Has anyone upgraded Exchange 2003 to 2007? How hard is it?


I work in a school district and we have about 200 active Exchange Mailboxes on Exchange 2003.
The server has some issues after a virus attack last year.  It runs fine, but every time I reboot it some services do not start automatically, even though they are set that way in control panel.

So after I reboot I have to remember to manually start the information store, OWA, and POP3.  There was a virus that deleted a bunch of services and I did an in place repair/upgrade of the OS.  Also had to copy a CurrentControlSet in the registry over top the current one.

So I guess my question is two fold, first what would be the steps in backing up and completely re-installing the OS and Exchange?  Also would an upgrade to Exchange Server 2007 fix some of these issues, and has anyone done an upgrade already?


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You can not upgrade. You should install it on a different machine then migrate the mailboxes.
Here is all you need.



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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
Very true - you cannot upgrade you have to install Exchange 2007 on a new box (which must be 64bit running 64bit Windows Server) and move thw mailboxes as isaman07 says.
An upgrade would resolve some of your issues in that you would be moving to new hardware, and 2003->2007 is relatively easy.

I would be more inclined to do a double swing migration - setup a temp server, migrate everything to that, format and kill the old server totally, then migrate back to it.  You would then end up with 1 clean server, freshly installed, and it wouldn't take a whole lot of effort.
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Keep in mind that the Exchange 2007 no longer has its MTA built-in

You will need to define another server for CAS/HUB role to route your mail to/from Exchange
You can have that on the same server though, single server Exchange deployments do exist ;)
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
This could be fun... I'm doing a migration of my test environment to 2007 on 2008 in the coming days...
diablo-26Author Commented:
Thanks for all the advice... yes our current server is our web / exchange / moodle / DC.
What can I say... budgets are tight in the school arena...

I work for a school district as well and migrated from exchange 2003 to 2007.  We did this on new hardware.  We have 350+ mailboxes.  Went very well.  It took us 2 days to complete.  We had 4 mailboxes that we needed to export into Outlook, save the pst file and then import as they wouldn't migrate.  The article mentioned above is very good.  make sure you install SP1.  Without it, your users will complain about OWA.
diablo-26Author Commented:

What do you see as the advantages of upgrading?  Can the users change their OWA passwords now themselves?  I know a lot of people complained that they couldn't in OWA.


You should have been able to change your password in 2003
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