SBS 2003 Migration to Server 2008 R2 & Exchange 2010

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We plan to replace our SBS 2003 box shortly, one possibility discussed was replacing the SBS 2003 box with two separate boxes.
Box 1 - Windows 2008 Server R2 w/ DC & Active Directory Roles
Box 2 - Windows 2008 Server R2 w/ Exchange 2010
Are there any step by step guides explaining how to migrate from Exchange 2003 (ideally in SBS 2003 environments) to Exchange 2010.
I found this guide explaining how to migrate from SBS 2003 w/ Exchange 2003 to Windows Server 2008 w/ Exchange 2007
One line confuses me:
Now you can start the process of installing Exchange 2007 on the new server. There"s one key issue that needs to be dealt with first. Exchange 2007 needs to install on a server that"s a Schema Master.
I thought the Schema Master would be the Domain Controller / Active Directory box? If thats the case how would I run Exchange 2010 on a separate box? Or am I miss understanding the Schema Master role.
I'm hoping to splice two guides together, SBS 2003 -> Windows Server 2008 for Active Directory, and another guide for Exchange 2003 -> Exchange 2010.
So my questions are clarification on Schema Master role and any guides detailing migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

Elie Bou Issa

You need to make sure that you have a Windows Server 2003 SP2 as a GC

These articles will give you a clear idea for your upgrade:

Prepare legacy exchange permissions:

Upgrade from Exchange 2003 Client Access:

Upgrade from Exchange 2003 Transport:

Move mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010:


Paulo N

Hi Jerey,

My company is doing a very similar migration the only different thing is we are putting both exchange2010 and AD/dc in same machine.
Have you done the migration yet?
if so could you please let me know what was the path you used, and any advice on what the best way would be?



Hi guys
Hi Sorry to jump on the bandwagon but am carrying out the same upgrade can you guys let me know how it went or any advice



I bought the book Exchange 2010 Unleased, it detailed the entire processes very well (Active Directory & Exchange). I also recommend reading the Deploying Exchange 2010 documentation from Microsoft
For some odd reason Fax Mail Transport no longer works in Online Mode w/ Exchange 2010, I have an open support case w/ Microsoft on that, which isn't going anywhere fast.
Had a few minor issues:
1. The Offline Address book was giving me an event log error about regeneration failing so I deleted it and recreated it. (yes I moved it to the new server)
2. In the event log I was getting frequent messages saying Exchange 2010 was looking for a database on Exchange 2003 (SBS), I used ADSI Edit to remove the old entry for the Exchange 2003 server from Active Directory and the problem was solved (I tried numerous VM test benches and was unable to find a way to NOT get that error after the disconnection / removal of Exchange 2003)
3. Only envelope journaling is supported in Exchange 2010, so I needed to create a Transport Rule to simulate the old Message Journaling of 2003.
4. iPhones didn't automagically connect to the server, I had to instruct all the users to delete their exchange account on the phone and recreate it, after that everything was good :)
5. Windows Desktop Search needs to be installed on the clients to use the new search syntax supported by Exchange 2010 (unless your using RDS w/ R2 in which case you need to install the Windows Search Feature) Not really an issue... but still.
6. Some of the mailboxes weren't inheriting permissions which prevented us from moving them to the new box until the permissions were fixed (don't remember how I fixed it, I found the fix on google)
7. On some Public Folders I get errors that the properties on this object have invalid data.. It doesn't seem to affect anything and resetting the folder properties appears to fix the issue..
Use VirtualBox and do a test run w/ a few VM's on an internal network, yeah, it wastes a few hours but you'll feel more confident about the process.
Go through the event log before removing the exchange server and after removing the exchange server to locate any possible issues..
Asside from a few small hiccups the migration went smoothly, Exchange 2010 is really nice :) Looking forward to the release of Office 2010 so all the new features (Mail Archiving, especially will be supported.)


Thanks have ordered the book and am going through a trial run over the next few weeks will keep you posted

Sir Marky

I am about to start on the same project.

I am going to move away from SBS2003 to Windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 on two separate boxes.

Do you have any guidance and migration plan help that you think I could use?


I'm doing the same thing, from SBS 2003 (w/o ISA) to two Windows Server 2008 R2 and one with Exchange 2010. I should mention that I haven't had to (got to) get this heavy into it since I trained up about ten years ago.

It would have been nice to have an entire step-by-step from the start though..
Note: Make sure to get all of the updates available for both servers, including the ones mentioned in the link in step 1.
Here's what I've done so far, with the intent of having one of the 2008s be a DC running Exchange 2010..

Step 1. Add the 2008 server to the SBS 2003 network -
Note: If by you lose the initial configuration screen on the 2008 server, just run oobe.exe
Step 2. Switch the old Exchange 2003 server to Native mode -

Step 3. Raise the forest functional level to 2003 on the SBS server -
Step 4. The new Exchange server needs to be able to talk to the Schema Master and Enable the new server to be a global catalog
Note: I should mention that in the last link, the instructions are sort of vague, but you'll go:
- run mmc on either the old or new server
- add AD sites and services
- sites
- default-first-site-name
- Servers
- right click on the new server
- properties
- have global catalog checked
Step 5. Come to this thread and find the above links posted by Elie Bou Issa.

Edit: Those links from Elie Bou Issa fail, try this -


i am about to add a new 2008r2 dc to the domain, and hopefully remove sbs 2003 altogether. i am looking into mail solutions to avoid us having to have an exchange server as the cost of it is unjustifiable given we have a maximum of 20 mailboxes.

does anybody have any hints or tips? can i migrate just the AD structure to the new box and then decommision the sbs 2003 server? or do i have to have exchange on my new server to be able to migrate at all from sbs 2003? can i keep the sbs 2003 box as a secondary DC running exchange and AD but have the 2008r2 server as primary dc?

i have never had to do this with sbs as i have never worked with it, i have only ever used to 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2008r2 servers and even then i was told what to do and how to do it (used to work in the public sector - the king of policies and procedures, the death of troubleshooting).

Doug Cowie

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