SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success

SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success

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[Today's post comes to us courtesy of Chris Puckett, Damian Liebaschoff, Mark Stanfill, Justin Crosby, John Bay, David Copeland, Wayne McIntyre, and Shawn Sullivan]

The purpose of this post is to help you complete your SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008 successfully on the first attempt.

If you are already experiencing a setup failure, please check the following post first:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2010/08/03/the-ultimate-guide-to-sbs-2008-setup-failures.aspx

A. Read through the migration guide before starting.

Understand what setup will do for you and what you need to do manually.

B. Watch the migration video demos and online training.

SBS 2008 Migration Demo and Interview

WES04PAL: Windows SBS 2008 Core Technical Training, Part 3 of 8: Migration
Available to registered partners. Registration is free.

Hands-on Migration Lab

C. Join an SBS 2008 newsgroup.

You might find an answer to a question you have, seek advice on your migration plan, or simply see what others have encountered that you might not have considered.

D. Practice a migration yourself in a test environment.

This way you know what to expect. This also allows you to test the hardware and verify you have the necessary BIOS updates and drivers.

KNOWN ISSUES - SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008

E. On the Source server, run the SBS 2003 BPA.
  • SBS 2003 BPA
  • Resolve any issues reported in the source environment ahead of time.
  • Know that SBS 2003 SP 1 is not the same as Windows 2003 SP 1 or SP 2. See item #4 for an explanation.
F. On the Source server, make sure the Active Directory is healthy.

If there is only one DC, make sure the SYSVOL and NETLOGON shares are present. Also, check the File Replication Service event log to see if it is in Journal Wrap. The event below is an example of what to look for.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: NtFrs
Event ID: 13568
Description:
The File Replication Service has detected that the replica set "DOMAIN SYSTEM
VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)" is in JRNL_WRAP_ERROR.

If your source server is in Journal Wrap, you will receive a pop up message during SBS 2008 Setup that states “Active Directory replication is taking longer than expected…” with the choice of continue to wait for replication to complete.

If there are multiple domain controllers in the source environment, force an Active Directory replication between them in Active Directory Sites and Services and verify it is successful.

You can also run the Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner in the source environment to uncover any AD health issues.

Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner

An unhealthy Active Directory can result in the following setup errors:

  • Windows Small Business Server group policies cannot be configured.
  • Windows Server Update Services cannot be configured.

To fix this, you will need to restore the source server, resolve the AD Health issue(s) and start the migration all over again.

G. On the Source server, check the Primary group of the account you will use to install the SBS 2008 server into the domain.

Make sure the Primary group is set to something besides Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins, or Schema Admins. Otherwise, you may receive the following pop-up error during the migration:

The user account does not have the permission that it needs to join the domain. The user account must be a member of the Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins and Schema Admins groups.

  1. In the properties of the user account, click the Member Of tab, and at the bottom look for the Primary group.
  2. Make sure the Primary group IS NOT : Domain Admins or Enterprise Admins or Schema Admins.
  3. To change it, select Domain Users and click the Set Primary Group button.
H. On the Source server, run the SBS 2008 Migration Preparation Tool.

This tool performs the following actions:

  1. Installs update 943494 on the SBS 2003 server to extend the migration grace period from 7 to 21 days.
  2. Runs ADPREP to update the forest, domain, and group policy object access control entries.
  3. Changes Exchange 2003 from Mixed mode to Native mode.
  4. Adds the Authenticated Users group to the Pre-Windows 2000 security group.

If Exchange 2003 is not running in Native mode, Exchange Server 2007 will not be installed and you will have to start all over. The error message is Exchange Server 2007 cannot be installed. For more information, see this.

If the Authenticated Users group is not a member of the Pre-Windows 2000 security group, then standard users will not be able to access the Remote Web Workplace. The error message they will see is: Cannot connect to the Remote Web Workplace site. To continue, contact your network administrator.

I. In the source domain, check for the existence of an account named Postmaster.

SBS setup tries to create a Distribution List with the SAM account name of Postmaster. If it already exists, you will receive the following errors at the end of setup.

Setup errors due to an existing Postmaster account:

  • The e-mail distribution groups cannot be created.
  • Incoming and outgoing e-mail for Windows SharePoint Services are not configured.
  • Incoming and outgoing e-mail for Windows SharePoint Services are not configured.

To fix this, you will need to restore the source server, rename the Postmaster account and start the migration all over again.  Alternatively you can complete the steps listed in http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc626214(WS.10).aspx and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc626120(WS.10).aspx.

J. Check Exchange 2003 policies:
  • Existing Mailbox Management policies
  • Duplicate SMTP addresses in recipient policies
  • Invalid SMTP addresses in recipient policies

If any of these are present during the migration to SBS 2008, the setup will finish with the following errors:

Setup errors due to mailbox management policies or duplicate/invalid SMTP addresses in recipient policies:

  • The Exchange E-mail address policy cannot be configured.
  • Incoming and outgoing e-mail for Windows SharePoint Services are not configured.
  • Incoming and outgoing e-mail for Windows SharePoint Services are not configured.

How to check for Mailbox Management policies:

If you have Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 recipient policies that are ONLY Mailbox Manager policies and do not define e-mail addresses (they do not have an E-mail Addresses (Policy) tab), perform the following steps to delete the policies:

  1. In Exchange System Manager, expand Recipients, and then select Recipient Policies.
  2. To verify that a policy is only a Mailbox Manager policy, right-click the policy, and then select Properties. The Properties page must not have an E-Mail Addresses (Policy) tab.
  3. To delete the policy, right-click the policy, and then select Delete. Click OK and then click Yes.

