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     Exchange 2000 and 2003 SettingsGuy Thomas

Guy's Litmus Tests to check if you are an amateur or a professional.



When will you switch Exchange to Native Mode?

Here is the first of my Litmus tests or 'best practices'.  The idea is to give you a quick check to see if you are getting the most out of your Exchange configuration.

Professionals set a date to switch Exchange to Native Mode

Amateurs think Mixed mode means Outlook 98 with Outlook 2000


Switching Exchange from Mixed to Native Mode

Mixed mode is the default setting in Exchange 2000 and 2003.  This is a similar concept to mixed and native mode in Windows 2000.  Native mode refers to the servers not the clients, and it means that all servers are running Exchange 2000 or later.

When you first migrate to Exchange 2000 the best tactic is to introduce the new Exchange 2000 server into an existing Exchange 5.5. organization.  The purpose of mixed mode is to allow all Exchange servers to co-exist (versions 5.5 and later).

Gradually, you migrate mailboxes and public folders from the old 5.5 to the new Exchange 2000 servers.   When you decommission the last Exchange 5.5 server, switch the Exchange 2000 server to Native mode, and benefit from:

  • Moving mailboxes between existing servers.
  • Re-distributing servers between routing groups.
  • Routing groups can contain servers from multiple administrative groups.
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the default routing protocol.


N.B. When you sail in the Exchange 2000 Native ship, there is no course back to mixed mode - you have burnt your boats.

The Litmus test ideaGuy's Litmus Test

Guy's Litmus test is a concept that you can apply where ever you go.  Each test gives you an instant answer to the basic question: - 'Is this professional, or is this amateur?'

I have applied my Litmus test concept to Exchange 2000.  The tests are a personal view, based on my judgement as an independent computer consultant.  Combine business with fun and check your settings against Guy's Litmus tests.  Each week I will give you a new test on Exchange or Outlook.

The brainwave for the Litmus challenge came to me when a delegate said:- 'Guy, I have just joined a company; how do I know if their network and servers are running properly?'  So I gave him a check list to find out whether his network was run by amateurs or professionals.

As I was wondering what title to give the check list, my mind flashed back to my schoolboy days.  Suddenly I remember my chemistry teacher 'Sniffy' Pugh showing us Litmus tests.  Perhaps you remember the test?  It is where you dip paper into a liquid, if the Litmus paper turns red it means acid, whereas if it turns blue the liquid is alkaline.  It struck me that Litmus test was the ideal name for a quick test where there are only two possible results, one good the other bad. 


10 Steps to switch Exchange 2000 to Native Mode.

  1. Logon as an administrator who has full rights on not only the Exchange 2000 server but also the Exchange 5.5. server (including Service Account).
  2. Prepare for the move by checking the System Folders have been replicated to Exchange 2000.
  3. Check that the Offline Address book has been Replicated to Exchange 2000.
  4. Naturally, you will have moved all the mailboxes to the Exchange 2000 server.
  5. Stop the Exchange Services on the 5.5. server, (Microsoft Exchange System Attendant in Services)
  6. Open the Exchange System Manager in Exchange 2000
  7. Delete any Active Directory Connectors (ADC)
  8. Right Click your Organization name (Nouland Exchange) in the Diagram 1.
  9. Select Properties, and finally click the  Change Mode button.
  10. Reboot the Exchange 2000 or 2003 server.

Summary: Pros plan to switch to Exchange 2000 Native Mode.


Mixed v Native Exchange

Diagram 1    


See Also

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Copyright Stephen Bryant 2008