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How To Convert from Mixed Mode to Native Mode in Exchange

This article was previously published under Q327779
SUMMARY
This article describes how to convert a Microsoft Exchange 2000 organization or a Microsoft Exchange 2003 organization that is currently running in mixed mode to native mode. Follow these steps after the last Exchange 5.5 server in the organization is upgraded or before the last Exchange 5.5 server is decommissioned.

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Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 Mixed Mode

An organization running in mixed mode can accommodate all versions of Microsoft Exchange. By default, Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 is installed in mixed mode.

Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 running in mixed mode is subject to the following limitations:
  • Exchange Server 5.0 and 5.5 sites are mapped directly to administrative groups.
  • Administrative groups are mapped directly to Exchange Server 5.0 and 5.5 sites.
  • Servers cannot be moved between administrative groups.
  • Routing group membership consists only of servers that are installed in the administrative groups.
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Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 Native Mode

An organization running in native mode can accommodate only Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 computers. New Exchange Server 5.0 or 5.5 computers cannot be introduced into the organization.

You can switch an Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 organization to native mode after all of the servers in that organization are upgraded to Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003. You cannot switch to native mode until you either upgrade or decommission all earlier versions of Exchange Server.

The following are some of the features of Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 native mode:
  • Support for multiple routing groups within a single administrative group.
  • Routing groups can consist of servers from multiple administrative groups.
  • Ability to move servers between routing groups.
  • Ability to move mailboxes between servers in different Administrative Groups within an organization.
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the default routing protocol.
  • An administrative group does not have to contain any routing groups and a server can belong to an administrative group without belonging to a routing group within that administrative group.
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Determine the Mode of the Exchange Organization

By default, an Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 server is installed in mixed mode. To determine which mode your Exchange organization is currently running in:
  1. Start Exchange System Manager. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Right-click the organization that you want to determine the mode for, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab. The operating mode of the organization is displayed Under Operations Mode.
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When to Switch from Mixed Mode to Native mode

The following scenarios are good candidates for conversion to native mode:
  • There are no Exchange 5.5-based servers in your organization.
  • There are no plans to add Exchange Server 5.5 servers to your organization in the future.
  • Your organization will never require interoperability between Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 and servers running earlier versions of Exchange Server.
  • Your organization does not use any connectors or gateway programs that run only in Exchange Server 5.5.
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Change from Mixed Mode to Native Mode

Before you can change an organization from mixed mode to native mode, all of the computers in the organization must be running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003. The switch to native mode cannot be reversed. Review the implications of this switch before proceeding.

After you upgrade or remove all versions of Exchange Server prior to Exchange 2000, you can switch your Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 organization to native mode by using Exchange System Manager:
  1. Start Exchange System Manager. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Right-click the organization, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Change Mode under Change Operations Mode. Click Yes if you are sure that you want to permanently switch the organization's mode to native mode.
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REFERENCES
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
270143 XADM: Mixed mode vs. native mode
272314 XADM: Preparing a mixed mode organization for conversion to native mode

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Article ID: 327779 - Last Review: 12/03/2007 04:27:00 - Revision: 3.7

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • kbhowtomaster KB327779
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