Ask the Expert

Building an Exchange resource forest

I am trying to move Exchange 2000 client mailboxes on an Active Directory onto an untrusted Active Directory and move them onto an Exchange 2003 server on the other Active Directory. Is there an "easy" way to do this, and can you give me instructions on how to accomplish this?

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This sounds like a tough way to explain that you are interested in using a resource forest in your Exchange implementation. Here is a stick figure diagram to explain how you could do this, and create accounts in the resource forest with the associated external account of the primary forest.

That scenario isn't completely untrusted because you need to assign the account forest "real users" to the Microsoft Exchange forest mailboxes. This is used in the outsourcing and ASP model where you have an Exchange forest housing the application, and another forest with the account information.


To go further on this, how do you move the mailboxes? Is ExMerge the only option? I believe the Exchange Server tools that have "move mailbox" functionality (Exchange System Manager and Active Directory Users and Computers snap-ins) only allow for movement within one Global Address List (GAL). Is that correct?
—Don H.


Microsoft provides more information on Exchange migration tools -- what they can do and what they can't do -- in this article.
Peter terSteeg, Deployment and Migration Expert

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from the TechTarget Windows Network:

  • Learning Guide: Exchange Server migration (
  • Reference Center: Active Directory tips and resources (
  • Learning Guide: Planning and designing your Active Directory (
  • This was first published in November 2005

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