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Troubleshooter: Upgrading Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000

What potential problems should I be aware of when I upgrade my Windows NT Server 4.0 machine to Windows 2000 Server? I want to leave Exchange Server 5.5 running until I upgrade that program to Exchange 2000 Server.

The migration you're about to undertake includes many subtleties, most of which revolve around Active Directory (AD). The Microsoft article "A Guide to Upgrading from MS Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange 2000 Server" ( covers the mechanics of the upgrade well. However, you'll probably need some better background about why you're being asked to perform particular tasks.

Microsoft has a collection of prescriptive materials that cover the ins and outs of planning and executing a migration from Exchange 5.5 and NT 4.0 to Exchange 2000 and Win2K. Specifically, Chapter 5 of the deployment guide, which is available at tells you to take the following actions to prepare for possible issues (Microsoft's word, not mine) during the migration:

  • Ensure that your Exchange 5.5 server is running at least Service Pack 3 (SP3) before you attempt the upgrade.
  • Run Mtacheck and the Knowledge Consistency Checker (KCC) on the database to ensure the database's consistency.
  • Perform a Directory Service/Information Store (DS/IS) consistency adjustment. In contrast, the Microsoft article "XADM: Function and Effects of Running the DS/IS Consistency Adjuster" (;en-us;q182979) tells you not to run the DS/IS adjuster unless Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) tells you to. I don't see any reason to run it as part of an ordinary migration.
  • Make a full backup.
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