Q

How to perform an in-place upgrade of Exchange 2003 over Exchange 2000

Are you looking to perform an in-place upgrade of Exchange 2003 over Exchange 2000? Here are step by step instructions on how to do it.

Can I install Exchange 2003 over Exchange 2000?
This is called an in-place upgrade. You need to upgrade Exchange to 2003 before upgrading your Windows infrastructure to 2003. Reference Microsoft's article, You cannot install Exchange 2000 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003.

Then you need to go through the steps required for the upgrade. You load your Exchange 2003 CD, and follow the ExDeploy steps as it walks you through the upgrade process.

The steps:

  1. You need to ensure Service Pack 3 or later is applied. If not, the upgrade won't be possible.

  2. You then need to verify you have NNTP, SMTP and WWW services installed and enabled. This should have been covered during your installation of Exchange 2000, but its listed none-the-less.

  3. You need to ensure that the IM Server, Chat, Key Management Server, MS Mail and the Lotus ccMail connector are removed prior to the upgrade. If you need these, you should consider keeping Exchange 2000 until the dependency is eliminated. (Public service announcement: Please, finish your MS Mail migration and any legacy migrations first.)

  4. Install the Windows 2000 support tools. They are located on the Windows 2000 server CD supporttoolsSETUP.EXE.

  5. Run DCDIAG to ensure proper network resolution and DNS resolution.

  6. Run NetDiag to ensure network connectivity.

  7. Run ForestPrep.

  8. Run DomainPrep for each child domain controller.

  9. RUN SETUP NOW. This will allow you to do the in-place upgrade as soon as you get to step nine. The installation can take some time, so please don't cancel or reboot your server in the event you believe something is wrong. I would suggest you get some coffee and come back to it -- you will see it completed a pre-install and post-install process during the upgrade.

This is an abbreviated answer, and I believe you should also consider reading the Microsoft tips on the operating system upgrade process: Exchange Server 2003 and operating system upgrades.


Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.
Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • SearchExchange.com Tip: Preparing for an Exchange 2003 upgrade
  • SearchExchange.com Reference Center: Migration advice
  • SearchExchange.com Learning Guide: Exchange Migration


  • This was first published in September 2005
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