!rant from a support guy

I was tasked to migrate an Exchange 2003 server (yes, those are still used) for an upcoming Office 365 deployment. There are no direct upgrade path from one another, as far as we know

My task was to export PSTs from mailboxes. Great, a native tool exist for that in 2003 (exmerge). But only for less than 2 GB mailboxes because ANSI/Unicode! Half of our mailbox busts that limit. Oh, it seems Exchange 2007 has a PowerShell command for exporting to PST as well! But pre-SP3, that command relies on a local installation of Outlook on the server (DAFUQ), and has been superseded by another "standalone" powershell command. So I install a bogus Windows 2012 server only for that purpose, with Exchange Management Tools (which, by the way, is bundled with the Exchange installation setup and REQUIRES to have IIS installed on the target machine. Also, if you install ONLY the Exchange 2007 Management Tools and wish to uninstall them afterwards, you can't because the uninstaller wants me to select an Exchange Role to remove, which are all unchecked in my tools-only setup). Never worked, and Google-fu says that the newer Exchange 2007 New-MailboxExportRequest command seems to have removed Exchange 2003 support.

So i'm back to installing a pre-SP3 Exchange 2007. Then the older Export-Mailbox powershell command whines about 64bits and 32bit incompatiblity-- actually I ***HAVE*** to have the whole OS/software stack 32bit ONLY. Don't ask me why!

Some article I found says I could fire up an XP virtual machine for that, I go for Win 7 x86. "Sorry, Microsoft Exchange won't be installed on a workstation environment because reasons." All right then, let's go for an old Windows Server 2003 x86. Have you tried to boot this up in an Hyper-V environment where mouse and keyboard support for Windows Server 2003 are apparently optional? No keyboard AND mouse events sent to the guest machine at all.

* Sigh *, let's use a Windows Server 2008, but WATCH OUT! Microsoft has discontinued x86 support on their W2008 R2 release, so non-R2 for me. Even then, mouse event wasn't sent until I installed guest additions.

After all, export-mailbox ended up working, but that costed me two days of banging my head against the wall. (Oh, and I take internal calls inbetween as well...)

And that's why I aspire to be a programmer. Thank you for nothing, Microsoft!

Add Comment