How To Do A Swing Migration From SBS 2003 To 2012 With Exchange

An SBS 2003 to 2012 swing migration with Exchange is basically a migration from SBS 2003 to 2012 (including Exchange Server) on the same hardware, without performing an upgrade. It’s a semi-clean install because the swing migration performs a clean installation, then migrates the AD, Exchange and other data to the new 2012 server. To perform a 2003 to 2012 swing migration (note that you can do the first few steps with no outage):

  1. Ensure that Windows SBS 2003 is fully patched (Run Windows Update, install all updates, reboot, check everything is working and repeat until there are no more updates available)
  2. Install Windows SBS 2012 on another computer (A laptop running a VM of SBS 2012 works well)
  3. Fully patch Windows 2012
  4. Join the SBS 2012 server as a member to the domain
  5. Promote the SBS 2012 server to a Domain Controller
  6. Backup Exchange data
  7. Backup SQL
  8. Backup DHCP
  9. Backup any other data and file shares
  10. Transfer all FMSO roles to the SBS 2012 server
  11. Demote then disconnect the SBS 2012 server from the network
  12. Perform a clean installation of SBS 2012 over the top of your old SBS 2003 server
  13. Connect the SBS 2012 VM to the network
  14. Join the new SBS 2012 to the SBS 2012 VM’s domain
  15. Promote the new SBS 2012 server to a Domain Controller
  16. Transfer the FSMO roles to the new SBS 2012 server
  17. Restore DHCP, Exchange, SQL, data and any file shares
  18. Demote the SBS 2012 VM
  19. Remove the SBS 2012 VM from the network

You have now completed your swing migration. Please feel free to leave comments if you find any issues or leave advice on individual steps to help others.

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