I still have a Windows 2000 AD domain with ExchangeServer 2003 in place. Now I want to migrate this to a Windows 2008 R2 domain with ExchangeServer 2010. I read a lot on the net meanwhile and my plan is as follows:

1) add a Windows Server 2003 R2 to the 2000 domain and make it a second DC

2) transfer all roles of the old 2000 DC to the new 2003 DC

3) remove the 2000 DC and lift the AD level to 2003

4) add a Windows Server 2008 to the 2003 domain and make it a second DC

5) transfer all roles of the 2003 DC to the new 2008 DC

5) add another Windows Server 2008 with ExchangeServer 2010 to the 2003 domain

6) move mailboxes from the Exchange 2003 over to the 2010

7) remove the ExchangeServer 2003

8) remove the 2003 DC and lift the AD level to 2008

Steps 1 and 2 are completed.

My problem now is that I already transfered all roles over to the 2003 DC but the ExchangeServer simply does not find and accept it as domaincontroller. Thus MSExchangeSA refuses to start. I tried to manually set the new DC for all 3 Roles in Exchange System Manager instead of having done this automatically. But at this point, the new DC does not show up in the ExchangeServer's list of domaincontrollers. I had no WINS in place so I read somewhere to have the new DC added the WINS service and configure it on all other servers as to use this. But did not help so far.

My whole setup runs in a XenServer 5.6 environment, so I can quite easily clone boxes and try out things. But I am still stuck here.

Any idea how to convince the Exchange Server 2003 to accept and only use the new DC so I can get rid of the old one?

Thanks in advance!

  • solved - see below please – Michael Nov 6 '11 at 18:07

problem is solved. The file replication service on the old DC did not work, thus the new DC never could publish it'S SYSVOL share and was not accepted as "real DC". I did a authorative repair of the SYSVOL on the old DC, file replication started working, the SYSVOL shares went up on all DCs and after a restart the ExchangeServer accepted the new DC as it's prefered one, as it now had all 3 necessary roles (DC, GC and Config-DC).

Thank you all for the hints, it was on my search for DNS problems that let me find the Ntfrs not working.

  • This is why it's always good to run a dcdiag after a promotion to verify the new DC works properly. You should also be checking the event logs for errors, you would likely have seen FRS errors after the promotion. Also, you can run "net share" on the DC to see if SYSVOL is being shared. – HostBits Nov 6 '11 at 18:20

Did you add the new DC as a DNS server in the TCP/IP properties of the NIC on the Exchange server? If not, I would start there. If you're planning on replacing the W2K server then I would recommend setting the new DC as the primary DNS server on the Exchange server.

Of course this answer assumes that your DC's are also your DNS servers. Is that the case?

  • The DCs are the DNS servers, but the old DC is still the primary, you are right. Will try this out tonight. – Michael Nov 2 '11 at 8:38
  • Exchange should automatically discover all DC's. In addition (as others have posted) Exchange needs to communicate with a DC that is also a GC. In a single domain forest it's perfectly acceptable to have all DC's also be GC's so make sure your new DC is a GC. If you're using AD integrated DNS then you don't have to "migrate" the DNS role or zones to the new DC, you simply have to install the DNS role on the new DC and the zones will automatically replicate to it from the original DC. – joeqwerty Nov 2 '11 at 9:41

Make sure that your Domain Controllers are also Global Catalog servers. That's where I would guess your issue is.

  • The new DC is (supposed to be) the only GC, but you are right, I will check this once more with eyes extra wide open. Thank you. – Michael Nov 2 '11 at 8:46

You should check your DNS server for that AD domain, AD is all about the DNS... If your primary DC (w2k one) is main DNS server for AD domain then you should also transfer the DNS role and the zones which I assume you did that by "... I already transfered all roles over to the 2003 DC ..." If not there should be no DNS related problem. The zone datas should also have been updated automatically when you add 2003 DC and transfer the DC roles, especially global catalog role.

After DNS update if w2k dc is main dns server you should check the exchange server's tcp/ip configuration to make sure its primary (and only for that case) dns server is the new dc (which joeqwerty's mentioned). If both not there should be no dns resolution problem but some connectivity problem. You can check if you ping the new 2k3 dc from exchange box or from other boxes.

You can check if other dc related services (certification maybe, if exists) can see the new 2k3 dc. And also can check the "Active Directory Users and Computers" mmc snap to connect dcs.

  • Good point, the old DC is still the primary DNS server for the ExchangeServer. Will change this easily, as I bound DNS to it's own IP and I will move this over to the new DC, so it then is the primary DNS everywhere and slaves pull only from it, not from old DC anymore. Connectivity is ok for sure. – Michael Nov 2 '11 at 8:45

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