I have a windows small business server running sp2 and I need to migrate this to a full blown version of windows using the small business server 2003 R2 transition pack.

In order to do this you are supposed to do the following:

1) Uninstall sp2 if it exists

2) Upgrade to SBS 2003 R2 form SBS 2003

3) Run the SBS 2003 R2 Transition pack to make it a real exchange/windows 2003 domain.

4) The entire goal... migrate mailboxes to a new exchange 2007 server - not something you can do from SBS environment apparently.

The problem is the very old server was running out of space and I deleted the uninstall files for SP2 and unless I can get back to SP1 I am unable to do the R2 Upgrade -> Transition pack etc.

I cloned the old raid partition to a new TB drive so I have lots of space and a complete backup clone on another TB drive so I can really go nuts on this if need be. I was going to try to an in place upgrade to with the original media SBS media over top of my partition but it does not seem to give me the options described in kb816579 (sorry - I don't have the cred to link..) specifically once I select the partition there is no option to repair - only to delete it and start fresh.

Any thoughts would be really helpful - am trying very hard to avoid migrating all workstations to a domain set up from scratch.


We've only done one transition pack, but I'm fairly certain that was on an SBS 2003 R2 server that had SP2 installed and we did not uninstall it.

The Transition Pack is a scary business. Don't underestimate what a big deal it is, and test it thoroughly first. For example I found that I had to uninstall .Net2 or it bombed out requesting an install CD that didn't exist. Also with IE7 installed we couldn't activate the server after the transition. We had to revert to IE6. Having said that, in the end it all worked very well and the server has been very stable since.

But I don't think you need to do this to have Exchange 2007. You can certainly add a second Exchange 2003 server to SBS, because we've done it several times. Are you sure you can't add an Exchange 2007 server?

Finally, assuming you don't have too many users, in your place I'd be seriously tempted to just switch to SBS 2008. If the install is pre R2 presumably it's three maybe four years old, and the hardware will be slow compared to modern servers. Also SBS2008 does a good job of simplifying Exchange 2007 installation and maintenance.


  • I still don't think we can add the exchange 2007 to the current environment but we have decided to migrate everything to a new domain. Fun fun. I think your suggestion about going to sbs2008 is pretty right on but at this point it's going to be more complexity than I want to take on over the fourth :/ – andymoe Jun 29 '09 at 16:22
  • And yes, SBS transition pack works about half the time as it is... – andymoe Jun 29 '09 at 16:24
  • I suppose it's surprising the transition pack works at all, given that it basically reinstalls everything. All I can say is that I'm glad I will (probably) never have to use it ever again! Reinstalling as a new domain is exactly what I would. Good luck :-) – John Rennie Jun 29 '09 at 16:41

Restore the SP2 uninstall files from a backup, then uninstall SP2?

Not sure about the rules for SBS and multiple DCs or exchange servers in a domain but the migration idea is sound enough in theory from a "pure" Windows & Exchange point of view.

  • Yeah, wish I had backups back that far but I don't. The data is on a different drive from the OS and I don't have that OS or system state backups going back that far. – andymoe Jun 28 '09 at 20:40
  • If I add a second DC with exchange 2007 and then migrate the mailboxes manually from pst I wonder if that would work. If the sbs server then goes away can I get all the FSMO roles onto the new DC? – andymoe Jun 28 '09 at 21:38

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