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Use ExMerge to move mailboxes from SBS 2003 to a different server

Exchange expert Brad Dinerman explains why ExMerge is the best way to move existing mailboxes from SBS 2003 to another server on a different domain.

What is the best way to move your existing mailboxes from Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 Premium to a different server on a different domain running the same operating system (OS)?
If you are using Windows SBS 2003, then I will assume that you do not have an overwhelmingly large number of mailboxes. There should be less than 75 mailboxes. You could consider using the ExMerge utility that is provided with Exchange Server.

ExMerge will let you centrally import all mailboxes into .PST files. Once they are in the .PST files, you can then move them (over the network, burned onto CD or DVD, etc.) to the new server, and then use ExMerge on that new server to import them into their new mailboxes.

When using ExMerge consider the following:
  • The user account running ExMerge must have Send As and Receive As permissions on the mailbox store.
  • ExMerge is still restricted by the limitations of .PST maximum size, which is approximately 2 GB.
  • On the destination server, modify the .PST files to have the same name as the user account. For example, if you will be importing data into the mailbox of a user whose account name is cbrown, then name that user's .PST file as cbrown.pst.
  • Find additional information about configuring a user account for use with ExMerge in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 292509, How to configure an account to use the ExMerge utility in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Free Download: Exchange Server Mailbox Merge Wizard (ExMerge)
  • Expert Advice: Save all users' mailboxes as .PST files
  • Tip: Understanding Exchange 2003 mailbox migration methods
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server mailbox management
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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