Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

I'm transitioning from Exchange 2003 to 2010. everything checks out ok during the Readiness Checks where it checks the current states of your system to see if it is ready for Exchange 2010 and everything in all categories are good. The only problem is under Organization Prerequisites I get an error that says:

"The forest functional level of the currecnt Acitve Directory forest is not Windows Server 2003 native or later. To install Exchange Server 2010 the forest functional level nust be at least windows server 2003 native."

Well I have only one server running AD and its windows server 2003 SP2 and it was set to mixed, but I went to AD domains and Trust and set it to Function Level: Windows 2003. I also rebooted and re-ran the install and I get the same error. I have 1 server with 2k3 SP2 (Active Directory) now running functional level Windows 2003 and I have 1 Windows 2003 member server running Exchange 2003 SP2, and I have 2 Windows 2008 R2 x64 SP1 member servers that will be for exchange 2010. I don't understand why the error keeps coming when I'm running Functional Level Windows 2003 which was the highest and no longer running mixed. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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timgreen7077Exchange EngineerAsked:
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It sounds to me like you've raised the domain functional level, not the forest function level.

The Active Directory functional level is essentially an internal tracking system used by Active Directory to specify which features can be enabled for your use. Each new release of Windows Server generally adds new features to the directory service which are incompatible with Domain Controllers running older versions of Windows Server. Raising the functional level is an irreversible operation (in most cases) - the Operating System level you raise it to guarantees that the domain/forest will never contain a Domain Controller running an older operating system than the functional level (member servers and workstations on older releases are fine). This has the side-effect that those previously unavailable features in the directory now become available for your use.

Go back to AD Domains and Trusts and raise the forest functional level, by right-clicking on the node at the top of the tree. See for details.

Your pre-requisite check should then pass successfully.

N.B. You should also seriously consider building a second Domain Controller for your environment. It sounds like you are a fairly large deployment (4 servers). All of that infrastructure depends on the integrity and operation of your AD environment as its core component. Should the hardware running your current DC fail, the entire environment will fail. With multiple DCs, the failure of one is not a grave concern - each DC holds a replica of the data on the others.


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timgreen7077Exchange EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help. Also this is an enviroment in my home and believe me it is overkill but I enjoy learning this so that is why I have all this. :)
Again thank you for the help!
>> this is an enviroment in my home and believe me it is overkill but I enjoy learning this so that is why I have all this


You beat me in terms of the number of servers you have operating! I have two at home: one runs my virtual servers with Domain Controllers and Exchange. The other runs my VoIP phone system. Yep, overkill, but cool.

I manage larger networks day-to-day (including one 2500 user network, for which I am pretty much the sole network architect/engineer/troubleshooter/force forward change and new technologies - we have people who do the day-to-day administration but the long-term work or core infrastructure installation & maintenance is mostly me!), but I learnt in a very similar way to you. Set up my first server at home many years ago, broke it, fixed it, learnt a LOT from TechNet, and eventually became an Expert on here. Spend plenty of time reading the best practices, ezines and subscribe to lots of blogs in an RSS Reader (Google Reader is good), especially the ones written by Microsoft employees and product teams themselves. You can go a long way to figuring out the "right" way to do it from just that. As long as you do things the right way, which you learn from both a general awareness and prior experience, and resist the temptation to cut corners, you can get a long way. Of course, a few books do help, too!

Good luck!

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