username@XYZ.local to log in?  Is there a way to force it to use username@XYZlocal.com without naming the domain that?

2.  How will the security for passwords transfer over?  I currently do not have complex requirements, so how does AD work if you upgrade to 2003?  Will I have to set complex requirements or are they default?  I assume user accounts get upgraded, and you deal complex password requirements after the upgrade?

3.  The exchange 5.5 store is just about at the size limit, will moving mailboxes cause me any grief?

4.  How do I deal with the exchange server renaming?  Is it easier just to have users attach to the new server through mail setup?  Any scripts or logon bats to help here?

5.  Will hidden mail boxes give me problems?

6.  Do the Outlook users that currently connect to the 5.5 server have an OST type file, and will changing servers do anything to this?  I have some remote users that VPN into the corp, I am concerned about massive traffic over slow links.

Thanks - Wayne

wspjones99Author Commented:
Any help with the questions is appricated, thanks in advance.
 - Wayne the worried
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