XADM: How to Move Exchange Server to a New Computer That Has the Same Name

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SUMMARY

This article discusses how to move an Exchange Server installation from one computer to another.

You can move an Exchange Server installation from one computer to another computer that has the same name and preserves most of its functionality and services. This article does not address how to move in-transit message data, foreign connectors, the Internet Mail connector or service, Key Management server, or third-party add-on services. This article provides instructions for safely moving the core Exchange databases (directory service database, private information store database, and public information store database). When you move the core databases, the following information is preserved:
  • All mailbox data information.
  • All public folder data information.
  • All directory service global address list, mailbox, distribution list, site and organization configuration, and replication information. Connector and add-on information will be preserved, but connectors and add-on services may no longer function correctly.
  • Configuration information and full functionality for site connectors and X.400 connectors over TCP/IP. Directory replication connectors continue to function if directory replication information is transmitted over site or X.400 connectors.
The instructions in this article assume that:
  • The underlying processor platform is the same on the new server.
  • The Exchange server is not a domain controller.

    Note: Instructions for moving or decommissioning a domain controller are outside the scope of this article.
Before you move additional Exchange services and functions to a new computer, consider whether other strategies may be more efficient and result in shorter interruptions of service. You may want to remove connectors or add-ons and reconfigure them on another Exchange server in the site. If you can easily reconfigure a connector or service, you may want to remove it and then reinstall it on the new server. Before you start decommissioning your current Exchange server, make a complete list of the services it provides and develop an ordered plan for preserving and transferring each service. Outlook Web Access (OWA) and MSMail cannot be moved from one Exchange installation to another. They must be re-installed and completely reconfigured.
For information about how to move third-party add-on services such as a fax gateway, contact the program vendor.

Move an Exchange Server Installation to a New Computer

For the purposes of these instructions, the current Exchange computer is referred to as the "original computer" and the intended destination computer is referred to as the "new computer". This is to avoid confusion, as both computers will have the same NetBIOS computer name.

Important: Do not use the Exchange Administrator program to remove the original computer from the Exchange site during the transfer process. If you move Exchange to a new computer, you do not have to logically remove the server from the Exchange site. If you use Exchange Administrator to remove the server from the site, the transfer between the original computer and the new computer will be more difficult and the following procedure may not work.

Record the Configuration Information

On the original computer, start Microsoft Exchange Administrator and record the following information:
  • The Organization and Site names

    Exchange objects can have directory names that differ from display names. Open the organization and site objects properties and record both names. When you install Exchange on the new computer, use the directory names to define the site and organization, not the display names.
  • Database and transaction log paths for all core database files on the server

    To do this, view the server object properties, and record all paths that are listed on the Database Paths tab.
  • The name of the Exchange service account for the site

    All servers that are in a single Exchange site must share the same Exchange service account. To view this account name, open the Configuration Properties dialog, and then click the Service Account Password tab. There is a configuration object for each site in the Exchange organization. You must also know the service account password to move the Exchange installation from the original computer to the new computer.

    When you install Exchange Server on the new computer, you must either use the /R switch with the Setup program, or you must assign a different initial service account to the new installation. More information about this is provided in the "Install Exchange Server on the New Computer" section below.
  • The version number and service pack revision of the Exchange Server installation on the original computer

    Open the Properties dialog box of the server object to view the version and service pack number of the Exchange server.
  • Information about customizations that you have made to the computer, including the installation of hotfixes, custom registry changes, and Performance Optimizer settings

    To view details of the Performance Optimizer settings, run the following command:
    \Exchsrvr\bin\Perfwiz.exe -R

Prepare the Core Databases

You can move the directory service, private information store, and public information store databases by using either of the following methods:
  • Restore an online backup of the databases to the new computer.
  • Copy the database files directly to the new computer.

