Exchange 2003 to 2007 Migration

There are many new features in Exchange 2007 that Schools may benefit from.  There are plenty or articles and bits of information about Exchange 2007 already on the Internet.  But there is not really a basic Migration guide, so I have tried to fill in the gaps so that at least School Network Administrators can…

There are many new features in Exchange 2007 that Schools may benefit from.  There are plenty or articles and bits of information about Exchange 2007 already on the Internet.  But there is not really a basic Migration guide, so I have tried to fill in the gaps so that at least School Network Administrators can have some heads up before leaping to Exchange 2007.

Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 Migration Test Environment

Purpose of the Test Environment was to practice setting up
an Exchange 2007 mail server on a member server of a Windows 2003 domain.  Moving a mail box from the 2003 to 2007
Exchange server and checking that mail flow was still possible.

Test Environment:

  • Intel Core 2 2.40Ghz – 2GB Ram – 32Bit
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (mail2003) VPC with
    256Mb Ram
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (mail2007) VPC with
    512Mb Ram
  • Internet mail connectivity via port forwarder on
    Internet Router

The first Server (mail2003) was setup with Windows Server
2003 Standard that had SP2 already integrated into the CD.  Once commissioned the server had all Windows
Updates installed along with the required Virtual PC Additions.

In preparation for Exchange 2003, Internet Information
Services with SMTP and NNTP were installed.
A new Active Directory was also created.

Exchange 2003 was then installed onto mail2003, following a
reboot SP2 was then installed.

Exchange 2003 was then tested to ensure correct
functionality, by sending messages to internal domain users and to the

Test1 – Upgrading to Exchange 2007 – Direct Upgrade

The conceived easiest way to upgrade would be to install
Exchange 2007 onto the existing Exchange Server.  If successful, then the entire platform could
be upgraded easily.

The Setup Application identified that several
pre-installation requisites were missing.
The Microsoft .net framework version 2 and Microsoft Power shell were then
downloaded and installed.

The Setup Application allowed proceeding to the readiness
checks.  All checks failed.

  1. Exchange is not in Native Mode
  2. Exchange is already installed
  3. Computer requires software patch
  4. Active Directory is in Mixed Mode

This test proves that there is no direct upgrade route to
Exchange 2007.

Test 2 – Additional Exchange Server

The second Virtual PC was setup with the exact same
configuration as mail2003.  With the exception
of having the .net 2 framework and power shell installed.

The Server was joined as a member server to the existing
domain with the Exchange 2003 environment installed.

  • The Active Directory Domain was upgraded to
    Native 2003 mode
  • Exchange 2003 was upgraded to Native Mode.

Exchange 2007 setup was run.
Typical installation was chosen as the installation method.  At the readiness checks, installation failed
because SMTP and NNTP were installed as part of the IIS configuration.  The installation also failed to connect to
the domain controller and required that the server is logged in as a Domain
Administrator user.

With these problems corrected.  The Exchange setup passed the readiness
checks with warnings.

  • Active Directory schema will be updated
  • 32bit version of Exchange is not supported

The time taken to install Exchange took just under 22

Moving a Mail Box

Usually mail boxes are moved using the Exchange Tasks
context menu of Active Directory Users and Computers.  The Domain Controller was used to attempt to
move the mail box from the Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 server.

The wizard failed to move the Mail box, suggesting that the
tool is upgraded to a compatible version.
Not having the Exchange 2007 tools on the Domain controller would make
it difficult to manage the Exchange Mail boxes.

It is possible to move mail boxes using the Exchange 2007
MMC.  There are also numerous power shell
scripts that will move mail boxes based on group memberships.

Mail boxes can be moved both too and from an Exchange 2003
storage server.

Accessing the Mail Box

Accessing the Exchange Mail box using Outlook Web Access has
changed significantly.  The new method of
accessing the web based access is via a secured “HTTPS” web address.  The address has also changed.  From  to HTTPS://

A dummy certificate is installed, Internet Explorer 7
complains about the certificate, but does allow access to the site.  This would suggest that schools will need to
purchase a Domain certificate if they wish to allow external access to the
exchange server.

Moving mailboxes might suggest that Outlook may need to be
updated to use the correct Mail Server.

Sending Mail

Sending internal mail from the Exchange 2007 to Exchange
2003 and vice versa worked as expected.
However the Exchange 2007 server was unable to send email to the
internet.  Inbound internet mail was
correctly routed to the incoming mail box.

To resolve the problem of sending mail from an Exchange 2007
mail box, a new Outbound SMTP connector must be created.

Menu Route, Organisation Configuration > Hub Transport
> Send Connectors > New.  Type Internet
and SMTP with domain name MX resolution was used for testing.

Smarthost addresses can be added to the same connector.

Once the SMTP connector was created, messages could be sent
to and from the Exchange 2007 machine (Note: inbound email was still being
received by the exchange 2003 server)

Uninstalling Exchange 2007

Uninstalling Exchange 2007 from the test environment proved
more difficult that is should have been.
I could not uninstall Exchange because I had done something with the
Public Folders and didn’t have enough knowledge of exchange to undo the bits
that I had changed.  I ended up
reinstalling Windows wiping out Exchange 2007 in the process.

However, what I tried was as follows.  First move any Mail boxes back to the
Exchange 2003 server, otherwise these could get deleted.  If you have moved or created Public
Mailboxes, these need to be removed first, using the Public Folder Management
Tool.  The shutdown all of the Exchange
Services, then remove any add-on Features such as Microsoft Forefront Security
Centre.  Use the Add/Remove Programs
control panel and choose to Remove Exchange.
Un-tick all of the installed options then click Next.  Exchange should uninstall correctly.  The Setup application will alert you about
any problems that may prevent the un-installation.

Message Filtering

Message filtering is performed by the Edge Server which can
only be installed on a dedicated machine.
It is not possible to install the Exchange Mail box role alongside the
Edge Server on the same machine.  One
possible work around would be to use Server Virtualisation so that an
additional physical machine is not required.

I am not sure how Edge message filtering would work for
internal mail, which would be the whole point of needing mail filtering on a
school network.

Other Info

The Exchange 2007 management tools make extensive use of the new MMC 3.0 management console.  The MMC appears slow to load and populate, however there is a vast range of Tasks that are made easier by using the MMC.  It is also possible to script many tasks by using the Microsoft PowerShell.  Using Powershell will make it easier to migrate all of your Exchange 2003 mail boxes to a new Exchange 2007 server.


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