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Migrating to Windows 2003 server from 2000

Posted on 2006-06-12
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I have a Dell Poweredge 2600 that runs Exchange 2003 server and I am going to by a new Poweredge server with Windows 2003 server.  What I want to do is just replace the machine I have with the new one and keep the same computer name an so forth.  My current server is the DC however.  Does anyone have any suggestions to the steps I would take to accomplish this correctly?  I would need to migrate the users  in active directory as well.  If oits easier to change computer names I can do that as well.  Please advise.
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Question by:Matt Pessolano
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16885772
MUCH easier to change computer names.  Also, BEST to have Exchange NOT be installed on a Domain Controller.  Is this a Small Business Server (SBS 2000) system?  IF so, the procedures will be different.

If I were you, I keep BOTH servers running.  Install the new server, install Exchange on it, migrate exchange off the old server and leave the old server as your DC/File Server.
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by:Matt Pessolano
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not a bad idea.  the reason Im getting rid of the old server is because it keeps freezing and i have to reboot to get it up.  I might not have a choice except to put exchange on it.  But i can maybe make another server the DC.  This is not SBS.  MY DC is not a FS either.  My main concern is active directory.  How do I get the users to transfer
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Transferring the users is easy.  Do you have any spare computers?  Even something old - like a Pentium 2 with 256 MB of RAM?  What you want to do is reinstall the existing server (again Exchange is NOT RECOMMENDED to run on a Domain Controller - it can, but when something is not recommended, I tend to follow the recommendations).

So, to that end, install 2000 server (and appropriate service packs) on a temporary machine.  Once installed, run DCPROMO - this will make the temporary machine a Domain controller.  Then setup the new machine with Exchange Server and move the mailboxes and other exchange services off the old system and onto the new system.  Once everything is working on the new system (PLEASE TEST - including STOPPING Exchange services for a day or two (preferrably a week) on the old system to make sure the new system is working appropriately) UNINSTALL Exchange from the existing server.  Once Exchange is uninstalled, on the temporary server, transfer the FSMO masters and make it a global catalog.  Transfer any services you may have on the old DC to the temp DC - such as DHCP and DNS.  Turn off the problem server for a few days (to make sure everything is working).  Once it's been working for a few days without the problem server on, run DCPROMO on it, demoting it.  Once demoted, FORMAT THE SUCKER!  Reinstall Windows on it and make it a domain controller again.  (If you are concerned the crashes are hardware related, do NOT make it a domain controller for a while - reinstall it and make sure its running as a server (even if it serves nothing) for a while).  Once made a DC, transfer the FSMO roles, GC, and other services back to it from the temp DC.  Again, TEST THINGS at each major step and don't "destroy" (format/erase) anything until your certain things are working.


BEFORE DOING ANYTHING, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACKUP!  System State, Exchange Info Store, etc.  AND MAKE SURE YOU CHECK EVENT LOGS - The event logs will tell you if you have problems even when things SEEM to be working well.

Some reference Links:
http://www.amset.info/exchange/migration.asp
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822931/

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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
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By the way, When you make another machine a domain controller, it replicates the user and computer account information - that's how the information "transfers" - making a machine a DC is done using DCPROMO as I mentioned using.

A couple more links on doing some of the things I spoke of:
http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm
http://www.petri.co.il/configure_a_new_global_catalog.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234790
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=313994
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