How do I implement Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 in a 2003 environment

Posted on 2009-02-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi All,

This question is a bit complicated so I am awarding 500 points.

We have one server which is running our DNS, DHCP, Exchange 2003, and Server 2003 Standard.  We also have roaming profiles with folder re-directions setup and all of those profiles are stored on the server on a data partition.

We recently just got a new server in which is a huge upgrade from our old one, we now have two quad core processors and 8GB of ram compared to a single dual core with 2GB of ram.  However, I need to know how to transition everything over to this new server and what steps I should go in to make it as seamless as possible.  It's inevitable that both servers will need to run at the same time for a while in order to migrate mail boxes and such from Exchange.  On the new server, we will be installing Server 2008 Hyper V 64 Bit along with Exchange 2007 64 Bit and it will become our new file server for profiles and such.

My questions are the following:

What steps do I take to make it seamless and how to I go about it since we are not technically upgrading the old server but rather going to a brand new server.

How does AD know where the profiles are stored and how do I get all their profiles and docs over the new server and keep the path in the AD Objects.  For example: User John Doe has his profile stored on \\example-server\data and now I move that folder aka his profile to the new server.  How does AD know to look for that on the new server??

Sorry for being confused, this is new territory for me though!

Question by:Kyle_B21
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    LVL 58

    Assisted Solution


    The procedure for migrating Active Directory is very simple. As is the Exchange 2003 -> 2007 migration procedure. The most important aspect is that you allow enough time to complete the procedures, and you should be fine.

    I'll post an additional comment in a few moments regarding how to migrate the Domain Controller role over to your new 2008 Server.

    As for the Exchange migration, there is a very good set of articles at which details the exact procedure.

    As a summary, the procedure would have to be completed in the following way:

    1. Install the Server 2008 machine, install Hyper-V and create all VMs
    2. Transfer the DC role to the new machine, but do NOT demote the old server
    3. Now transfer Exchange
    4. Uninstall Exchange 2003
    5. Only at this point can you then demote your 'old' server

    This will avoid the issue which occurs when Exchange is installed on a DC - running dcpromo on any Exchange Server will kill Exchange on that server, often irrecoverably.

    As for the profiles, the profile path is stored in each users' Active Directory user account properties, on the 'Profile' tab. To migrate your profiles, you'd use ROBOCOPY (from Microsoft) with the /COPYALL switch. This ensures security permissions copy over. You would then have to update each user's profile such that the profile path references the new server's profile share, not the old one.

    Let me know if you have any questions and look out for the AD migration procedure shortly.

    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution

    AD Migration procedure, as promised:

    Install Windows Server 2008 onto the new server which is intended to be promoted as a Domain Controller. Ensure the new server is assigned a routable static IP address on your IP subnet. Ensure the IP address is not included in any of your existing DHCP scopes. The only DNS server entry at this stage should be the IP address of the existing domain controller on your network.

    After installation, join the new machine to the existing domain as a member server. This procedure is exactly the same as joining a workstation to the domain.

    Since you are upgrading the Operating System on the new Domain Controller, you will need to add some values to the existing Active Directory schema, in order for the new server to become a Domain Controller. Windows Server 2008 supports more functionality than before, so a schema upgrade for the domain and forest is required to facilitate this and make this new feature set fully functional on the domain. To make the necessary changes, you must be logged on as the built-in Administrator user account, or a user with Domain, Schema and Enterprise Admin privileges.

    Insert the Windows Server 2008 media into your current server . Open a command prompt and browse to sources\adprep folder within the Windows Server 2008 DVD media. Execute the command adprep /forestprep.

    Next, execute adprep /domainprep . You must be logged on as a Domain Admin user for these steps to work correctly. Once these commands have run your Active Directory schema will have been extended to support Windows Server 2008 as a Domain Controller.

    Promote the new server as a Domain Controller for the domain. Enter dcpromo at a command prompt and follow the wizard. When prompted, select the option for an additional domain controller in an existing domain. After the wizard completes, the new server will be acting as a Domain Controller for your domain. It is necessary at this point to restart the server for these changes to be applied.

