Migrate from SBS 2008 or 2011 (Part 6)

Move the FSMO Roles from SBS Server

At this point the SBS Server holds all five FSMO. In order to demote the SBS Server, these roles must first be moved to another domain controller. They can be safely moved to any Domain Controller in the domain.

To transfer the FSMO roles, follow this steps:

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2.  If you are logged on SBS Server, right-click Active Directory Users and Computers and then click Change Domain Controller. If you are logged on the destination DC, you can go directly to step 4.
  3. In the Enter the name of another domain controller box, type the name of the server you want to transfer the roles to and then click OK.
  4. In the console tree, right-click Active Directory Users and Computers, point to All Tasks and then click Operations Master.
  5. Click the PDC tab and then click Change.
  6. Click OK to confirm that you want to transfer the role.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the Infrastructure and RID tabs.
  8. Click Close to exit the dialog.
  9. Click Start, click Administrative Tools and then click Active Directory Domains and Trusts.
  10. In the console tree, right-click Active Domains and Trusts, point to All Tasks and then click Operations Master.
  11. To change the Domain naming operations master click Change and then click Close.
  12. Next, open an elevated command prompt and type the following command: Regsvr32 %systemroot%system32schmmgmt.dll
  13. Click on Start, click on Run and type MMC.
  14. In the MMC window click on File and then click on Add/Remove Snap-in…
  15. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins dialog click on Active Directory Schema, click Add and then click OK.
  16. Click Change Active Directory Domain Controller…
  17. Click to choose another DC in your forest and then click OK. Click OK to dismiss the warning dialog.
  18. Right-click on the Active Directory Schema and click Operations Master…
  19. Click the Change button. Click the Yes button when prompted to change the Operations Master.
  20. At the command prompt, type netdom query fsmo to verify that all the roles are now held by domain controllers, other than the SBS Server.


Uninstalling the Exchange Server

Now is time to uninstall the Exchange server from the SBS Server. Be careful, if you have installed ForeFront for Exchange Server. In this case you must first uninstall this product:

  1. Logon to SBS Server as Administrator.
  2. Click Start, click Run, then type Services.msc.
  3. Stop all the Exchange services.
  4. Click Start, click Control Panel, then select Programs and Features.
  5. Found Microsoft ForeFront Security for Exchange Server (if it is installed). Click Uninstall.
  6. Uninstall Microsoft ForeFront for Exchange Server.
  7. Restart the SBS Server.

The second thing that you must do is to create the registry key that enables you to remove the Exchange Server management tools:

  1. Click Start, click Run and then, in the Open text box, type regedit.
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftExchangeV8.0AdminTools.
  3. From the Edit menu, click New and then click String Value.
  4. Type Type the name ConfiguredVersion.
  5. DoubleClick ConfiguredVersion and then, in the Value Data field, type the same value as the data value for the UnpackedVersion registry key, which is located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftExchangeV8.0AdminTools.
  6. Close the registry Editor.


It could happen that you will also have to change manually the responsible server for OAB generation, remove public folders and change the source server for send connectors. This are the steps to control (change) this settings:

  1. To Change the source server for Send connectors:
    1. Click Start and then click Exchange Management Console.
    2. In tree view, on the left side, expand Organization Configuration, Hub Transport.
    3. In the result pane click Send Connector, then right-click on Windows SBS Internet Send connector and select Properties.
    4. Go to Source server tab and click Add…
    5. Select new Exchage server and click OK.
    6. Remove the SBS server from the list.
    7. Repeat the procedure for all the send connectors.
  2. Move the Offline Book generation to a new Exchange server (in case, that you don’t want to use public folders anymore, you must delete and create a new OAB).
    1. Open the Exchange Management Console.
    2. Expand Microsoft Exchange, expand Organization Configuration and then select Mailbox.
    3. In the results pane, click the Offline Address Book tab.
    4. On the Offline Address Book tab, select the offline address book you want to move. In the action pane, click Move.
    5. After the Move Offline Address Book Wizard appears, select the new server to host the offline address book generation by using the Browse button and then click Move.
    6. To close the wizard click Finish.
  3. Remove or move public folders. This steps are very clear explained on Microsoft Technet:
    1. For moving: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb331970(EXCHG.80).aspx
    2. For removing: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201664(EXCHG.140).aspx

After this step, it is time to uninstall the Exchange server:

  1. Open Control Panel and then, in Programs, click Uninstall a program.
  2. On the Uninstall or change a program page, select Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and then click Uninstall.
  3. In the Exchange Server 2007 Setup Wizard, on the Exchange Maintenance Mode page, click Next.
  4. On the Server Role Selection page, clear all of the server role check boxes and clear the Management Tools check box. Then click Next.
  5. On the Readiness Checks page, after the checks are finished, click Uninstall.
  6. On the Completion page, click Finish.