    File-copy database backups are frequently called "offline backups". For the rest of this document, the term "offline backup" will be used to refer to the copying of an Exchange database (.edb) file.
Use an Online Backup to Transfer Database Files

To use an online backup to transfer Exchange database files, follow these steps:
  1. Disable circular logging on the Exchange server. To do this:
    1. On the Properties dialog box of the server object, click the Advanced tab.
    2. Click to clear the Directory and Information store check boxes, and then click OK.
    3. Click Yes to restart the services, if prompted.
    If you do not want to disable circular logging, do not use an online backup to transfer the databases to the new server. When you use an online backup to transfer the databases while circular logging is enabled, you will lose directory and mailbox information that is generated after the backup is performed.
  2. Perform an online backup of the directory and information store databases that are on the server.

    Note: By default, Exchange servers are installed with both a private and public Information Store database. You can later remove one of these databases if you want to. The instructions in this article are written with the assumption that both databases are present. If only one database is present, these instructions will still work, just ignore references to the other database.


Use an Offline Backup to Transfer Database Files

To use an offline backup to transfer the Exchange database files:
  1. Stop all Exchange Server-related services and disable the Microsoft System Attendant Service.

    This is the last time that the Exchange services will run on the original computer. For this reason, your plan to transfer additional functions and services should not require the re-starting of Exchange services on this computer. It is important that you have already recorded all configuration information that you need and performed all activities that require the Exchange services on the original server to be running.
  2. Check the database paths that you previously recorded, and test each database file for consistency. To do this, use the following commands:
    ESEUTIL /MH path to Private Information Store database\PRIV.EDB
    ESEUTIL /MH path to Public Information Store database\PUB.EDB
    ESEUTIL /MH path to directory database\DIR.EDB
    The returned output of the Eseutil command will include a "State" line. Do not continue with these instructions if the line reads "State: Inconsistent" until you have successfully shut down each database and Eseutil has reported "State: Consistent".

Transfer the Core Data Files to the New Computer

Shut down all Exchange-related services on the original computer, if you have not already done so, and then disable the System Attendant service. This is the last time that the Exchange services will run on the original computer. Because of this, your plan to transfer additional functions and services should not require the re-starting of Exchange services on this computer. It is important that you first record all the configuration information that you need and performed all activities that require the Exchange services on the original server to be running.

If You Use an Online Backup


Preserve the transaction logs associated with the databases. To preserve the transaction logs, copy all the Edb*.log files from the directory transaction logs and information store transaction logs folders. Keep each set of log files separate. The log files have similar names, and you may overwrite one database's log files with another if you copy them to a single location.

Warning: If you do not preserve the transaction logs, when you restore the online backup, all changes to the database since the time that the backup was performed will be lost.

If You Use an Offline or File Copy Backup


Copy the Priv.edb, Pub.edb, and Dir.edb files to the new computer. These files are the only ones that you must preserve.

Although it is not required, you may want to also preserve the transaction log files associated with these databases. To preserve the transaction logs, copy all the Edb*.log files from the directory transaction logs and information store transaction logs folders. Keep each set of log files separate. The log files have similar names, and you may overwrite one database's log files with another if you copy them to a single location. If you do not preserve the transaction logs, new sets of logs will be generated on the new computer, starting with Edb00001.log. Because this changes the log file series that is associated with each database, "roll forward" capability from restored online backups. If you do not preserve the transaction logs, make a backup of all databases immediately after you start them on the new computer; this establishes a new baseline backup of the new installation. Previous backups are not invalidated, but restoring from a previous backup will cause you to lose all data that has been stored since you performed the backup.

Unlike an online backup, you will not lose data if you do not move the log files to the new computer. If you do not preserve the log files, it only affects the "roll forward" behavior for previous backups.

Install the Operating System and Then Configure the New Computer as a Domain Member

Install Windows on the new computer and then join the computer to the domain as a member server. Make sure that the server is joined to a Windows domain that has a trust relationship with the domain that contains the Exchange service account. Also, make sure that the computer uses the same NetBIOS name as the original computer.

If you restore the System State (in Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003) or the system registry from the original computer to the new computer, you may be able to avoid deleting the computer account for the original computer, and re-creating it for the new computer. In most cases, you will disjoin the original computer from the domain and rename it so that you can give the new computer the name and join it to the domain. By leaving the original computer available on the network, but with a different name, you can delay copying the data files until after the new computer has been completely installed.

