SBS 2003 and beyond

Nov 7 2008   2:12AM GMT

Standard Server 2003 Migration to SBS 2008 Part 1

Roger Crawford Roger Crawford Profile: Roger Crawford

I know there is not anything out there yet on moving a 2003 Server domain to a SBS 2008 Server so I thought I would share my experience. I just finished one and it went really smoothly. It helped I had been through a few migrations from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 already in my lab ok a few hundred or so and in the real world 4 or 5 so far so I just kind of modified that and went blazing ahead.

One thing on this if you have Exchange 2003 in your enviroment you need to make sure the Exchange server is set to Native Mode and not Mixed Mode. This is one of the steps you have to do when migrating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and Thanks to Jamesmc for pointing this out on here. This article was just for doing a Standard 2003 server to SBS 2008 without Exchange in the Enviroment but because some of you could be using this to move from a 2003 domain with Exchange 2003 to SBS 2008 I better add this.


Steps I followed are below and I will put the disclaimer on here this is what I did and it worked for me but everyone’s circumstances and networks will be different so what I have done might not work well for your environment or circumstances. Also be very aware that you want to verify any LOB Apps that you might be moving to the SBS 2008 Server will be able to run on the server. Not all will work with a 64 Bit Server so do your due diligence and verify your Apps. If it is just a application running off the server from a file share you are pretty much good to go but the rest you will want to verify with the Software Company or from setting up a actual Test SBS 2008 Server and testing the LOB.

1. Updated Source Server i.e. existing 2003 Standard Server to latest Service packs and Windows Updates including Windows .Net Frameworks 2.0

2. Once this completed do a full backup of the server in my case I did 2 in this case the customer was using the built-in NTBackup so I ran this and did a full system backup. Once this is completed I downloaded and installed the Storage Craft Shadow Protect server works great and is a 30 day trial. Did another complete backup to a External USB Drive once finished unplug your USB Drive and set aside for emergencies.

3. I Updated the Domain and the forest to 2003 Native and you can do this by opening Active Directory Users and Computers right clicking on your domain and then selecting Raise Domain Functional level and choosing 2003 Native. Unless you have older Domain controllers in the domain then you will have to upgrade them to 2003 Server or take them off the domain. You would want to verify this before proceeding as it could be a show stopper. In this case it was just one 2003 Server so I was good to go. To Update the forest you open up Active Directory Domains and Trusts right click on the Top Level and select Raise Forest Functional Level and raise this to 2003 Native.

4. Once this has been completed I checked the DNS Settings on the NIC and also on any forwarders and removed the forwarders and made sure on the NIC it was pointing to the Source Server IP only and nothing outside the network i.e. ISP’s DNS servers or a Router that might be handling the DNS for the network. Also if you have a Router handing out DHCP I would really suggest moving this to your Source Server and let the new SBS 2008 Server moved this over in the migration process to itself off the Source Server. I just believe that the SBS Server needs to be handling the DHCP and also DNS for the domain and not some Router but that is my opinion.

5. At this point I rebooted the server and then checked the Event log to make sure there is no problems with AD i.e. a Journal Wrap Error or anything like this that might affect the migration in anyway. Once you are comfortable that the Server and the domain is healthy and you have fixed any problems you had then on to the next steps.

Part 2 to come tomorrow

Til later just Roger

6  Comments on this Post

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  • Midaniel
    Roger I'm about to emabark on an Server 2003 to SBS 2008 migration. How long did the entire migration take? Were there any gotchas? Mike Daniel
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  • Matt Gervais
    Mike Basically I took time and made sure my Source Server was clean AD wise and the steps I talk about in the Posts on the Migration was done. Once I was sure I had everything ready the actual first step of Migration didn't take that long. What I did was start the migration and go home when the business was closing for the day and then was back the next morning to see if there was any errors. If you want to stay and watch then that takes between 2 and 4 hours depending upon Source server and Destination server speeds. Once you come up clean on the first step of the Migration it is a matter of following the manual steps to complete the migration steps for AD Users and Computers to showup in the SBS 2008 Management and for moving data and those steps related. If I remember correctly the Prep time took me a couple of hours to be sure the source was clean and then 2 to 4 for the actual bringing the SBS 2008 server into the domain and then 4 hours to move user data and get the LOB apps that pointed to a share on the server working. This was a 4 user office so not a lot of data and extra worked that was needed to do be done. Roger
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  • Jamesmc
    One thing that I did not find in your 3 part series that burned us was moving Exchange 2003 from mixed mode to native mode. We had to restore from backup and start over again after missing this step.
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  • Roger Crawford
    You are correct I did not have anything on here about this as I was talking just a Standard Server 2003 without anything else on here to SBS 2008. I will add a note to poiting this out in case there is Exchange in the domain also and thanks for pointing that out. Roger
    10 pointsBadges:
  • MauroPa
    Roger, Thank you so much for documenting your experience. I have read it a couple of time to get the encouragement to do my company's migration. I do have a similar enviroment however: 1. The previous admin setup the domain under .com. I have tweaked our DNS servers to resolve our external addresses and copy root servers. Would this be a problem for migrating? 2. Also, I would like to go from physical 2003 domain to a virtual install of SBS2008, any suggestions? Thanks for your thoughts. Mo
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  • Rudym
    Hi all, Great document. I am facing an issue when running the ADPrep. When I try to run it, it tells me that its not a valid 32 Bit app. I am running it from the Dell SBS 2008 DVD. It is ok to run the adprep32 from another 2008 media. Any help its appreciated.
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