Upgrading from Excahnge 2003 to Exchange 2010 how does it effect outlook client users

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When users connect the first time after we upgrade the exchange from 2003 to exchange 2010 on a new box what will be the effect? Will they receive an error message that they were unable to connect and how do you point it to the new exchange server box. New to all this and not sure how it will effect our users?

Dave Stork

If the transition was successfull and mail has been migrated, the first time Outlook starts it contacts the old server. It then gets redirected to the new server. Before that, the user gets a message stating that the administrator has made changes (the mailbox move) and Outlook has to restart. After this, Outlook is connected to the new Exchange server. In most cases this only works when the old server is still operational, but it doesn't have to have any mailboxes.

There are other options, like Autodiscover for Outlook 2007 and up, starting Outlook with a PRF file (sort of a config file) etc. etc.. But that requires somewhat more preparation.

But always test or perform a pilot migration with a sample group of your users, before you migrate every mailbox.

Good luck!

Brian Day MCITP

It would help if you told us the client version.

Normally the users just come into work, open Outlook, and keep on working without knowing what happened.



Thank you for your quick response and appreciate the help. I need to ask another dumb question but how exaclty does the old exchange server know to redirect it to the new server? Is there a setting you need to input in the old exchange server? Or is this part of the migration steps?

Again, Many thanks for all your help!


We are using Outlook 2007 and a small majority of users are using Outlook 2010. Thank you


You will be installing the new Exchange server into the same organisation as the old one. The location of the mailbox is stored as an attribute on the users AD account, therefore a look up in AD will direct accordingly.

Dave Stork

As alashcroft states, Outlook knows this by looking into Active Directory. The old server has to be operational, though. That is why I keep the old Exchange server operation for a couple of weeks, until the Outlook settings of most users are adjusted.

Outlook 2007 and 2010 do support Autodiscover , which can be used for new users but could play a role in this scenario.

Technical Specialist / Infrastructure Architect MCSE 2003 + Messaging MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2007 & 2010

Dave Stork

They do get a pop-up and have to restart Outlook one time. That could result in some questions from users.Technical Specialist / Infrastructure Architect MCSE 2003 + Messaging MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2007 & 2010
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