Best way to migrate 2003 Exchange to 2013 Exchange with new equipment

So we have 2003 exchange and I bought new servers for 2013 exchange. What's the best way to convert over? We have about 40 users that will need their mailbox moved. It is doable in a weekend if I export and import the PST.

Also any setup help or guide to setup the 2013 Exchange would be great. Thanks.,
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
It has to be a 2 step process because if you try to install Exchange 2013 and it detects Exchange 2003 the install will stop.

The best way is to migrate from 2003 to 2010.  Then from 2010 to 2013.

Exchange 2003 ---> 2010

Exchange 2010 ---> 2013

You can go the PST route as you suggested as well.  

Here are some guides for this:

Exchange 2013 prerequisites

How to Install Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Step By Step Full

How to Install Exchange Server 2013

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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
From my perspective, when you are doing a large scale migration from 2003 to 2013 it is best to do the 2 hop migration either going to 2007 --> 2013 or 2010 --> 2013.

However, if you have a small environment (as you do 40 mailboxes) I think it would be better to do the PST approch which can be achieved over a weekend. Now the PST approach does require an outage but if you can do this over a weekend then this is the path i would take.

Another good tool to use for Exchange 2013 (high level steps) is the Exchange Deployment Assistant.

AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Challenge with 2013, it cannot coexist with 2003. If you ask best way, it is to introduce 2010 and then perform migration from 2003 to 2010 and finally from 2010 to 2013. But that involve lot of work. Easy option as suggested already knowing you mailbox count is very less. Exporting data to PST using exmerge, If you have public folder, that also you can export via outlook.

Once data is exported, decommission your 2003 server completely from your environment and then install 2013. Now challenge here is, you will have a down time, as you are removing 2003, which mean you don't have mail server, until you bring new one. You might loose important emails during this period.

Now other things you need to keep in mind is certificate, that you plan well in advance. Then you also need to point your dns records to 2013.

If you ask me, it need more planning then actual steps. So, either you spend time on planning with downtime or just follow 2003>2010>2013 path. If I need to decide, I will go with 2003>2010>2013, this has no risk and downtime and time will be less to implement compared to planning other way round. My final suggestion is: 2003>2010>2013

Rest you can decide.
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Vincent BurtonCommented:
I hope the above suggested references clarifies your concern to get this job done.

Moreover, If you wish you also have a look on below given informative resources.

As above suggested you cant go from 2003 to 2013 in Exchange. You must either go to 2007 or 2010 first for more check this: Upgrading to Exchange Server 2013

Exchange 2003 to 2010

Migration From Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013
KyannAuthor Commented:
Do I have to do 2010? I have a New server that will be using the 2013 exchange. I will not be using the current exchange server to do that. So are you saying that if the 2013 server see's the the old 2003 server on the network even though on different equipment it won't work?

AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You won't be able to install 2013 until you have 2003. Setup will through you an error, that exchange 2003 still exist.
KyannAuthor Commented:
is there a tool that will export the settings to be imported into 2013? Thanks.
You can always export Outlook profile settings to new Exchange Server manually:

However, you may also consider third party tool to export Exchange 2003 mailbox to live server.
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