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Moving Exchange

Tim Ordway
Tim Ordway used Ask the Experts™
We are in the process of moving the Exchange from in house to Comcast Business due to new server installation.  Old exchange is on Server 2003.  There will be no new exchange on the new server. There are only 4 e-mails. Basically what is the best way to do this move. Will mail boxes have to be moved? What about OST files? DNS setup? Not much experience with Exchange.
Thanks to all who respond

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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

So to clarify, you are moving to a hosted Exchange solution?

How are you storing your emails at the moment? You mentioned OST, so I assume you are not using PSTs. In other words your email is stored on the Exchange server.

You will most likely have to move you mail to PSTs, although Comcast might have another way of bringing your mail over for you. Since you only have four addresses, this shouldn't take too long.

As for what you will do once you email server is moved, you should receive instructions from Comcast on how to connect and get your mail, since if you start downloading your mail to PSTs, then it isn't being backed up.
Assuming that you are wanting to move your mailboxes to COMCAST exchange server, here is what you will do.

1. Firstly, understand that OST is nothing but a cached version of your EXCHANGE EMAIL account that is kept on your local PC. This allows you to access your old emails even when exchange is DOWN. For the purpose of this move, you may not worry about OST at all because OST files cannot be moved without converting them to PST. What you will do is STEP2 onwards.

2. Go to outlook and export the entire MAILBOX to a .PST file. Outlook 2010 instructions here - http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/outlook-help/export-outlook-items-to-an-outlook-data-file-pst-HA102534110.aspx . DO this for all 4 mailboxes

3. Next you will setup 4 MAILBOXES (or get comcast to do it) on the new server. Obviously the new server mailboxes will be empty.

4. You will then create a new outlook profile on these same PCs to talk to this new EXCHANGE SERVER. Once connection has been successfully established, go to STEP 5.

5. You will now perform an IMPORT operation. So basically follow same steps as in STEP 2 above but instead of export, click on import and point to the PST file you saved earlier. This process will take a few hours depending on how big your mailbox is.
Once finished, all your outloook items, calendar, mailbox etc. will be moved to the new exchange server.

Hope this helps, Any questions feel free to ask.
If you are not familiar with EXChANGE, for my STEP4 above ask COMCAST to guide you through as only they will know their DNS settings etc.

For your own satisfaction, you may send this procedure to them and confirm it. I have used this several times myself (not with COMCAST but with other providers), and COMCAST should be no different.
Tim Ordwayowner