Tuesday 26 November 2013

SBS 2003 R2 Premium Migration to 2012 R2 Domain and Exchange 2013

We are beginning our adventure migrating our last SBS 2003 R2 Premium server setup to a completely new setup.

We used the ShadowProtect backup image to restore to our Hyper-V server and utilized the Hardware Independent Restore process to inject the Hyper-V 2012 R2 VM drivers so we did not get any blue screens on the restored VM OS.


Our goal will be to end up with an RWA setup in 2012 Essentials R2 or we will be pitching the new Scorpion Software AuthAnvil Portal setup as an RWA replacement to this firm (and eventually all firms we manage).

Given that most accounting firms need to log into many different sites for their day-to-day routines we believe that new portal service will meet that need along with the partners that would prefer a short PIN to log on. :)

Plus it will give them a huge step up in security.

For now, we have their server up and running on one of our Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V lab setups as we will be running through the migration process a few times to make sure we have everything down.

We set up a Windows 7 Professional SP1 VM to verify that the SBS 2003 was happy:


The SBS Connect Computer wizard was run to successfully connect the Win7 VM to the SBS domain. From there we installed Office 2010 SP1 and reset a couple key user's passwords to hook into their profiles.

We are now ready to begin the migration process in our lab.

  1. Install: Windows Server 2012 R2 DC VM
  2. Install: Windows Server 2008 R2 OS Temp VM
    1. Exchange 2010 with current SP installed
  3. Migrate Mailboxes and Public Folders
  4. Install: Windows Server 2012 RTM VM
    1. Install Exchange 2013 and CU3
  5. Migrate Mailboxes and Public Folders
  6. Install: Windows Server 2012 R2 VM(s)
    1. LoB Migration

Once we have run through the above process we will then move on to migrating their actual production network.

Philip Elder
Microsoft MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at


Anonymous said...


Todd said...


I've also been working on getting our last SBS 2003 clients migrated to WS 2012 R2 and Exchange, but I've noted some posts cautioning about placing Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers into a domain that has any version of Exchange (e.g. Rhoderick Milne's Exchange Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmilne/archive/2013/09/17/exchange-support-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx). I don't interpret Microsoft's Exchange 2013/2010 system requirements as precluding the use of WS 2012 R2 DCs, but some, including those at Microsoft apparently do. Have you run across any issues?