Upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003

I need to upgrade an Operating System on a Server we have from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2003. First a little background on it.

It is part of the domain but not a domain controller or anything like that.

It is currently running Microsoft Exchange 2003 sp2 and that is it's only job basically.

Is this upgrade as simple as putting the CD's in and clicking Next through out the process? It kind of seems that way but I don't want to fall into a false sense of comfort here.
Rmumpower00Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Especially being an Exchange server, I would STRONGLY recommend you swing it and not do an upgrade. Clean installs always work better - less legacy stuff to mess you up.
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Rmumpower00Author Commented:
Wow, a Clean install would require an uninstall of the Exchange 2003 correct?
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Rmumpower00Author Commented:
I did a quick research on how to do a Clean install of Server 2003 and the steps that are involved is inserting the Disks and rebooting the machine.

Would that basically overwrite the entire contents of that Hard Drive and take away my Exchange?
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Chev_PCNCommented:
With MS there's theory and reality.
In theory, you should just be able to plug in the CD or DVD and do the upgrade, and I have seen it work many times before, However, with something like Exchange, Leew has hit the nail right on the thumb - it's better to do a clean install and avoid future complications.

If you are determined to do the in-place upgrade, then I would strongly recommend having a full backup of everything beforehand, and preferably an image of your system disk too.
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Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
I don´t know if it possible upgrade from win 2000 to win 2003 with Exchange installed, but maybe you can make a little test.

Get software to conver physical machines into virtual. Virtualize your Exchange.
Start on a closed network and try upgrade.
Case of you need formatting Exchange, you must to uninstall it, backing up databases or exporting to a pst file (if you don´t like lose emails): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125110(EXCHG.65).aspx
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Rmumpower00Author Commented:
I think I will purchase a new Hardware system, install the latest OS, the latest Exchange System and do a migration. If I'm going to go through this much trouble for an upgrade to 2003 I might as well take it all the way.

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Chev_PCNCommented:
I agree - if you're going to all this trouble why not go straight to Server 2008?
2003 is EOS, and mainstream support ended last year already.
http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3198
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Rmumpower00Author Commented:
@Chev PCN: If I purchase Windows Server 2008 with the intention of putting Exchange 2010 on it for our Email. Do I need to purchase a CAL for each person in the Company?
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Chev_PCNCommented:
The old model was based on 1 CAL per active email user, so it was based around the number of concurrent connections to Exchange. I'm afraid with 2010 that I don't know.
You can start looking here: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/en-us/how-to-buy.aspx 
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Rmumpower00Author Commented:
I just called Microsoft and they told me I would need one License for the Application and 1 CAL for each user accessing their Email.  Along with I would need one License for the OS and one CAL for each user accessing the Server for their email.

Thank you guys for your help. I am going to split the points.
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Windows Server 2003

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