Associating an existing Exchange 2003 server to a new Windows 2008 domain controller


Current Situation:
Client has a windows 2003 domain with a seperate PDC box and another member server running windows 2003 and Exchange 2003.

The New Situation:
I just built a new PDC running windows 2008 to replace the old windows 2003 PDC.  
Actually, the 2008 box is currently running as a member server until I can figure out the answer to my question below.  Then I will promote it to the new PDC position and pitch the old PDC.

Since the Exchange box has taken years of tweaking to get it how the client likes it, I don't want to mess with it, like do a complete re-install.  So what is the easiest and most reliable way (if there is such a thing) to re-associate the exchange server box to the new PDC.  I'm not sure even where to begin since it's been several years since I set it up the first time round and now a new PDC with a different OS--HELP!
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
as long as the new domain controller is in the same active directory site and is a global catalog, you don't need to do anything

unless you manually specified the server to use, exchange will detect the new domain controller and use that along with the original one

once your 2003 domain controller is gone, don't raise your forest/domain function level to 2008 while your 2003 exchange server is still in the environment
Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
Good morning,

When you promote your new Windows 2008 Server to be a Domain controller, transfer all the roles from current AD (Windows 2003 server) to this server, you can do this either by sizing.

As suggested ensure that you do not raise your domain/forest function level to 2008.

Are you not planning to move your exchange from 2003?

basstechAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for your quick replies!

To Seth2740:
"as long as the new domain controller is in the same active directory site and is a global catalog, you don't need to do anything"

How can I transfer ALL the Primary Domain Controller responsibilities from the old 2003 PDC box to the new 2008 PDC without upsetting Active Directory?  

Maybe I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be, but I was thinking I would have to:

Step 1: Kill the old domain all together by first demoting the 2003 PDC and have it be a pier to pier network temporarily.

Step 2: Promote the 2008 box to be the new PDC and re-add the users.

Step 3: Somehow?? make the 2003 Exchange box happy with it's new Domain/PDC ???

Q: Is there an option when I go to demote the old 2003 PDC, that Windows will ask Who will be the new PDC and then it will "automatically" transfer all the PDC responsibilities to the new 2008 box?  I vaguely remember something like that, not sure--maybe wishfull thinking?

To Giveandtake632:

"When you promote your new Windows 2008 Server to be a Domain controller, transfer all the roles from current AD (Windows 2003 server) to this server, you can do this either by sizing."

I don't understand what you mean by "sizing"  But it sounds like if either of you experts can tell me the exact steps and order to take to accomplish this I would be good to go.  I'm not touching anything until I get the warm fuzzies first.

"Are you not planning to move your exchange from 2003?"

No. Not yet.  One expense at a time.

Thanks again for both of your responses.  I just need a little more direction to get the confidence I need to move forward--thanks!
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
i think he meant seizing, not sizing

look over this article and review transferring roles; seizing would only be if the 2003 server were completely dead and you needed to seize on the 2008 server

as you go one by one when transferring, you will get a prompt on each to confirm the role transfer.  it's a completely safe operation.  allow a little time for the 2 servers to replicate and you can configure the 2008 server (now that it will have the PDC role) as the new authoritative time server

after some time, once everything looks good then you can demote the 2003 server
if the domain controllers are in the same AD site, then the exchange server will detect and start using that.  you can confirm by looking at the DS Access tab when looking at the server properties in the exchange console

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basstechAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for the explanation and article.  I will do the role transfer next week and hopefully all will go well.  
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