    In a single-domain Active Directory forest, all servers should also be Global Catalog servers. The Global Catalog is a required component of Active Directory which is used during logins to establish universal group membership for a user account. To promote the new server as a Global Catalog, open Active Directory Sites and Services from the Administrative Tools container within Control Panel or on the Start Menu. Double-click Sites, then Servers, followed by the name of the new server. Next, right-click "NTDS Settings" and select Properties. On the General tab, check the Global Catalog checkbox. Restart the new Domain Controller for changes to take effect.

    Since you intend on removing the old Domain Controller from the domain, you need to transfer all the Operations (FSMO) roles to the new Domain Controller.

    The current FSMO role configuration for your network can be found by running the command "netdom query fsmo" at a command prompt on a Domain Controller.

    To transfer these FSMO roles to the new domain controller, follow the information detailed in the following Microsoft Support article: Please ensure any other information you follow is information regarding the TRANSFER of FSMO roles. Seizing FSMO roles is an emergency operation which should not be performed during this procedure.

    DNS is a critical component of your Active Directory network. The easiest way to install the DNS role onto the new server is to follow the instructions outlined at You should be already using Active Directory-integrated DNS zones, which is the easiest method of allowing DNS replication to occur - DNS information is stored in Active Directory and replicates with Domain Controller replication traffic. To check if your DNS zones are AD-integrated (and convert them if not), please follow

    You probably want to enable DNS forwarding in the DNS console on the server, too. This forwards lookups for external domains to a DNS server at your ISP, which allows the server to effectively resolve DNS for external domains. More information on forwarders can be found at

    To move DHCP to the new server, you will need to first install the role. To install the role in Windows Server 2008, check the DHCP Server role option within the Add Roles wizard in the Server Manager. To correctly configure DHCP after the role is installed on your new server, you will need to ensure you configure it to distribute IP addresses which are in a different range to the IP scope defined on the other DHCP server. You should also ensure the correct DNS and WINS servers are entered into the scope options. Remember that the only DNS servers which should be configured on workstations are the Domain Controllers which are also acting as DNS servers - no ISP DNS server should ever be set through DHCP.

    Once all of these steps have been completed, you should have successfully transferred all of the Active Directory roles to the new domain controller. You now need to return to my above post and start the Exchange migration. Only once Exchange is fully migrated and has been UNINSTALLED from the old server should you proceed. This is VERY important - demote the old Domain Controller now, and you will kill Exchange.

    Once Exchange is migrated and uninstalled, you should be safe to switch the old DC back on, run dcpromo and demote it from its Domain Controller role. This will remove the DC as a Domain Controller, leaving it as a member server on the network.

    To completely remove the DC from the network, you will need to remember that any other data - including folder redirection folders and user profiles - should be replicated or otherwise transferred to either the new server or another location on the network. As I mentioned, ROBOCOPY is very good for achieving this.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    It might be worth looking at setting up DFS when you migrate the users profiles/documents etc.  If your server is running Server 2003 R2 you could also use it to replicate the data to the new server, rather than using robocopy.

    Author Comment

    Thank you both for the information!! It's great!! Exactly what I was looking for.

    As for the DFS, I was planning on demoting the old server but erasing everything and installing a fresh copy of Server 2008 that we have and using that as a member server to handle our anti-virus software management and such.

    Could I use DFS to copy the profiles to the new server and then trash the old server and after the re-load run DFS again once the 2008 member server is back up.

    I would like to use this other OLD box as a SDC but also for profiles to keep the work distributed.  What do you guys think I should do??
    LVL 58

    Assisted Solution


    You could certainly use DFS for a bit of file-server redundancy after the old one is rebuilt. However, if you are looking to pretty quickly format and reinstall the old server, I wouldn't consider spending the time configuring DFS just to do the one-time profile and data migration. Use ROBOCOPY with the /COPYALL switch for that, and then once the old server is rebuilt, you can then set about configuring a more permanent DFS solution.

    ROBOCOPY is a pretty neat tool, the /COPYALL switch ensures the NTFS security permissions are also copied across with the files, and the average network worth of data should copy overnight or over a weekend.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for all your help!!

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