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I have a domain server running Windows SBS 2003 , the server is very old, and I need to install a new server more robust, which is the best method to make everything transparent to my users, as I tried to install it from scratch and I believe different profiles.

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In Windows Small Business Server 2003, your best bet for migrating to new hardware is a "swing" migration wherein you bring in a temporary server computer (or VM) to be a secondary domain controller (which you really should have anyway) and to host the Exchange mailboxes for the organization.

The migration process roughly goes:

  • Install secondary DC / Exchange installation

  • Move mailboxes from exisiting SBS server to secondary Exchange Server computer

  • Backup all user data, SQL databases, etc, from source SBS server. (You may elect to just re-install WSUS rather than backing it up, since you can re-download all the patches from Microsoft.)

  • Perform orderly Exchange retirement for Exchange on old SBS server (replicating off public folders, changing OAB creation server, etc). Uninstall Exchange from old SBS server. Make sure that all users have accessed their mailbox on the secondary Exchange server at least once before retiring the old SBS Exchange installation.

  • Transfer Active Directory FSMO roles to the secondary DC.

  • Demote the old SBS server to a member server. Shutdown and cart away the old SBS server.

  • Install SBS on the new server computer (preserving the old server computer's name, if desired), joining domain hosted by the secondary DC. Join the existing Exchange organization.

  • Transfer Active Directory FSMO roles to the new SBS server.

  • Restore user data, SQL databases, etc, to new SBS server. Restore or recreate shares, reinstall WSUS, etc.

  • Move the mailboxes from the secondary Exchange Server computer to the new SBS server computer.

  • Perform orderly Exchange retirement for Exchange on the secondary server computer (replicating off public folders, changing OAB creation server, etc). Uninstall Exchange from the secondary server computer. Make sure that all users have accessed their mailbox on the new SBS server at least once before retiring the secondary Exchange installation.

  • If desired, demote and remove the secondary server computer. (You really should have a secondary DC, though. It's cheap insurance and makes disaster recovery a lot easier.)

That procedure omits a lot of small details, but it's a good high-level overview for the migration process. If you preserve the old server computer's name on the new SBS server you can make the process transparent to users. Because Outlook / Exchange will silently "redirect" the users to their mailbox if it's moved to another server, you can perform the migration in stages, starting w/ Exchange in one session, then doing the SBS server migration in another session, and finally moving the mailboxes back in yet another session if you need to.

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What happens if a user doesn't login at least once to their mailbox? –  blank3 Nov 20 '09 at 18:39
    
When a user's mailbox is moved from one Exchange Server computer to another their Outlook / MAPI profile on their PC is unchanged. When they open Outlook the server where their mailbox was located is contacted, and it tells the client the name of the new server. The client updates the profile and no future access attempts are made to the old server computer. If you get rid of the old server before clients open their mailboxes their profile will refer to the old server, which will not be runnign Exchange anymore, and thus they won't get that "referral" to the new server. –  Evan Anderson Nov 20 '09 at 22:29
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