Before you begin the transition to Exchange Server 2007 you must first verify that your existing network environment is ready for Exchange Server 2007 and download the essentials software and tools for an Exchange Server 2007 transition.

Download the Exchange Server 2007 software and tools

Download the following software so that you have everything you need on hand for the installation.

For production Exchange servers only the 64-bit versions are required, however the 32-bit versions will be useful if you are deploying the Exchange Management Tools to administrative workstations or other hosts such as backup servers.

  • .NET 1.1 (x86 only – required for the ExBPA)
  • .NET 2.0 with Service Pack 1 (x86 and x64)
  • MMC 3.0 (x86 and x64)
  • PowerShell (x86 and x64)
  • Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1 (both versions)
  • The latest update rollup for Exchange Server 2007 (both versions)
  • Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (version 2.8 or later)

Verify your existing network environment

Use this checklist to confirm that your network environment meets the pre-requisites for Exchange Server 2007.

Active Directory Functional Level

Both minimum functional levels must be met:

  • Domain functional level Windows 2000 Server Native Mode
  • Forest functional level Windows 2000 Server Native mode

Domain Controllers

There must be at least one Domain Controller and Global Catalog server in the same AD Site as the Exchange Server running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, and the Schema Master for the Forest must be at least Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1.

Incompatible features of Exchange Server 2000

These features must be removed:

  • Microsoft Mobile Information Server
  • Instant Messaging Service
  • Exchange Chat Service
  • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server
  • Key Management Service
  • Cc:Mail Connector
  • MSMail Connector

Incompatible features of Exchange Server 2003

These features must be removed:

  • Novell Groupwise Connector
  • Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP)

Exchange Organization Mode

The Exchange Organization must be Native Mode.  See Preparing a Mixed Mode Organization for Conversion to Native Mode.

Exchange legacy servers

Any existing legacy Exchange servers must be at least:

  • Exchange Server 2000 with Service Pack 3, or
  • Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2

Link State Routing

Link State Routing must be disabled.  See How to Suppress Link State Updates.

Exchange Server 2007 Readiness Check

The Exchange Server 2007 Readiness Check test performed by the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer must pass.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for


  1. Bosman Ify

    I have a very similar problem. my exchange is server 2007 sp1 on windows server 2008 standard sp2. I want to upgrade the exchange to 2007 sp2/3 but setup keeps failing. the event viewer Id is 4999, and the Exchange Best Practice Analyzer when I select the Exchange Readiness check button, says, ‘active directory site does not contain any global catalog server…

    I really need some help.

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      Paul Cunningham

      Does your Active Directory site contain any global catalog servers?

  2. Terry

    Hey Paul.

    I ran the /prepareschema and got this error “An unexpected error has occured and debug information is being generated:the system cannot find the file specified. Exchange server setup encountered an error.

    I also ran the ExBPA and got a critical error for one of my sites: Site ” site name” Active Directory site ‘Site Name’ does not contain any global catalog servers running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later. This will prevent Exchange 2007 servers from being installed into site ‘Ashenheim’.
    Site ” Site Name” cannot support exchange 2007 server.

    I only use one exchange 2000 server at my head office with my main domain controller being server 2003 SP2 GC. IT’S my understanding from what i read was my w2k domain controller should still work as long as i have a w2k3 domain controller sp3 GC.

    What does this mean?. I can sent you the log file that was created when i ran /prepareschema.

  3. Terry

    Hi Paul.
    I done a vast amount of reading of transition exchange 2000 to 2007 and know it will work.
    I have not read anything that relates to the clients and how they will now connect to the new
    Exchange 2007 and receive mail in there outlook Inbox.
    Assuming that the new exchange box will have a new name and different ip address. Does it mean I will have
    To go to each end user and reconfigure there outlook to start receive mails from the new box. I have over 200 exchange users. Thanks Much.

    1. Avatar photo
      Paul Cunningham

      When the mailbox is moved the user then has to restart Outlook (or you move them at night when they’re not logged in anyway), and their profile automatically updates to point to the new server, as long as the old server is still available.

      So your old server should be kept around for a week or two after migration finishes so that everyone’s Outlook profiles have a chance to update.

      You can test this by simply creating a mailbox in Ex2000, connect to it with Outlook, then move it and observe the result.

  4. Terry

    Ok thanks Paul so my best bet is to first upgrade my windows server 2000 PDC to a server 2003 domain controller? raise the domain level to windows 2003, for exchange 2007 to work?.

    Will my current exchange 2000 server be broken while i configure exchange 2007 on a member server, as u had recommeded it not be a DC.

    Isnt it a must that the active directory and exchange 2007 be on the same server?. as they need each other.

    Please see if you can laborate on these, hoping am not repeating my self, but just making sure.

    Thanks much.


    1. Avatar photo
      Paul Cunningham

      Yes, you need to meet the requirements of Exchange 2007 while still retaining compatibility with Exchange 2000. A Windows 2003 SP1 DC/GC will achieve that. It is up to you whether you upgrade your existing DC or install a new one.

      No it is not a must that Exchange be installed on a domain controller, in fact is is best practice *not* to for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is a royal pain in the ass to get it working.

  5. Terry

    Me again Paul, I have to run DCPROMO on the server 2008 that is hosting exchange 2007?.

    1. Avatar photo
      Paul Cunningham

      I do not recommend installing Exchange 2007 on a domain controller.

  6. Terry

    Hi Paul.

    My domain Controllers are server 2000 and server 2003 across a WAN and the functional level is 2000 mixed mode. My PDC is windows server 2000. My Exchange server is 2000.

    Have aquired two blade server for upgrade to the PDC and Exchange server.

    Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed on both servers. Will be Installing exchange 2007 for the new exchange.

    How can i get this all done without breaking exchange 2000, and upgrading to new server 2008 domain controller.

    I dont have and cant afford a test environment, so all this will be done in a live environment, hence my problem, have been doing a lot of reading but cant find a clear cut path of how to get it done with little down time for our users which amounts to about 180 users across six locations.

    The exchange is the biggest problem as we are very reliant on mails, so if i can allow the exchange 2000 to not break while configuring the exchange 2007 along side it will be great. The new domain controller i can deal with late. Thanks.

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