going from exchange 2003 on server A to exchange 2003 server B....i need some help

tomdlgns
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Ok...i hope this isnt a very long post, but i need to give you guys as much detail as possible to try to get some help.

scenario...

at my office, i had a server crash on me earlier this year, we will call that server A.  Server A was my one and only exchange 2003 server, running MS server 2003, standard edition.

i had no choice but to quickly get a spare PC to server as a temporary server.  we will call this server B.  installed MS server 2003 standard edition then i installed exchange 2003 and configured it to send email.  it was a very long process, since server A quit on me.  This entire time i had a friend helping me.

we got server B up and running, added AD, etc...everything needed to get it online and ready for exchange, but not with encountering a few error with outlook since server A was not properly taken out of the environment.  we had to mess around in ADSIEDIT, but eventually, we worked out the bugs.  to sum it up...server B was the new exchagne server, all mailboxes were online and i was sending and receiving mail w/o any problems.

the only problem from that day was that we didnt uninstall server A from AD.  so, to this day, server A is still in AD.  everything was working, so i didnt want to take the chance to uninstall it from AD.  i wanted to read up on how to properly remove it from AD, but since everything was running well, i didnt want to mess with anything.

this was in feb of 2009.

FFWD to today, i purchased a new server about a month ago.  we will call this server C, which in the end should be my main exchange 2003 server.  the one and only.

i started off by setting up my raid array on the server, then i installed windows 2003.  i got all the updates, installed them, did the reboots, and then joined it to my domain.  i then added the active directory role to the new server, server C, did the reboot, came back online and made sure i was all set for exchange.

i will try to explain each step i did and at the end i will list the end result.

first, i ran exmerge on serverB to get a copy of everyones PST file.
while that was going on, i installed exchange 2003 on server C and downloaded SP2 for exchange 2003.
after all that, i proceeded to go through the checklist in exchange 2003, which finally took me through the install of exchange 2003 on server C.

inside the exchange system manager, i made my new server the master server and i began to migrate the mailboxes from server B to server A.  a few mailboxes failed, but i did those a second time and they succedded w/o any issues.  i had to take care of the RUS update moving it from server B to server C and all that worked w/o any issues.  also, i had to go to the offline address book and point that from server B to server C.  i am sure there were a few other things i had to point over, but i cant remember them off the top of my head.

now, lets get to outlook 2003.

i configured outlook to use the server C settings and when i pressed check names it found everything just as it normally would.

i continue the wizard and i see my mail box folders, emails, contacts, and calendar start to populate in outlook 2003.  so far so good.  now, i try to send a test email, i send it, it goes through, i log into my gmail (test email) and i reply back to my work email...ok great, i did everything all OK!!!

now, this entire time, server B was still on and plugged into the network.  i wanted to make sure the new server settings worked before i uninstalled/decommissioned server B.

i run back to the server room, unplug the cat5 cable from server B and go back to my office.  i try to send a test email and the email went through, but i received this message.

"task microsoft exvhange server reported error 0x8004010F.  the operation failed.  An object could not be found"

we looked up this error in google and it always points us in the direction of the offline address book, but i am positive that the offline address book is pointing to server C and not server B.  also, we rebuilt the address book and downloaded it on the client side in outlook 2003.  i think it updates every 24 hours, but you can force a download from outlook 2003...assuming you rebuild it in the exchange system manager first.

so i go back to the server room, plug in the cat5 to server b, go back to my office and send a test email again.  the email goes through, i send back my reply from gmail.....no error.  ok, so it is still looking at/replying on server B for something.

my friend that was helping me tonight, which was with me when i had the server A go down earlier in the year, could not stay late, so we had to leave the setup as is...meaning, serverB needs to be online for serverC to successfully send/receive w/o any errors in outlook.

so my question is...how screwed am i?

email is working, but i dont want to have to rely on 2 servers for emails to go through.

thanks for any help and if anyone has any questions, please ask.

TIA!
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Author

Commented:
ummmm...i added 1000 for the custom point field.


i guess that didnt work right.  can a mod help me out here?

Author

Commented:
point change
Expert of the Quarter 2009
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Commented:
Sounds like you haven't replicated the public and system folders to the new machine.
When the original server failed what you should have done was a DR install of Exchange. That would have saved you having to hack through ADSIEDIT which is always a dangerous thing to do.
I would check whether you have the public and system folders on the new machine.

I am not a fan of the "turn off" or "unplug" method of checking if things will work without a server because Exchange isn't designed to work like that. Exchange will expect that server to be there. The only valid way to confirm things are going to work is to remove the server following the Microsoft guide.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822931

Simon.
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Author

Commented:
ok, i am going to take a look at that microsoft guide when i get home.  i am on the road right now.

can you link me to a guide that explains a good way to replicate the public folders?

when i logged on and connected to server C via outlook, outlook froze when i clicked on the public folders.  since i have them backed up, i deleted the pubclic fodlers and just made new ones.

