We recently tried to migrate our physical SBS 2003 server to a virtual DC running server 2008 and a virtual Exchange 2010 server, but unfortunately it didn’t quite go to plan towards the final steps of decommissioning the SBS 2003 server because some user mailboxes disappeared and we ended up going back to restoring the SBS 2003 server from a Symantec system recovery image and have since had on-going issues as the mailbox database appears to have had some corruption (even though we have used tools to try and repair). So now we want to have another go at doing the migration but are considering trying a different approach (especially as our current mail database possibly can’t be fully trusted now as being reliable) but not sure if below idea will work? or likely cause any issues?
…So we are thinking about doing the following method instead to ensure users have new/reliable mailboxes. 1) On Wednesday evening dismounting the mailbox stores on our SBS 2003 server and then 2) creating a Symantec system recovery backup image of the whole server. 3) And then converting this image to a virtual machine image to use in Vmware Vsphere.
Then on Thursday within an isolated virtual environment (not on live network) join a server 2008 server to the same domain as the virtual replica SBS server and promote this to a DC. Then on a separate virtual machine running server 2008 install Exchange 2010, create brand new mailboxes for each user and attaché to there user accounts.
And then at the weekend (when no users are on the live network) use Microsoft Mailbox merge Wizard to export all the mailboxes from the virtual SBS 2003 server to PST files and then use PST capture to import the mail into each of the users mailboxes.
And finally power of the live Physical SBS 2003 server and disconnect from the network and put the isolated virtual DC and virtual Exchange 2010 servers onto the live network and check client computers can connect to the new DC and access there mailboxes.
Some advise would be appreciated please if this idea is suitable?