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New Exchange 2003 install to replace Exchange 5.5 - NO MIGRATION

By ToddG ·
I've looked high and low for this answer and cannot seem to find what I'm looking for.

Long story short. We finally moved over to AD kicking and screaming about 3 years ago. We now have thirteen servers with Server 2003 Standard on them, and one NT 4.0 server with Exchange 5.5, which is our last holdout. Our Exchange 5.5 server is a POP3/SMTP server only. All it does it route mail. No OST files or anything.

I of course have a dedicated server for Exchange 2003. What I would like to do is perform a new install of Exchange 2003 in native mode, and create all the mailboxes, distribution lists, etc. manually. While at the same time keeping the Exchange 5.5 going. Then when the Exchange 2003 server is ready, I'll just change the incoming/outgoing server IP's in everyone Outlook, and go through the process of removing the NT/Exchange 5.5 server from the network for good... And finally be able to change my domain functional level.

Is it possible to do that without screwing anything up in AD? Is mixed mode only used for copying mailboxes from 5.5 to 2003? And since I'm creating the mailboxes myself in 2003 do I have to use mixed mode?

I only have 32 e-mail users, so I'd rather create them all myself and avoid the headache of copying accounts from 5.5 to 2003. Plus I'd like to run them side by side to acclimate myself more with Exchange 2003 before going live with it.

Thanks.

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