Demote the SBS Server and remove it from the domain

Log on to the Management Server as an administrator and follow this steps to remove the machine from the domain:

  1. Click Start, click Run and then type dcpromo.
  2. Click Next on the welcome screen.
  3. Click OK to dismiss the global catalog server warning.
  4. Click Next on the delete the domain screen.  Do not select the delete the domain because this server is the last domain controller in the domain check box.
  5. On the Remove DNS Delegation page, verify that the Delete the DNS delegations pointing to this server check box is selected and then click Next.
  6. When prompted, type a password for the local administrator account. Click Next.
  7. Click Next on the review screen to begin the demotion.
  8. Click the Reboot on completion check box.


After the machine has finished rebooting, remove it from the domain following this steps:

  1. Log on to the SBS Server as an administrator.
  2. Click on Start, right-click on Computer, then click on Properties.
  3. Click on Change settings.
  4. Select the Computer Name tab and click Change…
  5. Select Workgroup under Member of and enter a unique value for the workgroup name.
  6. Click OK and reboot when prompted.

Log on to the DC Server and verify that the DNS A record and computer account for the SBS Server have been successfully removed.

Migrate from SBS 2008 or 2011 (Part 5).

Recommended Reading

Comments Icon12 comments found on “Migrate from SBS 2008 or 2011 (Part 6)

  1. Hi,

    I have a Question to your Howto.

    Do I see it right…I can use this tutorial also for an SBS 2011 Essentials box?

    AND Can I use this box after the demote as a normal Server WITHOUT reinstalling?

    Thanks for your Help


    1. Yes, you can use for migrating to Essentials.
      After completed migration, the source server will not be usable for other companies (if it is this that you mean). You have to reinstall it.

  2. Hi, if I am not going to be running exchange on the new server, WIll it just simply remove all of the exchange attributes from AD when I uninstall Exchange from the SBS server? or will something need to be removed manually?

    1. This is unsupported on SBS!!! You cannot do that. If you don’t want a use Exchange just leave it there.

  3. Why isn’t this supported in SBS as I know a lot of people who have completely removed the SBS and uninstalled Exchange and gone to Office 365??

  4. Brilliant article, very useful. Just a few things that might be added if you have time for things that I have had issues with:

    Setting up RRAS for VPN on the new server, which is fairly awkward (I made a right hashup of it) and was done automatically on the SBS install.

    Moving the CA. While most people can set up a new CA, in my case I have root cert files distributed to various PCs across the country, and getting them set up again would be a nightmare. Still working on this as I write this.


  5. Hi Elvis,
    I am moving my SBS2008 dc to a Server2012r2.

    My SBS2008 does not use the exchange.
    Do I still need to do the Exchange Uninstall?


    1. Yes. It is a part of AD (some elements are writen there) and this is a reason why uninsall it.

  6. Hey Elvis,

    Super article, thanks!!
    Just a question on the premium SQL in Part1. Are you absolutely sure it will keep working (and licensed)?
    I can’t seem to find any confirmation on that, except from your article.

    My idea is to move to srv 2012 esexp role, O365 for Exch. So reading this I would be able to leave the 2008 premium installation + sql part of the srv2012 domain (apps 70 usrs). Correct? Do you have this setup running?

    Thanks for answering.



  7. The Exchange Server services have all been disabled for a few years as the mail service was been moved to O365. This migration was done before I came onto the scene. Do I need to uninstall Exchange from SBS 2011 to clean up AD or might there me objects in use that correlate to the O365 mapping? I plan to unplug the ETH cable on the SBS2011 box for a few weeks to see if I missed anything after the role removal and FSMO xfer processes. From there, I plan to demote the DC and re-purpose the server as a domain member.

    Any words of wisdom here? Thank you!

    1. Yes, Users and computers can be moved to the new OUs.
      With GPOs you can do whatever you want. My best practice is to review all settings and keep only the settings I need. Of course doing this, I transfer some settings from one GPO to another, delete some GPO, … and in the end link them to the new created OUs.
      But this is your choice. The minimum you need to do is remove logon scripts (for installing SBS software to computers) and change all references that are still point to the old SBS server.


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