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Exchange 2003 To 2010 Migration - multiple databases to choose from

Posted on 2012-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-08-28
I am in the process of migrating from 2003 to 2010 ( I am first doing this in a test environment.)  I am the point where I am ready to move the mailboxes over to 2010. When I select the mailboxes then choose local move...I am then prompted to choose a database on the 2010 server to move them to but their are four databases listed.  Which database do I choose and why would there be four to choose from ?
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Question by:A.V.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 38329865
Did you create the four databases? It may also show you databases from the Exchange 2003 platform as well.

Simon.
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lunanat earned 2000 total points
ID: 38329877
Well, if this is a test environment, I would recommend that you go to your Exch2010 box and delete all of the databases.

You'll find that one has a bunch of system mailboxes in it (arbitration, attendant, etc)... that one you can either keep (I named mine "service boxes" and put all of my service account mailboxes there) or you can follow the microsoft procedure for removing that database too.

The reason I suggest this, is that now you have a clean slate.  You can make a new database, know exactly where it is, and exactly what you intend to do with it.

The reason you would have multiple databases, is because in the end data is stored in one giant flat file... each database has its own file.  There are many things applied to the database, and most companies have a "high priority" database where their executives go.  That's the first one to be restored in a server rebuild, it's the one with the highest performance storage if you're on a physical server, etc.

Why there are four?  I'm guessing at some point they were created, likely as a result of your testing.  It's harmless to have them though, as long as you're consistent in where you put your users.
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38330599
I am still a little confused.  All I did was install Exchange 2010...I didn't manually create any databases.
How do I delete the databases?
Also, if I delete them all, then I start a local move of the mailboxes, will there be a database for me to move them too?
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Expert Comment

by:lunanat
ID: 38330753
As Sembee2 mentioned, they could be databases from your Exch2k3 box... be careful when deleting that you're only deleting the empty mailboxes.

To delete a mailbox database from the GUI:
Exchange On Premises > Organization Configuration > Mailbox

Choose the database management tab.

You will see all of your databases there... MAKE SURE that it says the "Servers" and "Mounted On Server" are the exch2010.  It shouldn't list other servers there, but I can't check so I can't say for sure.

At that point, right-click on the database and dismount it.  Doing so will make it unavailable, without deleting it.  Good way to make sure that nothing is indeed using it.  If you dismount and nobody complains (run some tests of your own) then you know it's safe, and you can right-click remove.

From powershell, it's as simple as:
Get-MailboxDatabase -server Exch2010ServerName | Remove-MailboxDatabase

But.  Be CAREFUL.  Run the first command first (get-mailboxdatabase -server exch2010) to see what it's going to delete.  Powershell leaves little room for mistakes.  Probably better if you aren't confident to use the GUI.

Moving mailboxes will not automatically create a new database.  But that's easy to create.

From the GUI, in the same place where you would go to remove, you can simply (within the 'Actions' section) choose 'New Mailbox Database', and fill out the wizard.  You'll then want to right-click on it, go into the properties > client settings, and make sure the PF and OAB settings are as desired (browse is your friend for both).

Out of curiosity...  in the GUI database management, what are the database names, and which are attached to what servers?
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38331111
hang on ------ please do not jump to delete or create or damage you're existing environment,
Phew !!!

I am then prompted to choose a database on the 2010 server to move them to but their are four databases listed.  Which database do I choose and why would there be four to choose from

Please provide us the screenshot of what you see and we can then guide you, we're aiming in the dark it seems - that - *you may be having something in your closet, so let us go and flush the toilet* - such a logic wouldn't help.

So, let us see what you are seeing and help you make the right decision.

If I'm wrong in my thought, please make it clear and my comments wouldn't continue on your thread :)

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38331373
Well I already deleted the databases and created a new one before I read this last post.  However, I do I can revert back to the snapshot if necessary.  So..I deleted the existing 4 databases and created a new one.  Tried again to perform a local move of the mailboxes and receive a new error ....
Error: MapiExceptionNetworkError: Unable to make connection to the server. (hr=0x80004005, ec=2423)
Diagnostic context:
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Expert Comment

by:lunanat
ID: 38331391
Ah, I've had a problem similar to that before.

All I did was initiate the move from the other server.  Didn't bother to fix, as that work-around worked well for me.

Exchange_Geek is right to advise caution, and to get a bigger picture before deleting things.  It's exceptionalyl easy to delete a production database - and there goes all your user's mail.

As for your snapshot, bear in mind that yes the database is stored on exchange, but a great deal of exchange settings are AD integrated - reverting the excahnge server would put the data back, but not the references to the data.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38331890
@nytekgirl As mentioned please provide us screenshots of what you are trying to attempt and the errors you are facing. Else, you would expect answers that'll drive you crazy. I'm sorry we're being adamant on the fact to get data - for only 1 reason, is to help you solve your issue quickly.

