Migrate Windows Small Business Server 2003 to Windows Small Business Server 2008

Updated: November 19, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008


This is Version 5 of this article. For the latest online version, see the Microsoft Web site (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91366). To download the most recent printable version, see the Microsoft Web site (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=117499).


Unlike previous versions, the Windows® Small Business Server 2008 server software (Windows SBS) requires a 64-bit server. Windows SBS 2008 does not support a 32-bit processor architecture.

This guide tells you how to migrate an existing Windows SBS 2003 domain to Windows SBS 2008 and then to migrate the settings and data. This guide also tells you how to remove your existing server from the Windows SBS 2008 network after you finish the migration.


To avoid problems while migrating your existing server to Windows SBS 2008, it is recommended that you read this document before you begin the migration.

Terms and definitions

Destination server: The new server where you are installing Windows SBS 2008 and migrating your settings and data to.

Source Server: The existing server that you are migrating your settings and data from.

Process steps

This Migration Guide includes the following steps:

  1. Prepare your Source Server for Windows SBS 2008 migration You must ensure that your Source Server and network are ready for migration. This section guides you through backing up the Source Server, evaluating the Source Server system health, installing the most recent service packs and fixes, verifying the network configuration, and raising the functional level of the Microsoft® Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) domain and forest. You must also run the Migration Preparation Tool on the Source Server, which updates the AD DS schema, installs an update that extends the time limit for the migration, and configures Exchange Server to support migration.

  2. Create a migration answer file for Windows SBS 2008 migration An answer file is used by Windows SBS 2008 Setup to automate the installation and to run Setup in migration mode. This section introduces you to the migration answer file and guides you through using the Answer File Tool to create the migration answer file.

  3. Install Windows Small Business Server 2008 in Migration Mode for Windows SBS 2008 migration This section explains how to use the migration answer file to install Windows SBS 2008 on the destination server in migration mode.

  4. Move settings and data to the Destination Server for Windows SBS 2008 migration The Migration Wizard helps you migrate settings and data from the Source Server to Windows SBS 2008. This section explains how to use the Migration Wizard and provides information about the settings and data that you can migrate.

  5. Delete the old Folder Redirection Group Policy object for Windows SBS 2008 migration This is the final task to re-home the redirected folders to the Destination Server. Perform this task only if you had folder redirection enabled on the Source Server.

  6. Optional post-migration tasks for Windows SBS 2008 migration After you finish migrating all settings and data to Windows SBS 2008, you may want to map permitted computers to user accounts, enable folder redirection, configure POP3 connectors, or update mailbox quotas on your new server.

  7. Run the Windows SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer After you finish migrating data and settings to Windows SBS 2008, you should download and run the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Best Practices Analyzer.