How to Move mailboxes between servers?

Moving mailboxes between Servers in the same site can result in disastrous consequences that might include loss of critical data. In order to ensure that you move mailboxes safely between Servers, follow the steps given below:


1. Utilize ExMerge.exe to create a .PST file for every mailbox that you wish to move as this acts as a recovery solution, in case of corruption if any.

2. Move mailboxes in the groups of 20 to 30 recipients at a time. Move mailboxes during a period of low user activity. You don’t need to inform users about this, as they will automatically get disconnected during the move. Also, you don’t need to limit logons to the mailbox during the move as logons are limited automatically by the information store.

Note – Usually, organizations limit logging on to the Information Store before mailbox as a safety precaution but it is not a requirement.

In order to prevent logons to Exchange 2000 Server, configure settings for the same to restrict logons from a MAPI client. However, this restriction does not apply to Outlook Web Access (OWA), POP3 or IMAP4 clients. These protocols should be disabled to restrict OWA, POP3 and IMAP4 clients.

3. Disable your Exchange aware antivirus program temporarily as there are some issues with antivirus API that cause failure.

4. For every gigabyte of data that you move, an additional gigabyte of transaction logs is used. Therefore, validate that you have sufficient free space on your transaction log drive. Turn on circular logging temporarily on the General tab of storage group’s properties page. If you have turned-on circular logging during the mailbox move, ensure that you turn it off when mailbox move is completed. If you leave circular logging turned on, you cannot restore up to the point of failure if your database has to be restored from the backup. If there are concerns about the disk space then you might want to perform incremental backups during the mailbox move to purge log files.

5. In case of problems, do not move the mailbox back to the original server, if you do so, you are likely to lose data.

6. Before a mailbox moves from Exchange 5.5 Source Server, perform a DS/IS consistency check on the private information store. Click the Advanced tab of the server’s properties page to perform DS/IS consistency check.

Pls Note: Select only the Remove unknown user accounts from mailbox permissions option. Select the box at the bottom to filter all inconsistencies.

7. It will be great to run an offline defragmentation of your private information store on the source server after mailboxes have been moved. This reduces the physical size of the Priv.edb file. This also helps in reducing backup and restores time with more disk free space available. This step is not important if you plan to decommission the source server and remove it from your Exchange site or Administrative Group.

8. We recommend the Recipient Connection Agreement replication schedule to be set to Never during the mailbox move, if mailboxes are being moved from Exchange 5.5 to an Exchange 2000 server. This helps you in avoiding any issues with the homeMDB attribute being reset to that of the Exchange 5.5 server.

9. Use Active Directory Users and Computers to move all mailboxes to the new Exchange 2000 computer. Do this from the Exchange 2000 computer or from a computer with Active Directory Users and Computers MMC Snap-in installed (such as domain controller), and Exchange System Manager (ESM) installed. For moving the mailboxes:

Click the Organizational Unit (OU) and then click User to select a single user. Or, to select multiple users at the same time, press the SHIFT or CTRL key.

Right-click object or objects, click Exchange Tasks, click Move Mailbox and then click Next. Follow the instructions on the screen to move the mailboxes to the appropriate Exchange 2000 Server and Mailbox Store.

Users must log on to their mailboxes for updating their Exchange profiles automatically to point to the new Exchange 2000 server. If in case you remove the Exchange Server computer prior to updating Exchange user Profiles, then you must visit each user desktop to update their Exchange profiles manually to point to the new Exchange 2000 server.

With the above mentioned process you can move mailboxes between servers without the risk of losing on vital data.

Using Kernel for PST Repair software, all your problems related to PST file corruptions are resolved easily.