For those of you who read my blog or subscribe to my RSS feed, you should know that I have moved to a new domain. All my old links/posts/pages, etc should all still work, but you may see some strange issues now and then until you update your bookmarks and or RSS feed link. My new domain name is joechurch.com and my blog link is now located at http://www.joechurch.com/blog
I will be putting up a new site at the root of joechurch.com sometime soon, but for now the only thing that works is my blog link.
It was quite a challenge to move domains with my blog, as I had lots of plugin issues and link problems. I ended up starting from scratch and re-installing wordpress and all my plugins manually. I used a wordpress export to move everything over which worked great except that I lost of blogroll links. I was able to use the wayback machine at http://www.archive.org to get the links I used to have and the names I gave them. So for now, the blog is fully moved over and working great.
Recently I ran into a major problem with my Active Directory and NT4 setup. I maintain a network made up of 2 NT4 BDCs and about 10 Active Directory Domain Controllers. The domain is in 2003 interim mode and we also run Exchange 5.5 on 4 other NT4 member servers. Last week we renamed a few domain controllers and assigned new IP addresses (on the 2003 side). As a precaution I kept the old IP address on one of the major domain controllers until I could get time to manually modify all the legacy servers lmhosts files. We also shutdown the domain controller that was used to get us to Active Directory, basically I took a dell desktop that would run NT, and made it a BDC. Then I promoted it to a PDC and upgraded the OS to Server 2003 and installed Active Directory. Well its time to de-commission that box and we shut it down last week as well. On Monday, I created a new user account and immediately got reports of strange problems, the user was getting prompted for logon credentials in Outlook and could not stay online.
I looked around and couldn’t find anything wrong and wasn’t too concerned at this point. Later I realized that my NT4 BDCs were not able to find a PDC any longer. I assumed it was because we shutdown the upgraded domain controller and so we powered it back on hoping it would help. This did not fix the problem so I began working on the issue by online research and posting questions in newsgroups. Finally I found a guy on Experts-exchange that was very helpful and worked with me on EE for hours before we figured out the issue. By troubleshooting and much testing we found that NetBIOS lookups to the PDC emulator (running 2003) were failing. From 2003 we could map drives, browse to NT4 without a problem, only from NT4 to 2003 was there an issue. Lastly we found that its bad to have a multi-homed domain controller, especially the one we were using for the PDC Emulator. I removed the second (old) IP address from the server and everything started to work just fine. I could get into the user manager in NT4 and updates started to be processed without a problem.
So it turns out the main cause of the issue was not the renames, or IP change, or even shutting down an old DC. It was simply that we had more than 1 IP Address on our PDC Emulator server. Removing that fixed the issue. I think we can now power down the upgraded DC again and proceed further with the migration. Too bad it took so long to figure this out, but at least it is working normally now.
Q1. Can you install Exchange 2003 into an Exchange 5.5 Site?
A1. Yes you can, this is actually the preferred method of migration since you can use the “move mailbox” in Exchange Administration to move mailboxes between Exchange servers in the same Exchange Organization. You will need the ADC to make this happen.
Q2. Can distribution lists in Exchange 5.5 be migrated to Exchange 2003?
A2. Yes they can, using the ADC the groups can be imported as distribution groups in 2003/AD
Q3. What gets complicated by installing 2003 in a separate Exchange organization, rather than installing Exchange 2003 into the Exchange 5.5 organization?
A3. If Exchange servers are within the same organization then mailboxes can be
moved easily through ‘Exchange Tasks’ in AD USers and Computers. They also
maintain the same alias’ (very important when users start replying to old
emails, they will be bounced if the mailbox and alias changes) and users
outlook profiles will also be automatically redirected to the new server as
it is within the same organization. In separate organizations, none of the above is true. As far as I know
exmerge is required to migrate mailboxes, you’ll have to create completely
new mailboxes on the new server and reconfigure users outlook profiles at the
desktop. Mailbox alias’ will also likely be an issue.