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
- The Exchange server is not a domain controller.
Note: Instructions for moving or decommissioning a domain controller
are outside the scope of this article.
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:
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:
Use an Online Backup to Transfer Database Files
- Restore an online backup of the databases to the new
- Copy the database files directly to the new
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.
To use an online backup to transfer Exchange database
files, follow these steps:
Use an Offline Backup to Transfer Database Files
- Disable circular logging on the Exchange server. To do
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
- On the Properties dialog box of the
server object, click the Advanced tab.
- Click to clear the Directory and
Information store check boxes, and then click
- Click Yes to restart the services, if
- 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
To use an offline backup to transfer the Exchange
- 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
- Check the database paths that you previously recorded, and
test each database file for consistency. To do this, use the following
ESEUTIL /MH path to Private Information Store database\PRIV.EDBThe 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".
ESEUTIL /MH path to Public Information Store database\PUB.EDB
ESEUTIL /MH path to directory database\DIR.EDB
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
: 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
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
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.
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:
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
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)
: 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:
To install Exchange Server on the new computer:
- 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: If you do not receive
this message, the /R switch was not correctly processed by the Setup
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
- Create a new site when prompted. Type the organization and
site names that you recorded from the directory names on the original
- 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.
information about this issue, click the following article number to view the
article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
XADM: Reassigning Site Roles after Removing the First Server in an Exchange Site
- 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:
E:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\*.LOG could not be found. -
C:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\PRIV.EDB could not be found. -
e:\exchsrvr\MDBDATA\PUB.EDB could not be found. -
safely ignore these error messages.
E:\exchsrvr\DSADATA\*.LOG could not be found. - [800FF330]
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
information, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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:
XADM: How to Manually Set File Paths Without Using Performance Optimizer
- Delete the \Exchsrvr folder structure that is created
by Exchange Setup.
- 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.
- 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
- Install any Exchange hotfixes that were present on the
- 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
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- Copy the Dir.edb, Priv.edb, and Pub.edb files from the
original computer to the appropriate database paths on the new computer.
- 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
Change the Service Account If You Have Used a Different Initial Service Account (Optional)
- Add the original service account to the local
Administrators group on the new computer.
- In the Services console, change the service account for
each Exchange service to the original service account and enter the appropriate
- Stop the System Attendant service.
Start the Exchange-Related Services
- Start the directory service, and then verify that startup
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.
- 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.
- Use an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook, to verify
that messages can be sent between two mailboxes on the new computer.
- Start the other Exchange services.
messages can be sent between mailboxes on the new computer and other mailboxes
in your Exchange organization, and that other services function as you
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.