Transition from Small Business Server to Standard Windows Server


Transition from Small Business Server to Standard Windows Server

These steps are applicable for transition from all the versions of Small Business Server to Windows Server 2008/ 2008 R2/ 2012.

Note: The Transition Pack which was used previously for same is no more available.

Transition Process:

1. To ensure a seamless Transition we need to start by performing Health Check of AD and Exchange using tools like dcdiag, BPA for SBS 2003, 2008 and 2011 and BPA for Exchange:

2. Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer:

3. We always need to ensure that we take a complete backup along with System State Backup of the SBS Server.

Description of the Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

4. Install the new Standard Windows Server OS (2008 R2) on the new hardware and join it to the existing SBS domain.

5. Upgrade the Schema on SBS Server 2003/ 2008 to support Windows 2008 R2

a. Insert the media for Windows Server 2008 R2 into the Small Business Server 2003/2008 server.

b. Browse to the following folder:
<DVD drive >:\Sources\Adprep> Adprep /forestprep

c. Press C, and then press ENTER. Wait for the process to complete.

d. Type the following command:
<DVD drive >:\Sources\Adprep>Adprep /domainprep

when this step completes, you should receive a message: “Adprep successfully update the domain-wide Information”

6. Promote the new Windows 2008 R2 to be a Domain Controller and DNS Server.


7. Make 2008 R2 as Global Catalog

8. Migrate the DHCP database

Application Movement:

All the applications, services and data that are installed or configured on SBS machine (Exchange, SharePoint, File Server Terminal Server License etc.) we need to transfer them on to 2008 R2 DC or member server’s depending on the nature of the application.

1. Exchange Migration:

2. Before moving FSMO roles install the below hotfix, applicable only in case of SBS 2003

This software update extends the allowable grace period for the supported scenarios from 7 days to 21 days.

3. Transfer FSMO roles to WS08R2:;EN-US;255504

After you move the FSMO roles you have 21 days grace period to keep the SBS box running.

Note: After the completion of 21st day, the SBS box reboots itself few time during the day, services become inconsistent, so it’s recommended to perform the steps before this period end.

After proper testing in production uninstall Exchange from SBS. After making sure users are able to access and authenticate from the domain.

Demote SBS Server and unjoin it from the domain, reformat and use the hardware for any other purpose.

And you are done. Monitor the environment for a few more days for errors in the event log and make sure that all of them are rectified if any.


- A-Team