Author

Commented:
ok, i was able to read the guide.  looks like i asked my question prematurely.  the guide does a good job of explaining how to redirect the public share folders.

i am concerned because the public folders were originally on server B, and when i was connected to server C, i deleted the public folders, via outlook 2003, that were popping up.  so i am afraid that there are no public folders to redirect.  or am i not redirecting the actual data, am i just redirecting the store of the public folders so that it isnt pointing to server B?  i think that's it.

mail is working, none of the weekend workers had a problem sending/receiving mail today, so i am a little hesitant to touch it until i can get back there this Saturday.

hopefully someone posts something.

thanks.

Author

Commented:
also, what is the best way to test that only serverC is running exghange?  i don't want to keep unplugging serverB to see if server C is 200% in control.  since that doesn't seem to be the best way to handle this.
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Commented:
There is no way to "test" things, because Exchange doesn't work in that way. You cannot simply stop the old server because Exchange expects it to be there. You have to go through the full article, and check every step. Once you have, the old server needs to be removed correctly - again as per the article.

It cannot be rushed - most of the problems occur when people try to cut corners or simply do not wait long enough. I take three weeks to migrate to a new server when I do a migration (but I am not on site for the entire three weeks) and I have a 100% success rate.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, well as i stated, mail is working fine with both servers online.

i am at the office right now, i am going to go through that checklist again and make sure that every step has been done.

webmail works off of the new server and all the users are working off of the new server.  

so i guess that is a good sign.

Author

Commented:
ok, well i am going through this guide and i am stuck.  

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822931

step 7 in the first section of the guide

In the Propagate Folder Settings box, click to select the Replicas check box, and then click OK. When you complete this step, all subfolders of that top-level folder have a replica on the destination server.

where is the propagate folder setting box?  maybe i am blind, but i didnt see it.
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Commented:
If you are using Exchange 2003 SP2, then it changed, and the article hasn't been updated. When you right click on the folder and choose All Tasks you have an option to set a new replica. If you set it using the wizard then the replica is propagated to all folders below the top level one.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, i am using SP2.

everything seems to be pointing to the new exchange server, from the replication that i did in ESM.

i will take a screen shot of where it is still showing in sync.  however, i have no problem letting this sync for a few days.  but there were def. a few spots where server B was showing up and now it shows server C so i know those changes are starting to replicate.
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Commented:
Ignore the sync status. That cannot be relied upon. The only thing that you can use to confirm the data is in sync is item count.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
Mestha,

this is what i am seeing.

http://www.amirhashemi.com/images/pys7pp6uz9l7k7d7ro6.jpg

the top server, exc is server c
the bottom server, lu is server b

when is the bottom server going ti disappear from that list?

so far, this is the only place i am still seeing server b (lu)
exchange.JPG
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Commented:
That is just showing you the servers associated with the tree, which is fine, but doesn't actually replicate the information. You need to go below that, where there will be additional folders. Each of those folders need to have the new server added to the list of replicas.
Then right click on Public Folders and choose View System Folders and repeat for the OAB folders, schedule plus free busy and Eforms Registry.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
i did the rest, but i will confirm with screen shots.

Author

Commented:
ok, under the public folders, my internet newsgroup folder still shows both servers.

the folder above that, I Contacts, just shows the new exchange server...which is EXC in the pic.


exchange2.JPG

Author

Commented:
ok

Eforms does not have a folder under it...so i cant right click and get to the replication settings.

OAB has 2 directories- the one from the guide you posted tells me to go in one of the folders, which has both of my servers.  the other folder, which the guide didnt say anything about, still has the old server listed and it is alone...

schedule plus free busy has both servers listed.

the new/proper server, serverC, is listed on top in the windows where both servers are listed.

would you like screens?
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Commented:
Internet News groups doesn't matter.

As for the system folders, you probably haven't used Org forms, so there will be no folder to replicate.

If the others have both servers listed, then you need to use ESM and click on the Status Tab. That will show you the item count. For most folders the item count should be the same (one or two out is also not a massive issue). If it shows 0 then the content hasn't replicated yet.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
what is Org forms?

Author

Commented:
ok, i see the status tab you are talking about

for my public folder i contact folder, it shows the proper server, server C

lets focus on the OAB folder, the guide you posted only talks about 1 of the OU folders.  i see 2 ou folders.

one of them ONLY have my old server in there...server B.

Author

Commented:
ok, here is the status on the only public folder.  keep in mind, the correct server shows up under the replication, so i think i did this one right.


