troubleshooting Question

Migrating from Old_Domain w/ Exchange 2003 to New_Domain w/ Exchange 2007

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Evil_RSAFlag for United States of America asked on
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Hey everyone, I'm at a point in our network upgrade that I'm very nervous about.  Please read on, this isn't your typical upgrade.....

For a few years now, our current domain, we'll call it easily enough, Old_Domain, has been giving us pretty clear signs that it isn't a very happy domain.  It started life as a NT 4.0 Domain, had been upgraded to a Win2K domain, and a lot of buggy issues have been brought along for the ride over the years.

The writing on the wall...
We knew we needed to fix our domain, and figured as long as we're talking about rebuilding all our servers, and fixing all the buggy installs we've been dealing with for the last few years, we might as well upgrade everything to Server 2003 or 2008.  The vote came back as 2003 for driver and software compatibility.  We figured we'd bring a few systems as temp servers and do a inline upgrade of the domain on the current servers.  Basically we mean that we would bring up a new PDC, transfer all roles from the current PDC to the temporary one and then wipe and reinstall the real PDC, bring it back up and transfer all roles back to it.  Sure, its a ton more work, but we don't need to build or spec new hardware.

Well, like I said, we knew our network / domain was really not happy.  Let me share how unhappy it was.

Our PDC locked up and then BSOD'd right in the middle of handing off all its PDC roles to the new server.

At this point we said, why do we even want to bring all this rubbish with us.  Lets just build all new, parallel domain to the current one, get it all up and then move all the clients to it.  We can also change our current domain from to OurDomain.local as it should have been from the beginning, but I wasn't here for that all those years ago.

Fast forward to current issue.
Old_Domain is still up and running, Exchange 2003 is running and all clients still point to this server.
New_Domain is up and running, Exchange 2007 is up and running, but not doing anything as no one is pointing to this new domain and there are no DNS pointers for it yet.

What is the best way to upgrade our Exchange 2003 on Old_Domain to our new Exchange 2007 on New_Domain.  I have been told two ways so far, and don't know if they are the best way or not.

1. Use ExMerge (I believe that was it) and then on the new server import the data.
2. Join each user to the new domain first, setup they're outlook 2007 client, then import their PST files from their old profile and let the client "push" the data to the server.

We only have about 8 clients we'd need to do this with so the second option wouldn't be a killer tast or anything.

Thanks for reading my novel!
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