Steps for deploying Exchange 2003, company-wide after successful install


After a few days of working through the install of Exchange 2003, I have successfully installed Exchange on our company's single domain. On our network we have one DC server and a seperate server for Exchange (relative to question). Currently, we outsource our email to a web hosting company where all of our employees use Outlook 2000/2002/2003 and download their email via POP3. I have been researching and reading on the steps, now, to move all of our employees emails, contacts, calendar, tasks, etc. (.pst) over to Exchange 2003 and 'turn it on." I am utterly confused on how to move forward with this. I am looking for any information on steps to migrating POP3 accounts to Exchange 2003 and how to turn on Exchange 2003 in our domain.

Who is Participating?
Importing the messages in to Exchange is very easy using a tool called exmerge. Get the latest version from Microsoft's web site. You will need to name the PST file the same name as their mailbox on Exchange. So if you have a mailbox called john.smtih, then the exported PST file for John Smith should be called john.smith.pst.

Remember that there is a 2gb limit on PST files.

For Outlook deployment, you should look at the Office Resource Kit web site. Microsoft have tools and resources which will allow you to deploy Outlook already configured, so that the users don't need to configure anything.


I did the same thing for the company I am at now when I arrived here.

1.  Create all the accounts in exchange - use the AD users & compters to ensure proper e-mail address for each
2.  Shut down the other "site" including changing DNS globally to reach your now internal site.  i.e., point to the new i.p. address.
3.  Change each user's account on their pc to point to the new account.  Remove the old account.
4.  Change the "deliver mail to" section on the user's account to deliver mail to the "Mailbox - User Name" Instead of the .pst that they are currently using.
5. restart Outlook, import the data from the pst to the new account, and viola! you're done.  Rinse, mix, repeat...

The key is planning.
As long as ALL email from outside is going to users who connect to Exchange, there is nothing to stop you from parallel running both solutions.

However, the exact plan depends on the number of users. You may have to go with the big bang approach. Otherwise you might get away with doing it piece by piece.
I have a sample plan on my web site:

Plan how you can switch the clients across first, then how to deal with the 48 hour lag for the DNS changes to propagate. Deal with those two issues and the data import can wait.

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afoeditAuthor Commented:
Hey Simon,

I am a dumbie when it comes to this. I read through your web site and it makes complete sense to me. But, I am still unsure exactly how to continue. For example, in step 1:

Build the Exchange server, configure it correctly for your external domain and test. Any test email messages for external accounts will go out correctly - replies will go to the existing POP3 mailboxes.

How do you configure for external domain and test?

Our internal office domain is called but are official web site URL is So, all of our users have email accounts that look like

You need to put the external domain in to recipient policy. Recipient policy is what tells Exchange what domain names it is responsible for and is also responsible for the initial email address that all users get.

Once you have done that, simply configure Outlook to use the Exchange and send some emails to external addresses.

afoeditAuthor Commented:

i think i messed something up. i logged in (remotely, rdp) to the exchange box. loaded system manger and added to the default policy under smtp and set to primary and uncheck our AD domain. Save all that. Applied policy now then update now on both recipient update server (both). went to AD brought up my user account and under the email addresses there is now nothing listed.

i tried to step backwards through what i did and it still doesn't work. the AD domain is missing now and i can't get anything to show up.

automatically update email addresses based on default policy is checked.

any thought?


You shouldn't have disabled your active directory domain.
That is used by Exchange to manage internal email. Re-enable it, but make sure that the external domain is the default. You will then have to wait for Exchange to process that change.

afoeditAuthor Commented:

ok, i enabled the AD domain name and our actual web domain name. i didn't know that you had to wait a little bit for it to propagate. everything seems to be in place now.

i cannot change the MX until this friday. my plan is friday after everyone leaves for the weekend, i was going to log in to each machine and export all of the users .pst files and save them to the exchange server desktop. then remove their old version of Outlook and install the new Outlook 2003.

i am not sure how to precede after that. i know i will need to somehow import all the .pst files into exchange server (which i am not sure how to do) and then configure the users Outlook 2003 to communicate with the Exchange Server (which i am not sure how to do). then, update the MX record to point to our Exchange Server. i'm assuming it will take 24-48 hours propagate the MX record. is that all i need to do?

also, is there a way to test the exchange server right now to see if mail is working. maybe outgoing mail, i figure incoming won't work until MX is propagated.


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