1.bmp

Author

Commented:
ok, i am going back through the guide.

step 10 tells me to remove the server in the 'Replicate content to these public stores' but i only see the server C, the good server, in the box and it wont let me remove it.  i assume this is normal.

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Commented:
I replicate everything under the OAB folders.
If you have already replicated the content to the new server, or that folder was created there, then the replica may have already been removed. All public and system folders should have at least one server listed as a replica.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, what about

Create another site replication service SRS Instance

what is that?  i dont think i had one on my old server.

Author

Commented:
ok, here is what i see now..does this mean the sync is done?

according to the article, in sync means it is done, meaning, the servers are syncing.  but i dont know what this means...

thanks!
2.JPG
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Commented:
SRS is an Exchange 5.5 interface. You do not need it for Exchange 2003 systems.
If the item count is the same then that folder has synchronised. As I said above - ignore the status.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, well you will see in screen shot i posted, the item count is the same for that folder.  is is safe to remove the server starting with LU (serverB, the old exchange server) from the replication window?

Author

Commented:
what about schema-root and all the folders in there?
those are all still showing my old exchange server.

Author

Commented:
ok, the OAB folders all have the same number of items...is it time to remove the older server under the replication tab?
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Commented:
The article I originally posted has the only folders that you need to worry about. Not all system folders have to be replicated, as some are server specific, rather than org wide.

If you have all of the content across, along with all of the mailboxes, then remove the old server from the list of replicas, then wait. Exchange will remove the folders in its own time - you can see whether they are still there by looking at Public Folder Instances in ESM under the Public Folder store.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, i am just being extra cautious right now.  and i want to double check everything before i remove the old server from the replication tab.

Author

Commented:
what about when i click on details and i see local modified next to my old server?  i thought i should be seeing In Sync
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Commented:
As I wrote above, the sync status should be ignored. It is close to useless.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
oh right, i missed that.  well, i didn't miss it, but i keep forgetting about it.  right now everything seems to be running smooth.  my old server is still popping up under replication on some of the folders, even though i removed it.  however, you said things will slowly go away with time, so i am waiting for now.

is it safe to say that some places where my old server is listed WONT delete until i remove exchange from that server?

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Commented:
There will be a few things that will not go away until the server is removed. However with regards to public and system folders those will be gone over time. Nothing you can do to speed it up.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
thats fine, i am in no rush.

is there anything else i can test to confirm that everything had been replicated/moved over?

i followed that guide and i went over it 3 times to make sure i got all the folders....but i just hate having that feeling of not knowing what is next.

i would hate to remove the old server only to have missed something.

side note- is it safe to configure my new blackberry server and webmail/active sync?  at this point, i am hoping that the BB program and the iis stuff wont point to the old exchange server.  i know it shouldnt, but do you think i should wait before configuring that stuff?
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Commented:
As long as the account you are using for Blackberry is pointing at the new server, then it shouldn't be dependant on the old server for anything.

At some point you have to bite the bullet and attempt an uninstall. If something has been missed then setup will often throw and error and not allow you to continue.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, thanks for the info.  i will have to wait until the weekend before i attempt an uninstall.

obviously, letting the older server run, even after all folders have replicated, wont hurt anything...so i dont see the harm in leaving it on until i can get here on a free day to uninstall.

Author

Commented:
after everyone was off of the network, i rebooted my old server, server B.  once i could no longer ping the server, i tried to send mail from outlook 2003 to my gmail and then i replied from my gmail back to my email account on the new exchange server, server C.  

good news, the mail sent and received w/o any error messages while the old server was rebooting.

this is a good sign, from what i can gather.

what do you think Mestha?
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Commented:
That is what you should have expected.
Message Tracking would also show you what Exchange did with the message, to show that it was delivered outside or sent elsewhere.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
Where do I check message tracking to get email details?
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Commented:
Do you have message tracking enabled?
If not then you need to enable it. Then use the message tracking center under Tools to query the logs.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/message-tracking.asp

Simon.

Author

Commented:
Ok I will check when I get back in the office.

Author

Commented:
this is odd....

for some reason, i went to open up a new email today and i started typing the users name and it didnt show up, as it normally does for someone who i have emailed in the past.

i was sending an email to my personal email account and i know i emailed myself...why didnt the address pop up for me?

i just tested it with a user i emailed about 5 minutes ago and their email popped up.  is the address book some how resetting itself?

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Commented:
The popup list (nicknames file) is exclusively client side, nothing to do with Exchange. It could have got reset in some way, how I wouldn't like to say.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
why would you not like to say?

there has to be a reason why the nickname file was reset on my machine.

as long as it doesnt keep doing it, i dont mind.  but i dont want this thing resetting every few days.

i used my personal email account when i was testing emails sat, sun, mon, tues, wed, and then today all of a sudden it is gone.  strange.

