Migrating users, computers and mailboxes from one domain to another in a Windows Server 2003 environment

I have the following servers:

Server #1, Small Business Server 2003 R2 w/ SP2 (current)

Server #2, Small Business Server 2003 R2 w/ SP2 (new)

Both servers are are Primary Domain Controllers and Exchange servers. They are also using the same domain name but are not in any way linked to one another via a trust or network connection.

The servers different from a network point of view; different Hostname, IP and Subnet, connected into the same router but on separate VLANs.

What I need to do is migrate/copy all existing users, computers and Exchange mailboxes from Server #1 to Server #2. I don't want to do a full backup of Server #1 and restore on to Server #2 because Server #1 has all sorts of performance and stability issues, and apart from that both servers differ in spec an awful lot.

Any idea what I would have to do to accomplish this task? Any help appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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sbsmigration swing kit will work here, it's about $200-$300 if I remember correctly. It will be perfect for this type of event.

I will explain what this does, briefly.

You have 2 SBS servers. One new, ready for new users and computers to be moved over to it. One which is old and unstable (hardware-wise).

This kit will help you (walk you through steb by step) on how to Install SBS from disk to a certain stage, join it to the domain as if it were a member of the old domain. It will become a domain controller and take a copy of Active Directory (including all users and computers - you won't have to rejoin PCs to the domain). It will help you copy DNS and DHCP to your new hardware while running beside the old server.

Once all this has replicated over, you will then seize all the roles from the old server to the new server. You can then turn off your old server and continue the installation of the rest of the SBS setup.
This will then be a brand new copy of your old domain, on new hardware.

Once exchange is installed, you can either do a brick level restore using 'Exmerge' (great and easy tool to use for this exact task) and or do a forklift to the new exchange server.

Read through the sbsmigration site and it will help you greatly.


Below is taken directly from the link:

[TempDC] Clean install a Windows 2003 Server (using SBS media) as a workgroup server only.
Manually join it to the existing SBS domain, preparing this server as a Temp DC.
Install DNS, perform DCpromo and designate as a Global Catalog Server.
Replicate DNS and AD then shutdown and disconnect
Seize all FSMO roles
Purge the Active Directory metabase and DNS of all previous Domain Controllers, Exchange and DNS Server references
[FinalDC] Clean install Windows 2003 Server just as before, reuse the original SBS Server name and IP. This server will look just like the previous SBS for name, IP, AD, and UNC/URL paths.
Install DNS, perform DCpromo, designate as Global Catalog Server.
Replicate DNS and AD.
Seize all FSMO roles, purge the Temp DC from DNS and AD
Finish normal SBS Setup using this Server
Complete the balance of migration of Exchange, all Data, and shared resources
If desired, perform a migration of the intact Exchange Information Store as a direct mount of the previous Information Store as if it were an offline restore. Reconnect mailboxes.
Perform a direct substitution of the new server for the old SBS
Deploy Applications as normal for SBS.

Hope this is what you need :)
You will have to use exmerge. Using exmerge you will first extract the mailboxes to pst files, then you will import them using exmerge into the mailboxes on your new server. In order to use exmerge, you must have the exchange full administrator role and full access on the mailbox store. Let me know if you need more info.

DReade83Author Commented:
MarkMichael, thanks for your reply. At first it sounded like that was exactly what I needed. However I've already done a full install of SBS on the new server, which has taken nearly a full working day to get it to the stage it's at now - i.e. it's practically ready, everything installed, just need to bring across the users, computers and Exchange mailboxes.

So unfortunately it's not actually what I'm looking for.

isaman07, I've used ExMerge before, only a year or so ago in fact, so using this again won't be a problem.

Just need to work out how to copy across the users and computers using the current server states and I'll be sorted. :-)
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Well if you have too many users you will need a third party utility to export and import users.
DReade83Author Commented:
It's not a case that there are a lot of users, there's only 7 to be precise. The problem is my client has roaming profiles setup for everyone. The problem here is I would need to reconfigure all client PCs (remove and re-add to the domain), sort out the roaming profiles, permissions, and so on...

Is there no utility that can do all this for me?
Have you had a look at the: Active Directory Migration Tool v3.0


I've never actually used it, but i've heard it can do what you need. It's definitely worth a read through before diving in. I've always used the swing method. Much easier to use and can actually be done while the old server is online.

Typically, SBS takes about 4-5 hours to set up to run the basics. Using the sbsmigration tool will save you time in my opinion. However, you will still need to backup and restore the data from one server to another to keep security permissions.

DReade83Author Commented:
PAQed with points refunded (500)

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