If you install a Windows version or service pack revision on the new computer that is different from the one that you had on the original computer, Exchange will re-index its databases during the first startup. This can take up to an hour and the databases will not be available for client access during this time.

Install Exchange Server on the New Computer

Install the same version of Exchange on the new computer, including service pack revision and hotfixes. If possible, use the /R option with the Exchange Setup program to install Exchange.

In most distributions of Exchange Server, the setup program is Setup.exe, but for some license types, the setup program is Srvmin.exe (Exchange Standard Edition) or Srvmax.exe (Exchange Enterprise Edition). Locate the appropriate setup program on your Exchange installation CD-ROM, and then start the appropriate setup program from a command prompt. For example:
Setup.exe /R
When you use the /R switch with Setup.exe, a stub directory database is installed. A stub directory database contains enough information to allow Setup to complete successfully, but it is incapable of replicating with other directory databases. This stub directory does not support the creation of Information Store databases on the server. When you use the /R switch with Setup.exe, you must restore a previously existing directory database before the Exchange server can become fully operational.

Although the /R startup switch has been available since Exchange 4.0, it was not implemented in the service pack update program until Exchange 5.0 Service Pack 2. Therefore, the instructions that are in this section can only be used to transfer the following installation versions of Exchange to a new computer:
  • Exchange 4.0 (with no service packs)
  • Exchange 5.0 (with no service packs)
  • Exchange 5.0 (with Service Pack 2)
  • Exchange 5.5 (all installations)
Note: You cannot use the /R option to recover a server that has been logically deleted from the site through Exchange Administrator. For Setup /R to work, the server must appear on the list of servers in the site, in Exchange Administrator. To recover from the logical deletion of a server from a site by using Exchange Administrator, you must reinstall the server into the site with a new directory database and discard the original directory database.

You can then restore the Information Store databases, and then use the directory services information store consistency adjustor or the directory import functions that are in Exchange to reconfigure user mailboxes and accounts. Detailed instructions for doing this are outside the scope of this article. Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) can help you to plan such a procedure. For information about how to contact Microsoft PSS, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com
To install Exchange Server on the new computer:
  1. Run the setup program from an Exchange installation CD. Use the /R switch, if possible. After you start Setup with the /R switch, you receive the following message:
    You have chosen the restore from backup option. This will cause Setup to set up a server, but stop without starting the services. This will allow you to restore data from previous backup before starting the services.
    If you do not receive this message, the /R switch was not correctly processed by the Setup program.

    Note: You cannot use the /R switch as part of a scripted installation with the /Q option. If /Q is specified on the command line for Setup.exe or Update.exe, the /R switch will be ignored. Do not use /R with any other command-line switches.
  2. Create a new site when prompted. Type the organization and site names that you recorded from the directory names on the original server.
  3. On the Site Services Account screen, if you are using Setup /R, enter the same service account as that used in the original Exchange site. If you did not use the /R switch, you must enter a different service account than that used in the original Exchange site. This account should be a member of the local Administrators group on the new computer, and must be a domain user account, not a local computer user account.

    Important: If you do not use the /R switch with Setup and you install Exchange with the original service account, you may cause unintended replication with the original site. This results in the loss of configuration information and the destruction of Free/Busy and Offline Address Book information. If this Exchange server is the only server in the Exchange site, you can safely use the original service account because there are no other servers in the site that can replicate with this one. This is true even if there are other sites in your Exchange organization.

    For additional information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    152960 XADM: Reassigning Site Roles after Removing the First Server in an Exchange Site
  4. Before you finish Setup, run the Performance Optimizer. If you run Setup with the /R switch, you may receive error messages similar to the following in Performance Optimizer:
    The file E:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\*.LOG could not be found. - [800FF330]
    -and-
    The file C:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\PRIV.EDB could not be found. - [800FF330]
    -and-
    The file e:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\PUB.EDB could not be found. - [800FF330]
    -and-
    The file E:\exchsrvr\DSADATA\*.LOG could not be found. - [800FF330]
    You may safely ignore these error messages.

