Exchange 2003 to 2010

January 3, 2011


>Last week I was involved in an upgrade of exchange system at one of our clients from their current exchange 2003 system to Microsoft’s new exchange 2010 system. Before carrying out this upgrade I had set up 3 test servers to replicate their environment and test the upgrade to ensure that it ran smoothly, this of course is common practice in IT and the following links are what I followed to ensure a successful upgrade.


To summarise the steps the following was carried out

1) Install Server OS – Windows 2008 R2
2) Carry out all updates
3) Connect server to company LAN
4) Add domain controller role to server (adding IP, subnet and gateway etc)
5) Verify DNS server contains correct entry using FQDN for new server
6) Raise Domain and Forest level to windows 2003 by using active directory users and domain
7) Update the AD schema to allow exchange 2010 extensions using commands from installation CD
8) Install IIS services role to new server and run requires updates – the installation procedure informed me of what required upgrading and installing
9) Verified schema was upgraded using ADSIEdit.msc
10) Once exchange 2010 was installed verified it could see and read mailboxes from exchange 2003, this appears as a legacy mailbox since its from an older version of exchange
11) Right click mailbox and initiate local move on the mailbox which will move the mailbox from 2003 database to 2010
12) Login to mailbox either through OWA or Outlook client and send mail to verify that routing is working fine and that client is able to access all mail and folders

Problems and Issues Faced

1) Could not move mailboxes
Solution: In System Manager (exchange 2003) under administrative  group right click server properties in under security tab add the new server with full permissions. This will enable exchange 2010 to access the database and perform the move.

2) Routing Issues – Mails not routing
Solution: The company had a third party SMTP connector which allowed them to send external email, when creating accounts  an account had to also be set up there thus my colleague spent of his night configuring SMTP connectors on exchange 2010 to enable and resolve routing issue.  I still need to understand this problem further perhaps but these were the two main issues faced.

3) Exchange 2010 picks up the alias in its default policy to use as SMTP email sender thus most users had the wrong sending email for example user: was sending out as Since there wasn’t a company policy for a unified format for emails I went through the users one by one and manually changed SMTP sender to the correct format from exchange 2003.

2 Good days of learning and obstacles to overcome.

Useful Link:

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About mohamedridha

Network Systems Engineer with focus on Wireless LAN Infrastructure and Security. Interests in Middle East

View all posts by mohamedridha


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