Can you restore Exchange 2010 mailboxes to Exchange 2003?

Posted on 2012-08-24
Last Modified: 2012-08-24
I have a client running Exchange 2003 on an ESX 4.1 server and I want to upgrade them to Exchange 2010. Their production host servers can run 64-bit vms, but their disaster recovery servers can only run 32-bit vms. Is it possible to restore Exchange 2010 mailboxes to an Exchange 2003 server in the event that I am forced to use a disaster recovery server? If it is possible, can you direct me to some detailed instructions? Everything I found talks of restoring Exchange 2003 mailboxes to Exchange 2010, not the other way around.

Thanks for your help.
Question by:fisher_king
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lior Karasenti
    I think your only option is 3rd party tool like edb to pst
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    please check this site for once off conversion  for few bucks as this is the only option.
    LVL 116

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    No, Use ExMerge to Export the Mailbox to a PST, and then attach the PST to Outlook, and copy their email to their Exchange 2010 Mailbox.
    LVL 63

    Accepted Solution

    If the DR servers can only run 32 bit machines they must be VERY VERY old. Everything has been 64 bit for at least five years. If we are talking about virtual machines it could just be that the VM extensions haven't been enabled in the BIOS - without those enabled you cannot have 64 bit virtual machines.

    To answer the specific question, no you cannot go backwards in versions for DR purposes, and the PST export method is a very poor DR. It would be a much better option to get the DR site upgraded and use a DAG to replicate the data live.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for all the replies. I am still considering my best option.

    Sembee2, the DR server is about 7 years old (Dell PE 2800). It can run a 64-bit OS, but I was told it cannot run a 64-bit vm - I'm guessing it does not have the ability to enable them in the BIOS, but I will verify this.

    Thanks again
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
    At that age it is probably right on the edge of the technology change, 64 bit VM is about five - six years old. Although I would be hesitant to depend on anything that old, it is well past end of life.


    Author Comment

    Your solution made me realize that I could use Recovery Manager for Exchange to turn the mailboxes into PST files.

    I do not consider this viable since it would take too long and be too costly in a DR situation.

    Although your solution is similar to liokr's, it fills out for me how I might complete the PST migration (I would probably use Exmerge to convert back from PST instead of doing it manually).

    Ultimately, I agree with Sembee2 that it is not a realistic DR solution. But thanks again for the ideas to help me flush it out.

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