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Commented:
I haven't said because I don't know.
The nicknames file should be considered disposable, but users don't see it that way.
It could have been removed by AV, a disk glitch etc. No idea.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ahh ok...well as long as it doesn't keep happening, i am ok with it.

if they get deleted again next week, then i will have to look into it a little deeper.

if i enable message tracking, i can see which server the email goes through before it gets to the inbox?

i know it has to be going through the new server, but i am still not ready to shut the other exchange box off yet.  again, i am in no hurry to take the old box out.

Author

Commented:
mestha, how about server A.  not that my exchange problem seems to be resolved (until i turn the old one off) what is the best way to remove server A from my domain?  this was the server that crashed on my and it was never properly taken off of the network.  it was actually my backup DNS server.

it has not been in use for about 6 months now.
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Commented:
Message tracking will show you what Exchange did with the message, whether it delivered it to another Exchange server or to an external host.

As for removing the other server, that depends on whether it was an Exchange server or not. If it was not, then you can simply remove the references in the domain.
However if it was an Exchange server then you will need to take more care with removing it.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
yes, server A was an exchange server, the one that didnt turn back on.  then i setup server B, temporarily, but once server B was online, i had to mess with ASIEDIT.  right now, server A doesnt show up in ESM, only server B and Server C.  the only place i see server A at is in AD.

Author

Commented:
i just enabled message tracking.  does it create 1 log file per day?  i set the number of days to keep the logs for to 30.

i imagine that i will see what is happening with each email by reviewing the log file, but i would like to know how often a log file is generated?

thanks.

Author

Commented:
ok, i sent an email from my exchange account to my gmail and i instantly saw a log file save to the folder on my server where i set logs to save to.

i opened it up, did a search for server B- nothing came up
i did a search for server A- nothing came up

i did a search for server C, the good server that is online, and it found many hits.

is it safe to say that server C is 100% in production and not relying on anything else right now?

thanks.

Author

Commented:
this text file is very, very hard to read.  it hurts my eyes.

Author

Commented:
well, it looks like i am able to copy/paste it into an excel spreadsheet.  much easier to read.
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Commented:
You query message tracking with the message tracking center under tools.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
@

You query message tracking with the message tracking center under tools.

Simon.

you lost me.  i followed your guide to enable message tracking.

that tells me that it goes through my external host, which is message labs, then it hits server C, the newest server.

it shows other things as well, but i think that is the main thing i need to look at.
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Commented:
That means you have a smart host set on the SMTP virtual server, which is wrong. Email needs to go directly between the servers, not via another host.
I know Message Labs and some others were giving out instructions for setting the smart host for their service on to SMTP virtual servers, and I know have been asked to stop, but they seem to know best.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/smtp-connector.asp

Simon.

Author

Commented:
huh?

my mail has to go through messagelabs first.

you lost me.

my point was...the onyl server that shows up is server C, the newest server.  i just want to clarify that none of the old servers are showing up in the log file.

as far as sending mail out, it doesnt go through message labs.  only the incoming mail goes through message labs, they scan it for virus and spam.

is it safe to uninstall ESM from server B?
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Commented:
Your message above says that you see the message go through the external host then it hits the new server. What was what then? An inbound email from an external recipient?

If the server has no mailboxes on it, then remove Exchange using add/remove programs. It will soon tell you if it cannot be removed for some reason.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
i am sorry, i probably should have been a bit more specific.

what i was trying to say was that with enabling the message tracking, in the log file i see that if i email from my gmail account to the exchange server email address, i see that it hits message labs first, then i see that it hits my new exchange server, server C.

my mistake if i mis worded it or made it sound like something was happening before something else.

i just wanted to let you know that the only server i see in the log file is my newest exchange server.

that should verify that the old server is 100% out of the loop, other than the fact that it is still in ESM.  i also followed that support article that points out the public folder replications and the OAB folders, along with some other system folders.

from all the guides you posted, i covered every guide in and out multiple times, just to make sure i got everything.

the only mail boxes the old server has are the system mailboxes.  i think it is normal for those to stay on the old server.

i thought you said that i need to pop in the exchange server CD in the old server and remove it that way.  in your last post you said i can remove it from add/remove programs.

does it matter which route i take?



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Commented:
You will need the CD whatever happens.
When you use add/remove programs it will ask for the CD.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
ok, thanks.

Author

Commented:
i did not forget about this question, i just dont want to submit points until i uninstall exchange from the old server.

i have to do that on a weekend just in case...

thanks for all the help, i am very confident that all of your suggestions were the right thing to do.

Thanks.

Author

Commented:
for anyone reading the thread, read the entire thing.

thanks again!!!!

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