    Important: After you finish Setup /R, you cannot run Performance Optimizer again to change the database paths before you restore the databases. If you do not use Setup /R, you can run Perfwiz.exe from a command prompt to start the Performance Optimizer. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    326472 XADM: How to Manually Set File Paths Without Using Performance Optimizer
    If you have already exited Setup and you want to run Performance Optimizer, you may remove the whole Exchange installation and start over. To do this after using Setup /R follow these steps:
    1. Delete the \Exchsrvr folder structure that is created by Exchange Setup.
    2. Run Setup again, without the /R switch, and select the Remove All option. If you skip step a, the Remove All operation will be unsuccessful.
  5. Install the latest service pack that was installed on the original server. Run Update.exe /R to perform the service pack update without starting the Exchange services. After you use Setup /R, you must also use the /R switch with Update.exe or the service pack update may be unsuccessful.
  6. Install any Exchange hotfixes that were present on the original server.
  7. Change the circular logging settings to match settings on the original computer. To do this in Exchange Administrator, open the Properties dialog box of the server object, and then click the Advanced tab. Click to select or click to clear the Directory and Information store check boxes, depending on your previous settings, and then click OK.

Move the Core Database Files to the New Computer

Whether you use online or offline backups, stop all Exchange services except for the System Attendant service. Remove all files from the directory and information store data folders.

Note: No files with .edb, .log, or .chk file extensions should remain. Instead of deleting these files, move them to another folder and save them until you have completed all steps in this article.
  • If you are restoring from online backups:
    1. Copy the transaction logs (Edb*.log files) from the original computer to the appropriate transaction log folders on the new computer. There are two sets of transaction logs; one set of logs is for the directory and a one set of logs is shared by the public and private Information Store databases. Do not copy any other files from the original server to the transaction log folders.
    2. With the System Attendant service running, restore the directory and information store databases. Do not select the option to start the databases automatically after restoring, or to remove all existing data before restoring. If you are use a different service account, the automatic startup of the services will be unsuccessful.
  • If you are restoring from offline backups:
    1. Copy the Dir.edb, Priv.edb, and Pub.edb files from the original computer to the appropriate database paths on the new computer.
    2. If you preserved the transaction logs (Edb*.log files) from the original computer, copy them into the appropriate directory transaction logs and information store transaction logs folders. Do not copy any other files from the original server to the transaction log folders.

Change the Service Account If You Have Used a Different Initial Service Account (Optional)

  1. Add the original service account to the local Administrators group on the new computer.
  2. In the Services console, change the service account for each Exchange service to the original service account and enter the appropriate password.
  3. Stop the System Attendant service.

Start the Exchange-Related Services

  1. Start the directory service, and then verify that startup completes successfully.

    Start the Exchange Administrator and connect to the new computer. If you have other servers in your Exchange site, verify that intrasite replication is successful by creating a test mailbox on the new computer. It may take several minutes before the mailbox replicates to other servers in the site. Connect to other servers in the Exchange site and verify that replication is successful before continuing to the next step.
  2. Start the Information Store service, and then verify that startup completes successfully.

    If you used offline backups or copies to transfer database files to the new computer, the Information Store database startup may be unsuccessful. You may receive error 1001, and you may be alerted that you must "patch" the databases. To do this, with the directory service running, type the isinteg -patch command. Note: If your public Information Store has many thousands of folders, the patch process may take an hour or more to complete.
  3. Use an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook, to verify that messages can be sent between two mailboxes on the new computer.
  4. Start the other Exchange services.

    Verify that messages can be sent between mailboxes on the new computer and other mailboxes in your Exchange organization, and that other services function as you expect.
After you move Exchange Server to the new computer, you do not have to do any client-side reconfiguration. The move will be transparent to the end-users who have mailboxes on the new computer.

Properties

Article ID: 155216 - Last Review: October 27, 2006 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
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Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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