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38338521
So below you will see the error when i attempt to move a mailbox to the new server.  And I think I see the problem.  
If you scroll about halfway down you will see the reference to the current Exchange 2003 server EXSRVRMAIL03.ELIZABETH.  However.....Elizabeth is our old SLD domain.  Before I began the Exchange 2010 migration process I renamed their old single lable domain Elizabeth to a new domain ABC.local
Not sure why this is being pulled from as the rename ws successfull..

Summary: 1 item(s). 0 succeeded, 1 failed.
Elapsed time: 00:00:12


Adam James
Failed

Error:
MapiExceptionNetworkError: Unable to make connection to the server. (hr=0x80004005, ec=2423)
Diagnostic context:
    ......
    Lid: 8600    dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: ProcessID: 1852
    Lid: 12696   dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: Generation Time: 2012-08-27 20:42:38:296
    Lid: 10648   dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: Generating component: 18
    Lid: 14744   dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: Status: 11001
    Lid: 9624    dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: Detection location: 320
    Lid: 13720   dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: Flags: 0
    Lid: 11672   dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: NumberOfParameters: 1
    Lid: 8856    dwParam: 0x6BA      Msg: EEInfo: prm[0]: Unicode string: EXSRVRMAIL03.ELIZABETH
    Lid: 53361   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 51859  
    Lid: 33649   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 43315  
    Lid: 58225   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 50835  
    Lid: 62321   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 47987  
    Lid: 50033   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 52465   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 60065  
    Lid: 33777   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 59805  
    Lid: 52209   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 56583  
    Lid: 52487   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 19778  
    Lid: 27970   StoreEc: 0x977    
    Lid: 17730  
    Lid: 25922   StoreEc: 0x977    

Exchange Management Shell command attempted:
'ABC.local/Users/John Doe'| New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase 'Exchange2010'

Elapsed Time: 00:00:12
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338565
May I ask how many mailboxes are we working with and what's the co-relation of you're mailboxes and this domain listed?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38338608
About 600 mailboxes.  They currently have one 2003 Exchange Server and I am trying to upgrade them to Exchange 2010 so I can then decommision the 2003 Server.  Since an in place upgrade is not available from 2003 to 2010 I am in the process of trying to get everything moved to the newly installed Exchange 2010 Server.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338688
I could have recommended you to export data and import if move mailbox process is so much time consuming.

Now, what is the connection with the domain and this move mailbox?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38338694
I am not sure I understand your question:  Now, what is the connection with the domain and this move mailbox?

There is only one domain ABS.local and both servers are one it but the move mailbox error logs are still referencing the old domain as I stated above.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338721
Can you ping your legacy server by shortname? Also, check which server does the EXSRVRMAIL03.ELIZABETH server respond to if you ping it from E2010 box?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Author Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38338746
No  I can not ping EXSRVRMAIL03.ELIZABETH  because .Elizabeth does not exist anymore.  You can ping it by its new FQDN EXSRVRMAIL03.ABC.local and if you ping the netwbios name of EXSRVRMAIL03 i reiceve the correct response of EXSRVRMAIL03.hrbs.local
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38338767
There is a step that I would like you to work out in ADSIEDIT, it should fix you're issue.

Are you familiar with adsiedit?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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Expert Comment

by:lunanat
ID: 38338816
As for your snapshot, bear in mind that yes the database is stored on exchange, but a great deal of exchange settings are AD integrated - reverting the excahnge server would put the data back, but not the references to the data.

Now, what is the connection with the domain and this move mailbox?

If you scroll about halfway down you will see the reference to the current Exchange 2003 server EXSRVRMAIL03.ELIZABETH.  However.....Elizabeth is our old SLD domain.  Before I began the Exchange 2010 migration process I renamed their old single lable domain Elizabeth to a new domain ABC.local

It sounds like you changed your domain, rather than rename the exchange server (which MS will quickly say is unsupported), however I suspect that in large part those two are quite similar in their effect on your exchange environment.

I always get nervous with ADSIEDITs, no room for mistakes.  I'm going to bow out on this one, I really would hate to lead you astray on this one - I wish you and Exchange_Geek the best of luck.

Make sure you've got a good full backup of all your mailboxes.. something that can restore to a completely new mailserver using existing users, etc.
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Author Closing Comment

by:A.V.
ID: 38339132
Deleted the databases and created a new one.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Geek
ID: 38339769
@nytekgirl: Is you're move mailbox issue solved?

Regards,
Exchange_Geek
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