If you have Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 policies that are BOTH E-mail Addresses and Mailbox Manager policies (they have both the Mailbox Manager Settings (Policy) tab and the E-mail Addresses (Policy) tab), perform the following steps to remove the mailbox manager portion of the policy:

  1. In Exchange System Manager, expand Recipients, and then select Recipient Policies.
  2. Right-click the policy, and then select Change property pages.
  3. Clear the Mailbox Manager Settings check box, and then click OK.

How to check for duplicate/invalid SMTP addresses in recipient policies:

  1. In Exchange System Manager, expand Recipients, and then select Recipient Policies.
  2. Right-click the policy, and then select E-Mail Addresses (Policy) tab.
  3. Inspect the SMTP Addresses for any that are unchecked. If you find any, place a check in the box or remove that address.
  4. Inspect the SMTP Addresses for any that have an IP address. For instance, @192.168.1.1. If you find any, remove those addresses that contain an IP address.
  5. Click OK.

Recovery option 1:

Restore the source domain to before the migration, take corrective actions for any of the known causes, and start the migration over.

Recovery option 2:

Take corrective actions for any of the known causes. Complete the lengthy manual repair steps for each of the received errors as provided in the SBS 2008 Tech Library.

K. When you create the answer file for the migration, leave the Certificate authority name blank.

At the very least, do not use remote.domain.com or any periods in the name. For more information, see this.

L. On the SBS 2008 server, after setup is done, run the SBS 2008 BPA.

SBS 2008 BPA

M. Disabling IPv6 is not necessary in SBS 2008.

If you think you want to disable IPv6 in SBS 2008, or any Vista/Windows 2008 product for that matter, you must do so in the registry. Unchecking IPv6 in the properties of the nic will cause you grief. For more information on how to do this, read here.

N. Remove the Last Legacy Exchange Server from an Organization

Before you are ready to demote and remove the source SBS 2003 server from the network, make sure you follow the steps to Remove the Last Legacy Exchange Server from an Organization BEFORE you uninstall Exchange 2003 from the SBS 2003 server. The steps are located here.

Note: We are looking into what we can work into the SBS BPAs to aid in catching these things sooner.

O. Disable WSUS on Source domain prior to migration

If you have a deadline set for a Windows 2008 update in WSUS that is past-due, your SBS 2008 setup can fail when the update is automatically installed and the SBS 2008 server is rebooted.  Deadlines are not automatically set in SBS 2003 but can be set by the Admin through the native WSUS console.  We recommend disabling WSUS for the duration of the migration.

P. On the Source Server run the Exchange 2007 Readiness Check in the Exchange BPA

Q. Make sure the Admin account you are using for the migration has a STRONG password

Strong passwords must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Passwords cannot contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters.
  • Passwords must be at least six characters in length.
  • Passwords must contain characters from three of the following four categories:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z).
    • English lowercase characters (a through z).
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9).
    • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %).

R. SBS 2003 must be on a class C subnet (subnet mask of 255.255.255.0).

Since SBS 2008 only supports a Class C Subnet if your SBS 2003 server is not in a Class C subnet it can cause communication problems during setup.  Please see the following post for supported network topologies in SBS 2008: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2008/09/16/sbs-2008-supported-networking-topology.aspx

S. Authoritative Restores of Active Directory

There has been a few cases where migrations fail on domains where customers have previously performed an authoritative restore of their 2003 domain environment.  Authoritative restores can cause the SBS migration to fail by invalidating Kerberos tickets which will cause the Exchange install to fail.  If you have performed an authoritative restore or you are not sure if an authoritative restore has ever been done please apply the following hotfix on all 2003 domain controllers in your environment before starting the migration.

939820  Events 1925, 1006, 1645, 1055, 40961 on a Windows Server 2008-based domain controller or error message: "No authority could be contacted for authentication" when you use Remote Desktop Connection

Special Thanks: Thanks to Susan Bradley for linking http://www.sbsmigrationtips.com/ to this blog post.

Updated: 6/16/09 Added best practices O, P, and Q.
Updated: 6/24/09 Added best practice R.
Updated: 7/31/09 added best practice S.

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Comments
  • PingBack from http://blog.sbs-rocks.com/2009/02/19/wanna-only-do-that-sbs-migration-once/

  • Thanks Guys, now maybe folks won't be afraid to stick their toes into the water :>)

  • I started to write about this at SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues and Active Directory

  • Great guide!

    However many people out there are in need of a guide to migrate from Windows 2003 server standard to SBS 2008, and i haven't found one single good guide for this. Those out there are mostly written by people who were extremely lucky and didn't run in to any trouble - w2k3 -> sbs 2008 IS troublesome.

    So if you feel like providing something more that would be greatly appriciated that topic is my wish.

    I'm in the middle of a process like this, but if i ever figure it out i will write about it.

    thanks!

  • There's a write up below on migrating from Windows 2003/Exchange 2003 to SBS 2008.

    http://www.powerbiz.net.au/Migrating%20from%20Windows%202003%20and%20Exchange%202003%20to%20Small%20Business%20Server%202008.pdf

    It's pretty much the same as migrating from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008.

  • Recovery option 1: Restore the source domain to before the migration.

    Can you explain with more details how to restore the source server?

    (e.g in case of additional domain controllers in the same domain)

  • I agree, I would like to know about:

    Recovery option 1: Restore the source domain to before the migration.

  • 从SBS2003到SBS2008的迁移安装(Migration install)是SBS2008安装中常见的方式。在SBS官方博客上发布了一篇文章讲述了进行迁移安装的关键。总结来说,包括以下内容: 1.

  • We have updated the SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Migration Best Practices blog post with a few new recommendations.