Alfred's New Ramblings

Forklift upgrade

What happens if you need to upgrade the creaking old server hardware that Exchange is sitting on? Especially if you want to keep the same name to prevent users from going bonkers and yourself from updating all the docs. Read on.

You can do a forklift upgrade. This is a big bang approach. The main idea is to use the ‘DisasterRecovery’ switch in setup. This will reinstall Exchange and take all the settings from Active Directory. Quite a neat trick actually, when you compared it Exchange 5.5 DR.

Basically, you do this:
1. Prep a new server to be exactly like the current server. Same number drives and letters for the location of the storage groups. You can make the system partition bigger or even use a new version of the Operating system with a caveat.
2. Shutdown the current Exchange.
3. Move the stores over to the new server.
4. Reset the computer account of the current Exchange server.
5. Rename the new server, as the current server and join the domain.
6. Reinstall Exchange using the /DisasterRecovery switch. Note you may have to do this from the Start, Run location or through the control panel.
7. Install service pack/s using the /DisasterRecovery switch. This will prevent the stores from being mounted.
8. Mount the stores and uncheck “Do not mount stores at startup”.

Microsoft supports forklift upgrade reusing back the same version of the operating system.

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