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Migrate Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003 in the correct sequence

I am getting ready to migrate my Exchange 2000 server to Exchange 2003. I am also migrating my domain controllers and Exchange Server to Windows 2003. I heard that I should upgrade Exchange first, upgrade the Domain Controllers second, and then take care of the Exchange server OS. Is this the correct sequence?

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There are two issues at play here. In general, you should upgrade your domain controllers and Active Directory (AD) first. That way, AD is ready for Exchange 2003 and you can make use of all of the new features. On your actual Exchange server, you must be aware of the order of the upgrade. Because Exchange 2000 will not run on a Windows 2003 server, you need to upgrade to Exchange 2003 first. Windows 2000 can be a member server in the AD 2003 domain. Then, when you are ready, you can do the upgrade of this member server to Windows 2003.

This was first published in February 2004

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